One of the first tours announced for the 2017 summer concert season was Foreigner, Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience.  The show was announced  back in early January and we talked to the Cheap Trick guitarist about it at the 2017 NAMM convention  (Interview.)  Fast forward and this tour got underway last week.  We will only focus in on the headliner Foreigner for this review.  Foreigner 2017 consists of Jeff Pilson on bass, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, Chris Frazier on drums,  Kelly Hansen on vocals and Thom Gimbel, Bruce Watson and original member Mick Jones on guitar.

There was  something special in the air as Foreigner is out celebrating the 40th anniversary of their debut self-titled record. This maybe Jones’ band but Hansen has been firmly entrenched as the focal point since 2005. His solid vocals and stage presence (almost Steven Tyler like) led the band through a 12 song greatest hits set.  A funny part of the show was Jones introducing Hansen, he began talking about the next song without mentioning Hansen by his name.

Jones not only surrounded himself with a great frontman, Pilson is one of the most sold bassists around and both Gimbel and Walker complement him very well on the 6th string.  Gimble also took lead on a few tracks as well.  Jones  took front and center as he gave a stirring rendition of “Starrider.”  So glad they put this back in the set as Jones sang lead.  Hansen made his way to the back by the soundboard and a hydraulic lift carried him up for a portion of “Juke Box Hero” to close out their set.

The band came out for an encore and a surprise was waiting in the wings.  Jones took the microphone and welcomed original members Ian McDonald, Al Greenwood and Lou Gramm.  Greenwood took his spot behind the keyboards and McDonald helped with both the saxophone and guitar.  Most eyes were focused on Gramm as chants of  “Looooouuuuuu” went abound.  The original band along with Frazier and Pilson handled “Long, Long Way from Home.”  Hansen handled lead vocals on “I Want to Know What Love Is” and Gramm handled backup vocals and sang  lead on the 2nd verse.  “Hot Blooded” was handled by Gramm with Hansen providing melody.  Hansen welcomed Gramm and he did take center stage with him to sing a portion of the aforementioned together. That was a sight that most music fans thought they would never see.  Gramm gave it his all for the 3 songs he was out there for and didn’t leave anything behind.

It was night of celebrating the history of Foreigner and only a few stops (or maybe one) will be lucky to see the original band play these songs live. Who knows what city or cities this will be pulled off in. You wouldn’t want to miss if it does happen in your city!

 

Setlist:

Double Vision

Head Games

Cold As Ice

Waiting for a Girl Like You

Dirty White Boy

Feels Like the First Time

Urgent

Starrider

Juke Box Hero

Encore:

Long, Long  Way From Home (with Ian McDonald, Al Greenwood and Lou Gramm)

I Want to Know What Love Is (with the Rhythm of the Night choir from Uniondale, NY along with Ian McDonald, Al Greenwood and Lou Gramm)

Hot Blooded (with Ian McDonald, Al Greenwood and Lou Gramm)

 

Photo Gallery

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We would like to thank John Lappen of Lappen Enterprises for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Gus

My first opportunity to write about music was with Kissunderground, featuring just one band (KISS). In 2006, I started working for another outlet that showcased more musicians. It was a great experience for me at the time. I personally nailed down some great interviews during my time at glam-metal.com (Paul Stanley, Jonathan Davis, Slash and Sully Erna to name a few). In early 2009, I decided to venture out on my own with the idea of creating a website that has all the offerings that a reader would want in a music review website. That's when Backstageaxxess.com began. I’m so proud of what was created here and of our staff that brings it to you. Each one offers a diverse opinion and a creative ability to share it in a unique way. We are so lucky to have them here. When discussing making a list of favorite shows with the staff, I also found it hard to narrow that list down to a select handful of shows. Everyone experiences a concert in their own terms, whether it’s the show itself, maybe it’s the people you met there and the new friendships created, or maybe it was meeting the artist at the show. For my criteria, I tried to stick to just the show itself, but again, it was sometimes hard to do. My first concert was Sammy Hagar’s first tour with Van Halen at the Niagara Falls Convention Center, Niagara Falls, NY, on August 30, 1986. My favorites are as follows: 1. Kiss – Tiger Stadium - Detroit, Michigan 6/28/96 2. SARS (Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Rush, and handful of other bands) - Downsview Park – Toronto, Ontario 7/30/03 3. Paul McCartney (every McCartney show I saw was awesome, but Iwent with my first show) Air Canada Centre -Toronto, Ontario 10/10/05 4. Motley Crue – Memorial Auditorium – Buffalo, NY 12/19/89 5. Kid Rock – Tweeter Center - Camden, New Jersey 3/25/06 The honorable mentions would be any McCartney show (The Joint at the Hard Rock, Las Vegas, Nevada, April 2009 or Air Canada Centre Toronto, Ontario 8/10/10), Prince (Club 2112) at the Rio Hotel, Las Vegas 12/30/07, Heart (Pulse Lounge * only 200 people) Hilton Hotel, Anaheim, California, January 21,2008, Monsters of Rock (Van Halen, Scorpions, Metallica, Dokken, and Kingdom Come) Rich Stadium, Orchard Park, NY 6/19/88 and the Rocklahoma Festival (Queensryche, Lita Ford, Triumph, etc.). Also, Cher (with my mom) at the Blue Cross Arena Rochester, NY, November 22, 2004.