Wednesday May 13, 2015

Photo credit: © Patrick Gray/Kabik Photo Group


K.O. Knudson Middle School’s eighth grade orchestra class was given the opportunity of a lifetime on Wednesday, May 13 as they took an “all access” tour of The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, went on stage to speak with members of JOURNEY’s production crew and interacted with the band members.


The field trip kicked off as Lori Guzzard, entertainment manager at Hard Rock Hotel, gave Journey Las Vegas pins to each student before bringing them inside of The Joint. Upon entry, Guzzard discussed the history of the venue and showed them how pieces of the flooring and railings from the old Joint were incorporated into the new Joint when it was built in 2009. The tour continued up to the third level where students were able to hear from Scott Ara, stage manager at Hard Rock Hotel, regarding some of the technological aspects of the venue. They were then taken to the second level, also known as the VIP level, where they were given an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at Journey’s uniquely-designed greenroom, the band’s wardrobe room, the meet-and-greet room, the suites and more. Following, they were brought down to the floor level where they met with Rob Kern, Journey’s longtime production and tour manager, at the soundboard.


Kern explained how the production crew comes in daily to test the lights and make sure all of the instruments are working properly. The students were able to experience a line check and were fascinated by the unique sounds of Journey’s instruments and all of the work that goes into preparing for a show. Kern then led the class on stage through the loading dock and introduced them to the production crew who went over details of the band’s instruments. Several students even showed off their own skills by playing songs on Jonathan Cain’s piano.


Shortly after, Journey band members Neal Schon, Jonathan Cain, Ross Valory, Deen Castronovo and Arnel Pineda came on stage and surprised the group with “Don’t Stop Believin’” T-shirts and an autographed band poster for their classroom. For about 20 minutes, they interacted with the class and answered questions about their careers as musicians, what inspired them, who their musical influences are, how they got to where they are today and more. Journey also wished the students good luck on their future endeavors and treated them to an unprecedented glimpse of their rehearsal as they prepped for last night’s concert.


Journey’s residency at The Joint concludes this weekend with two sold-out shows.