Wednesday, March 11, 2015
Posted by The Meister at 3:38 AM
Some years later Foreigner became the classic rock/dock rock soundtrack of the summer as friends and I hung out at someone's cottage which included sitting on the dock ("Dock Rock") and also some "Cold As Ice" beverages. Foreigner has been with me for a good portion of my life and even though they're not something that I gravitate to for regular listening enjoyment, hearing the tunes in a live setting just makes sense.
Now some may say why would I bother to go to see Foreigner since there's no original members left in the band? Well, that's technically not wholly true as, to my understanding, Mick Jones, founding guitarist is still an official member of Foreigner but is hampered from playing and touring due to illness. That aside what you do get with a Foreigner show are professional musicians playing some of the best classic rock for that nostalgia of my youth. Among those professional musicians are vocalist Kelly Hansen in the position originally held down by Lou Gramm. Hansen has been at the helm of Foreigner since about 2005, but some may know him from the incredible late 80's band Hurricane who issued four stellar records. But even better than that is bassist Jeff Pilson. Name not familiar?
Well, try this on for size, Jeff Pilson was the longtime bassist and member of 80's sensation Dokken featuring the vocals of Don Dokken and guitar wizardry of George Lynch who sold over 10 million records worldwide. So my question is why wouldn't you go and see Foreigner? And I wasn't the only one as two back to back nights at Casino Rama in Orillia, Ontario were both sold out, not to mention that two weeks before that the band was in Kitchener, Ontario to another sold out crowd. That's three shows circling the Toronto area, all sold out!
Looking around the casino auditorium this was a little different style of crowd than The Meister's usual concert forays...I felt young again! Things began on time with a recorded into and an announcer requesting the audience to "Please welcome ...Foreigner!" As the band filled out the stage, "Double Vision" from their 1978 Double Vision album led the charge. Whether Pilson was aware of it or not his bass was horribly loud, like in a bad way, at least from our seats way up on the mezzanine at the back of the auditorium anyway. The bass was thundering over the guitars which seemed a little dull in the mix, something that I think they should have sorted by now as this was the second of the two shows. The bass seemed to calm down a little during the second number of "Head Games" as the band had lots of space to roam around on the good sized stage. Hansen took a moment to address the crowd and when I say "address" I mean he heckled some latecomers
Foreigner did what they could to rock this rather dull (well maybe different people just enjoy live music in different ways) crowd in what was overall a great performance. If I had one complaint, it would be the shortness of the setlist with only 12 songs performed. Yes, the show lasted for almost two hours but I would rather have heard another tune or two such as my favorite "That Was Yesterday" instead of so much talking/crowd banter and the solo portion. That aside, get out and see this band as they roll through your town....who knows maybe Mick Jones will feel up to it that night and be on stage for you!
PHOTOS SUPPLIED BY: DECIBEL GEEK STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER BRIAN RONALD (Taken at the February 7, 2015 Foreigner concert in Kitchener, Ontario)
Foreigner Website) (Foreigner Facebook)