“It doesn’t matter how old the songs are, good music is timeless”
The Jukebox came back to life for one night as Foreigner played all their hits from the past 40 years to a crowd at the Utah State Fair on Friday Sept 13th, 2019 in Salt Lake City. These songs may be 40+ years old but the crowd was made up of people of all ages from teens to late 60’s. “It doesn’t matter how old the songs are, good music is timeless,” I over heard one crowd member telling another before the start of the show.
As the lights dimmed and the band one by one made their way to the stage the crowd erupted with enthusiasm. “Double Vision” would be the song that would set the stage for the rest of the night. Foreigner quickly transitioned into “Head Games” and took things up yet another notch. Singer Kelly Hansen welcomed the crowd and expressed his and the bands gratitude for such a warm reception and then dove right into “Cold as Ice.” During the song Hansen climbed the scaffolding that held the lighting and stage together. After about climbing 50 feet or so, he waved to the crowd and safely descended without missing a beat.
Things slowed down momentarily as “Waiting for a Girl Like You” prompted the crowd to turn on their cell phone lights reminiscent of the days not too long ago when the crowd would use lighters. Foreigner then sped the tempo back up with a crowd favorite “Dirty White Boy.” It was at this point that Hansen introduced the band to the audience. He then did a quick survey to gauge the age of the audience and began to reminisce about the days of 8-tracks and turn tables, which then brought about one of the band’s first hits “Feels Like the First Time.” Watching the crowd it was obvious that young or old it was nostalgic in many different ways to many different people.
Guitarist Bruce Watson played a guitar solo that was relaxing but yet energizing. The guitar solo led into the song that introduced me to Foreigner, “Urgent.” Thom Gimbel played the Saxophone with amazing skill and brought the song back to life.
Keyboardist Michael Bluestein and drummer Chris Frazier combine their skill to produce a short and amazing solo which included water splashing up from the drums as they were hit like a gyser at Yellowstone. After the so it was a time for the song that said it all, “Juke Box Hero.” The crowd came alive with screams of joy as the baseline began thumping and Hansen sang the opening to this iconic classic.
Things slowed down for a bit and “I Want to Know What Love Is” began it was just a minute into the song when Highland High School’s Madrigals entered the stage and lined up in perfect position between the keyboard and drums. They added a magical touch to the song that brought unity to the stadium. The song came to a close and before the Madrigals exit one enthusiastic member strummed the bass strings bassist Jeff Pilson. Her smile was from ear to ear and she stood face to face with him thumping the strings of his bass.
The end was near which meant that “Hot Blooded had to be next and soon enough the familiar guitar riff could be heard filling the fair. The emotions were high as the crowd sang with the band. As the song came to a close Hansen thanked everyone for their support and the crowd responded with applause.
40 plus years of hits and memories were packed into 120 minutes on a warm September evening. The night could not have been any better. Foreigner continues “The Hits on Tour” throughout the rest of the year. Check the Foreigner website for dates and be sure to find a show near you!