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Monday
Aug032015

Lou Gramm - North Tonawanda, NY - Gratwick Park - July 31, 2015‏ 

Review and Photos by John Jeffrey
 
N.Tonawanda, NY - While the late afternoon drizzle and looming storm clouds kept this year's "North Tonawanda's Rockin' on the River Concert Series" crowd for Lou Gramm (original vocalist for the iconic rock band Foreigner) on the moderate side (by comparison to some of the huge gatherings I've witnessed at the same concert grounds) the promoter did a great job as usual, by providing another well organized, incident free, family friendly event, which surely went down as another success for the FREE summer concert Fridays at Gratwick park.
 
Lou Gramm hit the stage around 9pm with his current lineup, featuring his brother Ben Gramm on drums, Andy Knoll on keyboards, AD Zimmer on bass and the latest addition to band (since I had last seen Lou perform at the Bear's Den in Niagara Falls, NY in 2012) was lead guitarist Michael Staertow.  The group played an almost 90 minute set of just over a dozen songs, featuring a 'greatest hits' set of Foreigner classics and couple of songs from his solo career thrown in for good measure.  This seems to be standard fare for Gramm's live set and frankly, it works well for him.
 
A huge upgrade from the last time I had seen Gramm in 2012 was the addition of guitarist Michael Staertow.  Staertow is a solid player who replicates Foreigner's Mick Jone's lead guitar parts respectfully and his youthful energy and interaction with bassist AD Zimmer balances the stage's frontline nicely.  I also have to note that vocally, Lou himself had improved considerably since I'd seen him three years ago.  While he'll probably never sound like he did in his heyday, he was in fine form and while he may not have hit each and every one of them, he didn't shy away from singing the high notes like he had in the past.
 
Ironically, while on Friday night the 'blue moon' was clear and present in the sky, Gramm and co. performed both songs "Blue Morning, Blue Day" and "Midnight Blue" as there won't be another 'blue moon' until 2018.  Hopefully we won't have to wait another three years to see Lou Gramm perform again, as Gramm proved once again, the original voice of Foreigner is still alive and intact.