Classic rock icons, Foreigner returned to the Western Idaho Fair on Wednesday night. Hundreds of fans were already waiting in line hours before the show started. The band, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is led by long-time vocalist Kelly Hansen, along with multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel, bassist Jeff Pilson (Dokken, Dio), keyboardist Michael Bluestein, drummer Chris Frazier, and guitarist Bruce Watson. While the band’s legendary leader, guitarist Mick Jones, no longer actively tours with the band on a regular basis, he was there in spirit; his songs delighting the crowd.
Foreigner delivered a set packed with 10 of its classic hits, opening up with “Double Vision”, “Head Games”, and “Cold As Ice”. The band slowed the tempo for “Waiting for a Girl Like You”, before rocking it back up with “Dirty White Boy” and “Feels Like the First Time”. One of the show’s highlights came in the form of the smash hit, “Urgent” which amplified the evening’s energy level to a new peak. Gimbel’s saxophone performance hit just the right notes. We spoke with Tom earlier this week, and you can check out the interview here.
Bluestein and Frazier served up a fantastic keyboard and drum solo which segued into the final song of the regular set, “Jukebox Hero”. Foreigner then returned to the stage for an encore of “I Want to Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded”. During “I Want to Know What Love Is”, the band brought out the 25-student Borah High School Choir. Bluestein and Pilson served as impromptu choir directors. You can check out a video of the performance courtesy of KIVI Channel 6.
If one could find any minor complaint with the evening’s performance, it is that it felt too short. They were the only band performing, but they played only 10 songs. Foreigner released its new In Concert: Unplugged album earlier this year, but they did not perform their usual mid-show acoustic rendition of “Say You Will”. Certainly fans might have expected a good 14-15 song set, even in this age of headliners only performing 75-minute shows. That said, most who attended were just happy to see the band perform. No one really seemed to be disheartened by the brevity.
Foreigner’s songs continue to resonate across the decades, and they never cease to bring back positive memories. On Wednesday night, the band added another fantastic memory for us that we can recall every time their music pops up on the radio, or on a warm summer’s evening such as this one.
All photos © 2016 Suzette Mansfield Photography @ EyeRock2 Photography
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