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Monday
Jul312017

Foreigner - Darien Lake PAC, Darien, NY - July 21, 2017

By John Jeffrey
Darien, NY - When Foreigner announced their plans to tour in support of the 40th anniversary of the band's career, it was clear from the very beginning that the band (currently consisting of only one original member, founder, Mick Jones) wanted to make the trek something very special.  Jones cited Foreigner's 40th anniversary summer tour as "a family affair," referring to the other acts on the bill and the return of some prodigal sons.
 
The tour began on July 11th in Syracuse, NY with peers Cheap Trick (which features guitarist Rick Neilsen's son Daxx Neilsen on drums) and former Foreigner drummer Jason Bonham and his new band, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience (which is a tribute to Bonham's father, legendary Zeppelin drummer, John Bonham).  Mick Jones also announced that original Foreigner members Lou Gramm, Ian McDonald and Al Greenwood would be appearing on select dates.  "They're not on the whole tour, but there will be some appearances," according to Jones.  "It's the right time to do this.  I'm looking forward to that and we'll see how it goes, and I'm sure it'll go down well." 
 
Unfortunately, fans who attended the tour's stop at the Darien Lake PAC on July 21st - which also happens to be the closest venue to Lou Gramm's hometown of Rochester, NY - Gramm, nor any of the other original members made an appearance on this night.  However, the night before - in Wantagh, NY - when the band came out for their encore, original members Ian McDonald, Al Greenwood and Lou Gramm joined the band for the final three songs: “Long, Long Way from Home,” “I Want To Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded.”
 
With the credibility of a four decade long career riding on the success of this tour, the band really beefed up their stage production, pretty much dwarfing anything they've ever done in the past decade.  The initial look of the stage started out appearing somewhat pedestrian, with the focal point being the number 40, printed on a huge scrim behind the band.  But as the show progressed, the stage transformed, with a moving lighting truss, smoke & lasers, with the final look of the stage being a huge, grid iron number 40, mirroring the image the show started with on the screen.
 
As the band closed out the main set with "Jukebox Hero," singer Kelly Hansen started the song on a riser, that was near the back of the pavilion.  In the beginning of the song, Hansen hovered above the crowd, and as the song continued, the podium descended, allowing Hansen to maneuver his way through the crowd, making his way to the stage - in order to finish out the song with the rest of the band.
 
With Mick Jones battling his way through his health issues over the past few years, and at times in the recent past, only making cameo appearances onstage or not performing at all, it was nice see Mick enduring, and at the same time, thoroughly enjoying, performing a full show with the band he started 40 years ago.

Despite the set list being somewhat 'paint by numbers,' Foreigner - no matter what the lineup is - still puts on one helluva show, and if you've seen 'em, you know what I mean.  And if you haven't, see them if you have the chance.

Foreigner setlist- Darien Lake PAC 07-21-2017

Double Vision
Head Games
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
Blue Morning, Blue Day
Dirty White Boy
Feels Like the First Time
Urgent
Starrider
Juke Box Hero
Encore:
I Want to Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded