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It is hard to believe.But less than a decade ago, Journey was lumped in with many other rock bands from the 1970s and 1980s that limped along, with half-empty arenas full of mullets and not much else."It was kind of quiet," keyboard player Jonathan Cain said in a Tribune interview about the band's leaner years.Times have changed. In 2011, the band grossed more than $39 million — more than Britney Spears, Neil Diamond and Jason Aldean — with 688,871 people buying tickets to the band's shows. The band even saw 17 shows of its tour sell out. According to Cain, everything changed because of three events that propelled Journey into the upper echelon of touring acts. First was the success of the musical "Rock of Ages," which featured the band's signature song "Don't Stop Believin'" closing out the show. Then, in 2007, the controversial, much-talked-about final scene of the series finale of "The Sopranos" was set to the same song, with the scene cutting to black on the phrase "Don't stop."Finally, in 2009, the pilot of the TV series "Glee" showcased the New Directions glee club's rendition of "Don't Stop Believin'", and the cast performance became a smash, eventually going platinum and exposing the band to a younger generation with plenty of disposable allowance and an iTunes account.In 2009, "Don't Stop Believin'" became the top-selling song in iTunes history and even now, "Don't Stop Believin'" is played at the reception of every wedding reception. (At one recent wedding I attended, it was played twice.)"Somebody on 'Glee' probably saw 'Rock of Ages," Cain said. And with "The Sopranos," former lead singer and song co-writer Steve Perry refused to let the song be licensed until three days before the episode aired. As a fan of "The Sopranos," Perry didn't want the song to be associated with Tony Soprano's presumed death, but relented after speaking with the show's creator. The rest of the band, Cain said, knew that once their song would be included in the finale, that the band would be catapulted back into cultural relevance."We worked really hard to get our name back out there" once the song shot up the charts once again, Cain said.Cain, who has skied at Snowbird and Deer Valley, also said lead singer Arnel Pineda — who was discovered by the band in a YouTube video of Pineda performing with a Journey tribute band in the Philippines — has been able to rejuvenate the band."It's a credit to Arnel," Cain said. "He channeled the Journey experience."Adding to the Journey experience Friday will be Loverboy and Pat Benatar with Neil Giraldo opening the show.Giraldo is Benatar's husband and guitar player in her band. He has been with Benatar for more than three decades and is credited with co-writing much of her material, though to some he is just the answer to a trivia question: Benatar's "You Better Run" video was the second ever aired on MTV, and featured Giraldo on guitar, becoming the first axeman to be seen on MTV. (The Buggles, who had no guitar player, was the first video to be aired.)In a Tribune interview, Giraldo said he began playing piano first, but it became his primary instrument when his uncle brought him The Yardbirds' single "Shapes of Things," featuring Jeff Beck. "[My uncle] told me to play like those guys," Giraldo said. And, eventually he did, on Benatar classics such as "Love Is a Battlefield," "We Belong" and "Invincible."Giraldo said he is finishing up penning a memoir about his life in music, and it will surely include another bit of Giraldo trivia: He played guitar on Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl."As for Loverboy, the Canadian rock band will release a new album, "Rock 'n' Roll Revival," on Aug. 14, with nine Loverboy songs re-recorded (including "Working for the Weekend," "Turn Me Loose" and "Lovin' Every Minute of It") as well as three new songs. Loverboy is one of the few bands from the 1970s that contains nearly all of its original members. (Bassist Scott Smith died at sea in 2000.) In a Tribune interview, singer Mike Reno said he can attribute that to fellowship. "It's camaraderie," he said. "We took our time putting the band together, making sure we liked hanging out together, as well as being good musicians."Loverboy toured with Journey nearly 30 years ago, and Reno said the appeal of this tour is easy to pin-point. "People are starved for good ol' rock 'n' roll," Reno said. "When you come to this show, imagine all of the hits you're going to hear."Throughout the years, one thing has not changed for Reno. He still suffers from near-debilitating stage fright about an hour before showtime. "The hour before the show is the worst time of day," he said. "I sweat before I hit the stage ... I get sick."His routine to get through that tough hour is the same. "I iron everything," he said. "It takes my mind off the show."Some things change. Some things stay the same. And you can almost bet that "Don't Stop Believin'" will close the night.

Journey with Loverboy, Pat Benatar & Neil GiraldoWhen • Friday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m.Where • Usana Amphitheatre, 5150 S. 6055 West, West Valley CityTickets • $44 to $135 at SmithsTix