Words and Pix: Ed Thompson
Foreigner played to their faithful for the third time in less than a year here in Pittsburgh PA last
night. Having just played Key Bank Pavilion last July and then again in January in nearby
Greensburg at the Palace Theater, you might think that their fans might be getting sick of them.
That, however, is NOT the case. They showed up and filled the complete undercover area of Key
Bank last night. Key Bank made the decision to put all the lawn seats under cover due to the
threat of severe weather.
The Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience and Whitesnake with David Coverdale started the
evening off with two great sets that set the tone for an incredible Foreigner set. And they did
not disappoint. Foreigner in January was with ZERO original members. Tonight, at Key Bank,
Mick Jones led his band into a 12 song set of the classics. Very similar to the previous two
shows setlists, they played everything from Double Vision to Hot Blooded. They did change the
pace a bit and mixed up and kicked off the show with Long, Long Way from Home rather than
the two previous openers which were Double Vision. Long, Long Way from Home, much like
Double Vision us a GREAT opener and really gets the crowd up and on their feet for the rest of
the night. It was great to see Mick again fronting the band along with the equivalent of the
Energizer Bunny; Kelly Hansen. Neither of the two ever disappoints or leave the crowd doing
anything but begging for more. The continued through the more popular Foreigner greats of
Double Vision, Head Games and Cold As Ice to kick off the show in that order. The opened 4
songs set up for a great intro into the class Waiting For a Girl Like You which Hansen just KILLED.
Kelly Hansen is literally the PERFECT replacement the band could have asked for to replace Lou
Gramm. You can literally close your eyes on just about any song that Hansen belts out and
picture Gramm singing it. It’s eerie. The energy that Kelly puts into EACH and every show is
astounding too. He never stops moving. He’s running through the crowd one minute, jumping
off the drum riser the next. Then finally strapped to an elevated platform 30 feet in the air
cranking out “In a town without a name…..” and the rest of Juke Box Hero.
Mick Jones’s guitar playing has gotten better with age just like wine. He doesn’t miss any notes,
doesn’t add any notes but truly plays the hell out that guitar. Every night too!! The continued
through the rest of the classics with Dirty White Boy, Feels Like The First Time followed by the
faithful favorite Urgent who showcased one of the best sax players I have ever seen or heard
Tom Gimble. Tom has been on the previous two shows I was at, so it was great to get to hear
and see you perform one more time. He is truly the heart behind Urgent and I think what the
crowds seem to what to see and hear on the song. He gets a standing ovation every show after
his part in the song.
The next song was a pleasant surprise with Mick Jones playing and singing “Starrrider”. It was
an epic performance by Mick supported by the band and Kelly Hansen. The second half of the
song all by Jones gave Hansen enough time to get to the BACK of the pavilion and get strapped
in on an elevated platform only to be risen up 30 feet to kick off the final song in the regular set
Juke Box Hero. Kelly truly shines in JBH and is he has really made it HIS song. I don’t think that
there are many 57-year-old men that can belt out JBH every night while holding on to a
platform. But Hansen does it. Every night. And it is impressive.
After enough time to get the choir from Burgettstown High School all set up on stage, Hansen
and company turn it down a notch for I Want To Know What Love Is supported by a choir each
night. It’s a great song with some great youthful vocals filling in for the backing vocals. The high
school choir did a great job.
The only thing left to do was get hot and that they did with a great version of Hot Blooded. It’s
the band’s anthem so to say and they don’t and didn’t disappoint belting it out for the last song
of the night. Hansen and company truly put on an incredible show that never seems to
disappoint. At least not the last three shows.
I look forward to the future of this band. I think there is a bright future and the rumor of
a forthcoming CD is something else to look forward too.
Long, Long Way From Home
Cold As Ice
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Dirty White Boy
Feels Like The First Time
Juke Box Hero
I Want To Know What Love Is