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80's Tribute Band Almost Journey
Rocks iPlay America

By Ilana Rapp

originally published: 08/15/2018

80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America

PHOTO: Almost Journey. l to r: Joseph Cumia - Guitar and Vocals, Billy MacQuarrie - Drums, Michael Ledesma - Vocals, Pat Rotolo - Bass and Vocals

I never in a million years would have thought about iPlay America in Freehold as being an event venue. To me, it's a place to ride bumper cars, have kids' birthday parties and play video games. Never been there.

Then I found out through my niece that YouTube personality Joey Graceffa will stop there as part of his Eden Tour. Hmmm, at iPlay America in Freehold, NJ? So I filed that info in my head and went about my business, totally forgetting about it...

Until late one night, last week, I heard on the radio station NJ 101.5 that Almost Journey, a Journey tribute band, was going to be performing there. Uh-uh, no way!

I knew my daughter would love to see this show, so I dialed into 101.5, played the trivia contest and much to my surprise, won two tickets!



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My 10 year-old daughter and I arrived at 4:30 for the buffet. Yes, you read that right -- a buffet! We checked out the stage which was already set up, looked around a bit, then settled into our table seats to chow down.

Almost Journey came on with a bang. Just the way they should have in my opinion. They took over the stage and the room! The musicianship was captivating and the singer, Michael Ledesma, effortlessly made contact with the audience. People were drawn to the music.

During their break, Michael posed for pictures with the fans, making the experience for my daughter even more fun.

80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America

PHOTO: Anna, Michael Ledesma of Almost Journey, Samantha - iPlay America, Freehold, NJ, August 12, 2018

After break, the band broke out and did some not-Journey songs. This was refreshing as the energy was so raw and captivating and quite honestly, it was nice to hear them play something other than Journey.

My daughter wasn't the only kid there. Several other tweens gathered around the dance floor and literally danced the night away, going up to the stage and high-fiving the singer Michael during the performance!

80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America

The audience dancing up a storm at the Almost Journey concert at iPlay America.

Sitting at our table was Chet, Laura and their 9 year-old daughter, Samantha.

Samantha was singing along with the band so I was curious as to what she liked about the concert. "It's music from before my time. It's really cool. I like the food and the lighting."

Mom Laura chimed in, "It's nice to see younger generations enjoying 80s music and bands like this at an event center that kids can attend."

Interesting point, Laura! There are plenty of venues that will not allow under 18 or 21 years of age to enter. Not a problem at iPlay America!

Naturally, Dad Chet didn't want to be left out, "This is truly an event the entire family can enjoy."

Well, Chet, you weren't kidding! What a fun evening!

80's Tribute Band Almost Journey Rocks iPlay America

Can you guess which song the band played last? Pssst… see the video below!

 

Almost Journey is managed by Joseph Cumia, aka Brother Joe. http://www.notu2.com

Photos by Ilana Rapp 


Ilana Rapp is a media-savvy Generation Xer with instinctive wit, quick humor and a taste for deep human emotions. As a former (child) actress with Broadway, film and television credits, she is adept at, well, lots of things.

She has blogged on The Huffington Post and writes entertainment pieces for NYCastings.

She is a huge fan of the television show V. Ask her why her favorite number is 22.

Follow Ilana on Twitter @LizardLadyNJ





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(NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ) -- State Theatre New Jersey presents Diana Krall live in concert as part of her Turn Up The Quiet World Tour on Friday, October 12 at 8:00pm. Tickets range from $43-$153.50.  This concert will feature songs from Diana Krall’s stunning new album, Turn Up The Quiet, out now on Verve Records as well as a mix of some fan favorites. 
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(UNION, NJ) -- Going strong after more than 45 years, Grammy Award winner The Manhattan Transfer, with tenor vocals from Kean University alumnus Alan Paul '71, will captivate Kean Stage audiences with their distinctive four-part harmonies at Enlow Recital Hall on Sunday, September 30 at 3:00pm.
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“Here’s Lucie!” Lucie Arnaz LIVE! at the PNC Bank Arts Center
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(BRANCHBURG, NJ) -- Raritan Valley Community College presents Aiken & Friends Fest, North Branch on Friday, September 21 and Saturday, September 22.  The three-day event will feature a number of different musical shows by Mike Aiken, as well as other solo artists and groups.  
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Event calendar
Saturday, Sep 22, 2018


MUSIC

Asbury Park Porchfest @ Booskerdoo, Asbury Park - 12:00pm

Carl Chesna & Co. @ Hotel Tides, Asbury Park - 1:00pm

Echoes @ The Stone Pony, Asbury Park - 7:00pm

Cole Swindell @ Hard Rock Live Etess Arena at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Atlantic City, Atlantic City - 8:00pm

GRUPO NICHE @ Bergen Performing Arts Center (bergenPAC), Englewood - 8:00pm

The History of Motown @ Englewood Public Library, Englewood - 7:00pm

Drake Bell @ iPlay America, Freehold - 7:00pm

Classic Stones Live feat. The Glimmer Twins @ The Levoy Theatre, Millville - 8:00pm

Opera Theatre of Montclair Presents Hansel and Gretel @ Central Presbyterian Church, Montclair - 4:00pm


Oscar D’León with Tony Vega and Los Hermanos Moreno @ Prudential Hall @ New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), Newark - 8:00pm

SunDog Band at Duffy's Tavern, Paterson NJ @ Duffy's Tavern, Paterson NJ, Paterson - 9:00pm

Celtic Thunder X @ Count Basie Center For The Arts, Red Bank - 8:00pm

Young Person's Concert @ River Dell Middle School Auditorium, River Edge - 1:00pm


Tigerman record release show for “Descend Into Savagery” @ Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Hubby Jenkins @ Lizzie Rose Music Room, Tuckerton - 7:30pm







THEATRE

Souvenir @ Surflight Theatre, Beach Haven - 8:00pm

East Lynne Theater Company presents SILENT SKY @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Shuck @ Cape May Stage, Cape May - 3:00pm and 7:30pm

Incorruptible @ Ritz Theatre Company, Haddon Township - 8:00pm

West End Festival of the Arts- Theatre Brut Session 2 @ West End Arts Center, Long Branch - 2:00pm

Evita @ Broadway Theatre of Pitman, Pitman - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

Seuls en Scene French Theater Festival - "Claire, Anton et Eux" @ Class of 1970 Theatre, Whitman College, Princeton - 2:00pm and 8:00pm

HUMAN ERROR by Eric Pfeffinger @ West Windsor Arts Center, Princeton Junction - 8:00pm

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

Assisted Living: The Musical @ Jay & Linda Grunin Center For The Arts At Ocean County College, Toms River - 2:00pm

Brick City @ Premiere Stages at Kean University, Union - 3:00pm


DANCE

SWAN LAKE - THE ATLANTIC CITY BALLET @ The Strand Theater, Lakewood - 7:00pm

SOLE Defined @ Mainstage @ Union County Performing Arts Center (UCPAC), Rahway - 8:00pm


LITERATURE

Monthly Saturday Writing Retreats @ Tiferet Journal, Bernardsville - 9:00am

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