A few weeks ago, I went to the Bank of America Pavillion to see Night Ranger, Foreigner and Journey – a few of my all-time favorite bands. (When you are done laughing, you may continue.)
The stadium was filled with die-hard ‘80’s fans looking forward to hearing songs like Juke Box Hero, Separate Ways and Any Way You Want It. I arrived as Night Ranger was ending their show with Sister Christian, so I cannot really comment on that performance. But, from the moment Foreigner hit the stage with “Hot Blooded,” the entire crowd was on their feet, enthusiastically singing along. The same thing happened with Journey (with the exception of a few songs of their newest album, which were OK, but definitely not yet “classics.”).
As a long-time fan of those bands, I couldn’t help but think (and ask my Twitter/Facebook friends), “Am I watching Journey/Foreigner or Journey/Foreigner cover bands?” I mean, how can Foreigner be Foreigner without Lou Gramm? And, how can Journey be Journey without Steve Perry (or, from a drummer’s perspective, Steve Smith)?
Within moments of my post, a close high school friend responded saying, “just close your eyes and imagine Steve Perry in front of you.” So, I did. And, as I did that, I realized that, aside from looks, the change in musicians had very little impact on the music and performance. I suddenly felt better about the price of the ticket and size of the venue.
As an entrepreneur, this reminded me of a very valuable lesson: No one is irreplaceable. The moment we lose site of that is the moment we are at greatest risk of being replaced. Next time Journey and Foreigner come to town, you know where I’ll be.
Watch the video, sing along, and let me know what you think.