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Concert Reviews:
Foreigner alumni reunite at Soaring Eagle
 

By Gary Graff
ggraff@digitalfirstmedia.com, @GraffonMusic on Twi

» See more SOUND CHECK

MOUNT PLEASANT – “It feels very natural to be up here with these guys tonight,” original Foreigner frontman Lou Gramm told the crowd on Friday night at Soaring Eagle Casino & Hotel.

For those fans, however, it felt like a bona fide event.

The show was the first of two combining present and past members of Foreigner as part of this year’s tour celebrating the group’s 40th anniversary. The founding members had come out for other shows – in New York, Florida and Spain – but Friday marked the first time in well over three decades they were all together on stage, playing the material that made the group a commercial behemoth during the late 70s.

“It’s good to be back,” Rick Wills, Foreigner’s second bassist, said before the alumni – Gramm, founder Mick Jones, keyboardist Al Greenwood, drummer Dennis Elliott and muti-instrumentalist Ian McDonald -- started their mini-set. “We can’t believe it. You probably don’t believe it either. But it feels like the first time.” That led into Foreigner’s first hit, the appropriately titled “Feels Like The First Time,” which Jones dedicated to the late original bassist Ed Gagliardi. With Gramm in strong voice, the sextet charged through with “Double Vision,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Long Long Way From Home” and “Dirty White Boy,” while both lineups, 12 musicians in total, played encore versions of “I Want To Know What Love Is” and a lusty “Hot Blooded.”

The current lineup – which was joined by Kid Rock during its August show at the DTE Energy Music Theatre -- opened the night with a 70-minute performance during with Gramm joined for an acoustic treatment of “Fool For You Anyway,” while “Juke Box Hero” that was introduced by a bit of the 1978 instrumental “Tramontane,” which current keyboardist Michael Bluestein dedicated to Greenwood.

Foreigner’s weekend shows at Soaring Eagle were filmed for broadcast as well as a live album and home video during 2018. No release dates have been revealed, however.

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