Review and Photos by Fred Kuhlman
Promoter: Danny Zelisko Presents
Venue: Talking Stick Resort – Pool
Date: Friday June 7th, 2019
Tour: The Hits on Tour
The temperatures in Phoenix have finally reached the triple digits. But tonight, the temperature wasn’t the only thing hot in Scottsdale. Foreigner made their valley appearance at the Pool at Talking Stick Resort to a sold-out crowd. I have to admit this was the largest crowd I have seen at the pool for a concert. Not only was the seated area full, but the general admission area around the pool was packed. I even saw people in the pool trying to cool off.
Foreigner is one of those powerhouse bands from the 70s and 80s that has produced 9 studio albums and 8 live albums. 6 of the studio albums went Platinum with 4 of them going multi-Platinum (5X or more times). They are also one of the most watched YouTube bands today. The strangest thing is that they only had 1 #1 hit in the US.
Unfortunately, long time Foreigner guitarist, Mick Jones is not touring with them. Instead Bruce Watson has taken over the lead guitar role with Kelly Hansen as the front man and lead singer. They are joined by bassist Jeff Pilson, keyboardist Michael Bluestein, and drummer Chris Frazier. Providing a second guitar is Tom Gimbel. Tom also plays sax and keyboards on a couple of the songs. This might not be the original Foreigner line-up from the 80s, but they are extremely good and have played with Mick Jones.
Foreigner hit the stage a little after 8PM with a blistering version of “Double Vision”. Bruce was pounding out the driving riffs as Kelly sent the crowd wild with his powerful voice and dynamic stage presence. This was an awesome start to a spectacular evening of music. It was just one hit after another and the crowd responded accordingly. Almost everyone was on there feet and I saw a lot of cell phones attempting to take videos.
Kelly dedicated “Dirty White Boys” to all of the women in the audience and they went wild, singing and dancing. It was just a fun night of music, with the crowd singing along with all of the songs. There was one part of the show where Kelly told us that this tour was the 40th anniversary of the mega hit album, Head Games. As a joke he talked a little about being over 40 and even gave a few people in the second row a little ribbing for being old and not standing up.
During “Urgent”, Tom put down his guitar and picked up the sax. They ended the main set with a short keyboard and drum solo. The highlight was when Chris put water on one of his drum heads and it sprayed up into the air when he hit it. The rest of the band then came back and then ended the main set with “Joke Box Hero”.
After a short break, they came back for a 2-song encore. The first song was their only US #1 hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is”. The band started the song and then were joined by local Phoenix choir, Voices of The Desert to sing the remainder of the song. It was an amazing rendition of the song with the choir providing backing vocals. I did have a small laugh as one of the ladies in the choir was taking cell phone pictures of the band as she sang. Foreigner ended the night with a song that was extremely appropriate for the evening, between the temperature and the music, we were all “Hot Blooded”.
If you have not seen Foreigner, then you are missing one hell of a concert. They bring both the hits and the hit energy that I remember from the 80s.
Photos © Fred Kuhlman 2019, All Rights Reserved
Foreigner Setlist: (Album)
Double Vision (Double Vision)
Head Games (Head Games)
Cold as Ice (Foreigner)
Waiting for a Girl Like You (4)
Dirty White Boy (Head Games)
Feels Like the First Time (Foreigner)
Keyboard and Drum Solo
Juke Box Hero (4)
I Want to Know What Love Is (Agent Provocateur)
(with xxx High School choir)
Hot Blooded (Double Vision)