Foreigner played two sold out shows at Club Regent Tuesday and Wednesday. And although the band has gone through many changes over the years, this lineup was right on the mark in terms of playing.
The weird thing is that original founding member, Mick Jones, was not there. His picture was on the poster for the show, so I was surprised by his absence. It didn’t seem like anyone minded though, because people were on their feet dancing and singing along.
Foreigner released their first self titled album in 1977 and I remember when it came out. Loved it. My parents knew I loved it too, as next Christmas I found the followup Double Vision under the tree.
There was great chemistry between the band members on this night, and their first single, Feels Like The First Time, was a huge hit. Mick Jones and Lou Gramm wrote many great songs together.
Jones and Gramm last performed together in 2013 when they were inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame. That was the first time they had played together in eight years.
I saw Lou Gramm about a year ago and he sounded great. Rumour has it that Lou Gramm and Mick Jones are talking about doing some songs together (and possibly a tour) after Gramm found some tapes of unfinished songs they were working on in the past.
All the hits were played at this latest concert at Club Regent. The show started off with Double Vision.
The new singer Kelly Hansen has been with the band since 2004 and he is the perfect front man.If you closed your eyes you’d think Mr. Gramm was singing. He certainly hit all the right notes musically and emotionally with the audience.
During the third song, Cold As Ice, Hansen was anything but that. He walked through the audience climbing over seats, then ran through the aisles to the back of the room and back to the stage.
By the fourth song, I’ve Been Waiting For A Girl Like You, many of the couples couldn’t resist getting up for a slow dance (especially when the singer said there might be a prize – which there wasn’t). Hansen said, “You are way more romantic than last night’s audience.”
Although, he also jokingly said that the most romantic couple in the house that night were bassist Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio & MSG) and drummer Chris Frazier (Steve Vai, Whitesnake, Carole King and Eddie Money).
The charismatic Hansen got quite the reaction from the ladies when he showed them his backside during Dirty White Boy.
Tom Gimbell, the longest running member (since 1992), played a nice flute intro to Say You Will. As well as keyboards and guitar, Gimbell played that amazing saxophone solo on Urgent. Tom Gimbell has toured with Aerosmith in the past.
The other musicians are no slouches either. Very impressive resumes. Bruce Watson has played guitar with B. B. King, Rod Stewart and Elton John. Keyboard player Michael Bluestein has played with Stevie Nicks and Boz Scaggs. Those keyboards are a big part of the Foreigner sound and Bluestein had the sound down. He played a four minute solo before the drum solo.
They ended the set with Juke Box Hero, before coming back for the two song encore which lasted about 20 minutes.
In the past, the band has invited school choirs to join them on stage to help out with their biggest hit, I Want To Know What Love Is.
The previous night, the Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Choir had the honours. College Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Choir was the star on this night and they were clearly having fun. In fact, one of the choir singers started thrashing on the bass guitar at the end of the song.
Such an amazing emotional song that rips through the soul from those opening dreamy keyboard notes right to the end. At least it’s always done that for me. The 26 piece choir actually grew in size that night with an extra 1400 people singing along.
The show ended with Hot Blooded and it seems like the band raised everyone’s blood pressure. It was plain to see they enjoyed playing for us as much as we enjoyed their performance.
As part of a fundraiser, the College Choir were selling Foreigner CD’s at the beginning of the show where purchasers entered a draw to win a guitar at the end of the show.
One final footnote, I had been sick in bed all day and almost didn’t feel up to going to the concert but I’m sure glad I did because Foreigner’s music seemed to be the best medicine.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer
1. Double Vision
2. Head Games
3. Cold as Ice
4. Waiting for a Girl Like You
5. Dirty White Boy
6. Say You Will
7. Feels Like the First Time
9. Keyboard Solo
10. Drum Solo
11. Juke Box Hero
12. I Want to Know What Love Is
(with the College-Pierre-Elliot Trudeau Choir)
13. Hot Blooded