With a new double disc entitled “40: Forty Hits From Forty Years” and a tour tackling that very topic, 2017 is shaping up to be another banner year for Foreigner. These days the group consists of original lead guitarist Mick Jones, front man Kelly Hansen, bassist Jeff Pilson, rhythm guitarist/saxophone player Tom Gimbel, keyboardist Michael Bluestein, guitarist Bruce Watson, plus drummer Chris Frazier, and while many of the faces have changed, the melodic rock stylings sounded entirely accurate if not entirely rejuvenated when the buses rolled into a packed Huntington Bank Pavilion At Northerly Island.
Foreigner soon broke from the regularly scheduled programming to give fans a choice between “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Headknocker,” “That Was Yesterday,” all worthy ideas, but a verdict that wisely went to the former.
Kicking off with “Double Vision” and barreling straight into “Head Games” had everyone on their feet with Hansen’s charisma, Jones’ distinctive guitar tones and the rest of the ridiculously tight band blasting their way to the furthest bleachers. Come “Cold As Ice,” the co-founder traded those six strings for the keys with the spot on recreation continuing throughout that FM classic and the power ballad “Waiting For A Girl Like You.”
Foreigner soon broke from the regularly scheduled programming to give fans a choice between “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Headknocker,” “That Was Yesterday,” all worthy ideas, but a verdict that wisely went to the former. The only other surprise of sorts came with the psychedelic throwback “Starrider,” which once again put the spotlight on Jones’ initial vision and his expert execution.
All the other essentials appeared (“Feels Like The First Time,” “Urgent,” “Juke Box Hero”), extended with instrumental jams that filled up the 90-minute time slot awfully fast (following shorter support from Cheap Trick and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience). In fact, dialing back some of the solos, dropping an opener or simply playing a little longer would’ve allowed for at least a few more selections to fully represent Foreigner’s 40 years, which in actuality, didn’t extend beyond 1984’s “Agent Provocateur.”
Speaking of that collection, “I Want To Know What Love Is” naturally popped up in the encore with a little extra groove in its step, alongside some sweet harmonies from the Chesterton High School Choir. However, there was no better closer than “Hot Blooded,” which could also characterize the seven-piece line-up’s overall attitude and indicate that even at the four-decade mark, there’s loads of gas left in Foreigner’s tank.
For additional information on Foreigner, visit ForeignerOnline.com.
Upcoming concert highlights at Huntington Bank Pavilion At Northerly Island include Nickelback (Aug. 12); Pretty Lights (Aug. 18-19); Logic (Aug. 24); Ms. Lauryn Hill & Nas (Sept. 7); Sublime With Rome & The Offspring (Sept. 8); Young The Giant (Sept. 9); Sturgill Simpson (Sept. 22) and Umphrey’s McGee (Sept. 23). For additional details, visit LiveNation.com.