“When I was a teenager, isolating in my room, this song gave me comfort,” he wrote in an attached note. “Stay safe.”
Perry emerged from a long hiatus in 2018 with the release of his solo LP Traces. He did not support it with a tour nor any sort of promotional live performance. He hasn’t played in front of a live audience since he briefly guested with the Eels at a couple of shows in 2014 and hasn’t done a full show since his 1995 solo tour.
His absence from the stage led to persistent rumors about the state of his singing voice. “I have my vocal box checked all the time,” he told Rolling Stone in 2018. “I have no nodules on it. I have a really good doctor…She’s really able to see them well and, knock on wood, nothing wrong with my voice. The only thing is I didn’t really use if for a while, but it’s like working out when you begin using it again.”
At the time of that interview, he said he was still trying to decide whether or not to tour. “Right now it’s premature to even guess,” he said. “But there would be no way in the world I’d go out there and not sing Journey music, too. It would be solo and Journey together.”
But he did acknowledge it would be difficult for him. “Those songs are vocally challenging,” he said. “They’re challenging for [current Journey singer] Arnel [Pineda] and everyone else. They’re not easy. They were challenging for me when I wrote the damn melodies, but back then I was young and in my Olympic singer mode. … There’s nothing wrong with lowering a key. We’re not spring chickens.”
Perry reunited with his former Journey bandmates onstage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 2017, but he did not sing with them. He hasn’t done that since a one-off show in 1991 honoring the late Bill Graham.
Anyone who thinks he can’t handle the vocal strain, look no further than this new video. His voice remains strong.