Concert Review: Foreigner at SeaWorld


Let’s not bury the lead of the story – no original members of Foreigner performed at SeaWorld on Sunday. None of the members there were in the band for the recording of any of the songs played during the hour and fifteen minute show. Yet the stadium at SeaWorld reached to capacity well before show time and you would be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t enjoy the show.

To be fair – unlike say U2 or Aerosmith – Foreigner has always been somewhat of the “faceless” band with a revolving door of mainly session musicians save for the writing duo of Lou Gramm (singer) and Mick Jones (guitarist). Jones still tours part time with the band as his health permits but was absent on Sunday.

But enough history and trivia lesson, back to the show – Foreigner proved it isn’t so much as important as who is playing the keyboards or drums but rather their ability to connect with the crowd to relive the memories of all the huge hits. In their case it certainly helps the band is incredibly tight and talent – and the energy and vocal range of lead singer Kelly Hansen is fantastic (not to mention his ability to sound very much like Gramm).

While the crowd was seated for most of the show Hansen did every rock star move and line to try to get everyone up and singing – and to what even looked like his surprise – the entire place was on their feet singing along to the closing numbers of “Juke Box Hero”, “I Want To Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded”.

“Urgent” – a mid-tempo song that leans more pop than rock took on a new life live thanks to a great extended sax solo by Thom Gimbel that moved the needle back towards a rock feel.

So what makes them different than a cover band? Jones part time involvement still shows as the songs are executed exactly how you would expect – from guitar tones to vocal delivery (after all Jones is a producer by trade – he even produced Van Halen’s 5150).  I would view it as a college sports team of sorts – you are a fan of the team, and what they are able to delivery terms of performance. Some of the players may change but having the guidance of a coach helps ensure the team’s performance is what you would expect.

When half of the audience threw their fists up in the air as the guitar kicked in after the famous synth intro to “Juke Box Hero” I doubt anyone was concerned with who was on stage but rather having fun with a lineup who knew how to bring to life some of classic rock’s biggest hits.


About Author

Living among the too-many-to-count theme parks of Orlando, FL, Andrew is always looking for an excuse to check out a show, buy some vinyl, modify (instead of play) his guitars, and eat food your mom would consider unhealthy.

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