In this day and age, it takes a lot to surprise and delight a concert audience. But Mark Oliver Everett, AKA the man behind the moody indie rock band Eels, managed to charm the heck out of a whole lot of people at the Fitzgerald Theater Sunday night, when he brought former Journey frontman Steve Perry to the stage for the third encore to sing a few songs.
They started out with the Eels song “It’s a Motherf****r,” which Perry has previously posted on an iTunes celebrity playlist, then proceeded to play two Journey hits, “Open Arms” and “Lovin’ Touchin’, Squeezin’”.
Cake in 15 has a great rundown of the collective excitement that ensued when Everett brought out Perry, including video of the first song in the encore:
“But it wasn’t until Steve Perry – Steve “The Voice” Perry from Journey, who hasn’t really sung in 20 some years — was midway through putting his silky spin on “It’s a Motherf****r” as our brains collectively short-circuited that we could even start to realize what was happening, what had happened.”
The Eels-Journey pairing notwithstanding, Perry’s appearance on stage was so mind-boggling because he has been notably absent from public performances, save for a few impromptu singalongs at San Francisco Giants baseball games, for more than 20 years.
By most accounts, it was an excellent Eels show, but when you bring out one of the most iconic voices of 1980s arena rock, that’s what people are going to talk about.
Former Journey frontman Steve Perry joins the Eels onstage for a surprise encore at the Fitzgerald Theater moments ago. Who's Crying Now?
— Jake Rudh (@JakeRudh) May 26, 2014
So sometimes you go to an @THE_EELS show and Steve Perry shows up and plays Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin' and it's the best thing ever.
— (((Ali Lozoff))) (@AliLozoff) May 26, 2014
— Carl Atiya Swanson (@catiyas) May 26, 2014
Steve Perry of Journey sang onstage for the first time in 25 years tonight with @THE_EELS
— CHELSEA WOLFE (@CCHELSEAWWOLFE) May 26, 2014
Update: Paul Frank (not not that Paul Frank) shared his video of the entire Eels/Perry set of songs.