Foreigner no stranger to concert audience
Heart-pounding songs like "Jukebox Hero" and "Hot Blooded" kept the grandstand crowd dancing on their feet during last night's Foreigner concert at the Clearfield County Fair. From left are the band's founder Mick Jones, bassist Jeff Pilson and rhythm guitarist Tony Gimbel. (Photo by Bill Woolworth)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
By Gae Kane Staff Writer
Talk about "Hot Blooded"! Last night's concert by Foreigner opened with "Double Vision" and never let up after that. The group included "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold As Ice," "Urgent" and "Waiting For A Girl Like You," which kept the crowd on their feet and singing along throughout the concert.
"Our music has touched a lot of people," Mick Jones, band founder, guitarist and legendary songwriter, said in a recent interview. A point Foreigner easily proved as the band captured the grandstand crowd the moment they took the stage.
Overall, the group has produced seven top-five hits, nine top-10 hits and 14 hits in the top 20, sold more than 70 million albums and released seven multi-platinum albums. With that kind of musical history, is it any wonder that the grandstand crowd caught a great concert driven by songs like "Say You Will" and "Jukebox Hero"?
Foreigner's lineup, including Jones on guitar, is comprised of drummer Jason Bonham, lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, bassist Jeff Pilson, rhythm guitarist Tom Gimbel and keyboardist Michael Bluestein. "We're here to entertain you, but you have made it such a pleasure," Kelly Hansen said during the concert before the band burst into "Hot Blooded," followed quickly by "Dirty White Boy" and "Star Rider." The band also introduced a new song, "Too Late," from its new album, "No End In Sight," released on July 15.
During 2007, the band toured with Def Leppard and in December performed in London's O2 Arena with Led Zeppelin. Last night Jason Bonham paid homage to his dad, Led Zeppelin's late drummer, by playing the song "Kashmir." Tours this year have the band performing across the country in cities like Charlotte, N.C., Jacksonville, Fla., Des Moines, Iowa, and the music city itself - Detroit.
Foreigner's music could be classified as a mix of blustery blues and pop. Regardless of the style, all of their car-stereo hits are unrivaled, according to the grandstand crowd. When asked to name a favorite song, Darlene O'Connell quickly responded, "I liked them all!" Lara Krise responded without hesitation "Jukebox Hero." Audience members also named "Hot Blooded," "Waiting For a Girl Like You" and "Sky Rider" just as frequently, but it was obvious that every song the band played was a favorite for the crowd. The Antonelli family, who come to three or more shows at the fair each year, made it clear that Foreigner was the best show they had ever seen.
Following the concert, which included several encores, a guitar signed by the band members was presented to Brenda Holland of Duncansville. The sleek black guitar came with a hug from Mr. Hansen, leaving the thrilled Ms. Holland almost speechless. "I've listened to and loved the band's music for a long time," Ms. Holland said. "‘Jukebox Hero,' ‘Feels Like The First Time' and ‘Cold As Ice' are just a few of my favorite songs by the band."
Dorothy Mitchell, who came to the concert with Ms. Holland, called her husband to tell him about the guitar, but he didn't believe her. When she told him they got to meet and talk with all the band members backstage, he was stunned, then asked them to let him see the guitar as soon as they got home.