You know you are doing something right when you have the audience singing every song with you as well as screaming and clapping for the entire 90 minute set. Foreigner accomplished that and more Sunday night.
Foreigner opened by taking the packed House of Blues in Anaheim crowd back to the 1970's with a string of its early hit songs; Double Vision, Head Games and Blue Morning
Foreigner unlike many bands, stuck with the formula for concert success, just give the fans what they want, all the hits that everyone came to see and give it energy and passion.
I came into the concert wondering what I would be getting, as Foreigner has joined the number of bands who have had their lead singer head off in a separate direction and move onto other ventures. Somehow Foreigner found Kelly Hansen, who not only had a great stage presence, but also was more than capable of filling the big shoes of Lou Gramm. Not an easy task with the variety of songs Foreigner has and the range of Gramm's voice, but all you had to do was close your eyes and you likely could not tell any difference as Mr. Hansen hit every note perfectly.
This show was the perfect setting to get to enjoy the guitar of Foreigner founder Mick Jones. You may hear Foreigner on the radio or have some of their CD's but I don't think you can appreciate what a phenomenal guitarist Mr. Jones is until you see him in person.
A near flawless performance had to be highlighted when Foreigner played back-to-back songs of their monster album Foreigner 4, Urgent and Juke Box Hero. Urgent just seemed to showcase all of the talent that was on the stage and culminated with an electric saxophone solo from Thom Gimbel.
Jason Bonham was incredible on the drums all night and combined with his band mates to perform a very flattering version of his father John Bonham's group Led Zeppelin's Misty Mountain Hop.
Foreigner came back for it's encore by kicking it off with possibly it's biggest hit I Want To Know What Love Is and Mr. Hansen had the entire audience singing the chorus as his own personal choir.
This showed the great contrast the band has, as they clearly had the House of Blues rocking, but they were equally adept at bringing it down a few notches as they performed the great ballads that have been hits for them.
To close out the show the band went back to its rock roots one more time as they had the audience in a frenzy by playing Hot Blooded.
The only flaw in the performance came when the band tried to do some type of acoustic version of Say You Will. This just didn't seem to work as the audience did not seem to get into this song as much as they likely would have had they performed it as it was originally recorded. That was the only minor complaint you could make about what was a truly great rock concert.
If you are a Foreigner fan, or just enjoy great rock n' roll, the band is putting on a charity at the Roxy Theatre in Los Angeles on June 8th.
For more information on Foreigner, visit its website at www.foreigneronline.com.