This was the megastar rock band’s fifth time playing the CMSF

PASO ROBLES — The California Mid-State Fair [CMSF] kicked off its Michelob ULTRA Concert Series opening night (Wednesday, July 20) with American rock band and fair favorites Journey.

After limited hours and condensed musical performances in 2021, the CMSF is back in full swing. With a fully stacked lineup of musical acts performing on both the Chumash Grandstand Arena Stage and the Frontier Stage.

Performing for the fifth time at the CMSF, Journey’s concert took place in the Chumash Grandstand Arena, and the pit, as well as the bleachers, were packed full of fans there to enjoy not only Journey but their opening act, San Luis Obispo band Dante Marsh & The Vibe Setters.


“[The concert was a] BIG success. Lots of fans. Dante was a GREAT opening act, and Journey killed it,” said California Mid-State Fair spokesman Tom Keffury. “In my opinion, they [Journey] are America’s greatest rock band.”

It’s been eight years since Journey has graced the main grandstand in Paso Robles with their presence, and their return was spectacular. Arnel Campaner Pineda, who became Journey’s frontman in 2007, led the audience on a musical trip with vocals that matched Journey’s original lead singer, Steve Perry. The audience joined in and sang their hearts out to their favorite songs that spanned the band’s entire catalog, covering almost 50 years of music.

The band played a set full of all their classics, including the hit songs “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms,” “Who’s Crying Now,” “Wheel in the Sky,” “Lovin’, Touchin’, Squeezin’,” and “Lights” to name a few. Journey also dedicated their 1983 rock ballad, “Faithfully,” to the armed forces during their set and thanked them for their sacrifices and service. The band opted to forego a traditional encore and ended their fully packed set with “Separate Ways,” “Be Good to Yourself,” and “Anyway You Want It.”

Journey concluded their show by exploding confetti cannons out into the crowd at the end of “Anyway You Want It” to the cheers of their fans, both old and new.