071019_MNS_Concerts_Departure Mark Schwartz Michael Watkins Brian Williams Joel Hayes Doug Ballard

Departure gathers to thank the crowd at the end of a previous concert. The band includes, from left, Mark Schwartz, Michael Watkins, Brian Williams, Joel Hayes and Doug Ballard. Since that photo was taken, the band has hired a new drummer, Chris Stone, and for its Concerts by the Springs performance, it will have a fill-in guitarist, Jason Wilson.

For those who enjoy the musical phenomena of tribute bands, Departure, an Atlanta-based Journey tribute band, will perform July 14 as part of Heritage Sandy Springs Museum and Park’s Concerts by the Springs series.

Carol Thompson, Heritage’s executive director, said the performances in the 23rd annual free concert series "have been really fun so far this season."

"The rain has given us a challenge for the first two concerts this year, having to make decisions that the show would go on, but we went forward and the rain held off and we have had good crowds,” she said.

Thompson said Heritage "is ready for Departure to come and put on a great show and to have everyone eating, dancing, singing and enjoying a wonderful evening outdoors."

Departure lead vocalist Brian Williams said those who enjoyed such Journey hits as "Only the Young,” "Don't Stop Believin’” and "Wheel in the Sky" should make plans to attend the concert from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on the Sandy Springs Society Entertainment Lawn, at 6110 Blue Stone Road in Sandy Springs.

"Fans of Journey should be ready to hear all the hits songs everyone knows and loves as if they were watching a Journey concert from Journey's prime," Williams said in a news release. "We are ready to show up on July 14 at Heritage Sandy Springs and give a family friendly, high-energy show for the audience, and feature many memorable Journey hits.”

Also, prior to the concert, Jon Mero, a 2017 top 12 finalist on “The Voice,” will sing the national anthem. Departure's appearance at Concerts by the Springs will be followed Aug. 11 by the Atlanta Brass Cats before Band X caps the 2019 series Sept. 8.

Concertgoers are encouraged to arrive early as gates open at 5 p.m. Blankets, coolers and lawn chairs are welcome at the concert, but no outside tables are permitted. Additional food will be available from specialty food vendors or food trucks, and beer, wine, sodas and water also will be sold. All proceeds will benefit Heritage.

No pets will be allowed, with the exception of special assist animals and, while the concert is free, Heritage welcomes a suggested donation of $5.

A news release on Departure itself stated the group has been together for 11 years and replicates the look, sound and feel of the original Journey. Each of the five members of the band are veteran musicians who pride themselves of giving their audience a high-energy, qualitative stage show.

"We hope to have a huge crowd at the concert and that Journey fans of all ages are ready to dance and sing along," Williams said.

For more information, visit www.heritagesandysprings.org.

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