01 December 2018 (gig)
04 December 2018
For many years now, Foreigner has been touring with one original member, Mick Jones, and a band made up of newer members. While they are all first rate musicians, (especially vocalist Kelly Hansen and bassist Jeff Pilson) and do a great job of keeping the bands catalogue alive, the hardcore fans have longed to see Jones share the stage with his former band mates again.
As part of their 40th year celebration, Foreigner started having occasion reunions with original band members in 2017 and 2018. These led to a 4 date mini-tour dubbed "Double Vision: Then and Now," a two-part concert which featured the current touring version, and a regrouping of the surviving original members, which performed to a packed house at the Mohegan Sun Arena, a state of the art facility, in Uncasville, Connecticut on December 1, 2018.
The Hansen led version of Foreigner started off with a 7 song set, opening with "Cold As Ice," (during which Hansen left the stage and ran around entire floor of the arena, and high-fived as many crowd members as possible).
Hansen and company recreated many of Foreigners brighter moments, rendering faithful interpretations of "Urgent" and "Head Games", amongst lesser know outputs as "That Was Yesterday" and "Headknocker" - while not neglecting Foreigners mellower days on "Waiting For A Girl Like You" (one of the quintessential Rock-ballads of the 80s).
After ending with the power-chord heavy, "Juke Box Hero" (and a brief break), Hansen introduced and brought the original members of Foreigner to the stage; Jones (guitarist), Lou Graham (lead vocalist), Ian McDonald (guitarist/keyboardist), Al Greenwood (keyboardist), and Dennis Elliott (drums). The bands second bass player Rick Wills was also on hand (the bands first bassist Ed Gagliardi, sadly passed away in 2014) as well. Wills had joined Foreigner in 1979 (for the "Head Games" album) and remained in that job until 1993.
Going back to their first hit, "Feels Like The First Time," the sextet shined on a five song set. Grahams voice still sounds fantastic (those alleged health issues in the past appear to be long gone) and the bands onstage chemistry still gels seamlessly, as if a break had never happened, and they followed up with magical takes of "Double Vision" and "Blue Morning, Blue Day."
Before launching into "Long, Long Way From Home," Graham spoke of how the songs lyrics reflect when he relocated to New York City in the 70s, and was feeling somewhat overwhelmed. A raw version of "Dirty White Boy," ended an all too brief, but amazing, set.
A two song encore saw all the band members (new and classic) share the stage for "I Want To Know What Love Is," and the show closing, "Hot Blooded." Graham and Hansen took turns swapping lead vocals on the songs, bringing an end to a phenomenal show, and the tour as well, as this was the final night of the mini-jaunt.
While the "Double Vision" tour was brief, hopefully it's not the end and that Foreigner will continue and expand on this long awaited reunion.