Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey Directed by Ramona S. Diaz Monday, June 18 at 7 p.m. Also on Sun., June 24 at 12:15 p.m. Both showings at AFI Silver 1.

Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey opens with the crystal vocals of “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” but at first, it’s impossible to discern whether we’re listening to Steve Perry, the best-known singer of Journey, or his most recent replacement, a Filipino man named Arnel Pineda. Considering Perry’s singular tenor—he’s called “The Voice” for a reason—that’s incredible. So is most of Ramona S. Diaz’s doc, which chronicles how Pineda was plucked from a cover band in Manila to head one of rock’s biggest groups—then do it so well that Journey continues to sell out stadium shows here and abroad. Pineda is a tiny firecracker, seemingly indefatigable onstage and bursting with personality off it, and one can’t sit through the documentary without smiling at him. (Unless, of course, you really, really, really hate Journey. But if you do, why are you watching?) Found on YouTube by guitarist Neal Schon when the band was desperate for a singer, Pineda was flown to the United States and hired by the band within three weeks. The love from fans grew just as quickly, as did admiration from his bandmates: “Arnel is so—can I cuss?—fucking amazing,” drummer Deen Castronovo says. Don’t Stop Believin’ goes on a little too long, occasionally slipping into Behind the Music territory and allowing a few too many musical performances. (Pineda’s seemingly endless string of golly-gee effusions could go, too.) But the shows are still electrifying, and you can’t deny the doc’s core sentiment, which Pineda summarizes nicely: “A typical Cinderella story, right?”

Leave a Comment

Note: HTML tags are not allowed in comments.
Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.
...