Many Journey fans never stopped believing this day would come.
Steve Perry, Journey's most famous frontman and one of the most celebrated singers of the past three decades, recently performed songs by the band on a public stage for the first time in about 19 years. The 65-year-old performed the power ballads "Open Arms" and "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin," two of the group's biggest hits, as he joined alternative rockers The Eels on stage during a second encore at their concert in St. Paul Minnesota on Sunday. He also joined them in a performance of their song "It's a Mother[expletive]." (Watch video - warning: contains expletives.)
Before Perry's surprise performance, , Eels frontman Mark Everett told the audience that Perry "walked away" from his music career "because it didn't feel right," adding, "And for some reason only known to him, he feels like tonight in St. Paul, Minnesota, it feels right."
Perry, known for his powerful voice, left Journey in 1998 and concentrated on a side solo career. He last performed a full-length concert in 1995. At the St. Paul concert, he sounded hoarser but still got the crowd going -- the Eels fans sang along to "Lovin', Touchin', Squeezin'," with some of them standing up and waving their arms to the beat.
The singer last sang on stage in January, performing with musicians such as Steve Ferrone and Questlove at Guitar Center's 2013 Drum-Off Finals in Club Nokia at L.A. Live in Los Angeles. (watch video - warning: contains expletives)
Perry has battled health and personal issues over the years. Before he left Journey, he suffered a hip injury. In 2013, Perry was treated for skin cancer. A year before, he fell in love. Perry dated a psychologist battling Stage 4 breast cancer. She succumbed to the disease in December 2012.
After leaving Journey, Perry concentrated on a solo career, during which he contributed the songs "I Stand Alone" and "United We Stand" to the soundtrack of the 1998 animated movie "Quest For Camelot."
Journey was most popular in the 1980s. The group is best known for the hit anthem "Don't Stop Believin'", which has made a comeback as a party and sports stadium staple partially thanks to its incorporation on the finale of "The Sopranos" and a cover performance on "Glee." After Perry left the band, he was replaced by Steve Augeri, formerly of the hair metal group Tyketto, and in 2007, by Filipino singer Arnel Pineda, who is the current Journey frontman.