Lou Gramm, the original voice of Foreigner, played a 90 minutes set of chart topping classic rock at GlenOak High School’s Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night.
Before the show started, a video was played detailing Lou’s history. From his first band Black Sheep, to meeting up with Mick Jones and auditioning for a new unnamed band which would soon become Foreigner; Gramm has had quite the career.
Once the screen was lifted, the band hit the stage playing “Long, Long Way from Home” and “Feels like the First Time” from Foreigner’s multi-platinum debut album.
Gramm’s voice was strong all evening long as he belted out hit after hit. His five-piece Rochester, New York based backing band was also impressive as they played each song pretty much note for note. Both guitarists and saxophone player interacted with the audience and even posed for an occasional selfie with members in the front row.
An early highlight of the show came when Lou introduced Foreigner’s only song to hit number one on the charts. As he sang “I want to take a little time,” members of the GlenOak High School choir came out in their robes to sing the iconic “I Want to Know What Love Is” chorus. They sounded great and I’m sure it will be a memory that those students will never forget. Gramm noted that even he got chills when the kids sang.
After a double shot of “Head Games” and “Dirty White Boy,” Lou told the audience that they were going to play the most played song from 1987. With that the band launched into Gramm’s first solo hit “Midnight Blue.”
Throughout the show, the guitarist and bassist often got to take center stage during solos. However, the next tune saw the sax player take the spotlight and he even jumped into the audience to play the solo on “Urgent” from Foreigner’s 4 album.
Another hit from the 4 album saw a huge inflatable jukebox take up residence next to the drum riser. “Jukebox Hero” was played perfectly to end the set.
After a brief exit, Lou and the boys came back to play an outstanding version of Free’s “All Right Now” and they ended the show with “Hot Blooded.”
Lou Gramm proved that he still has the vocal chops at age 66. Let’s hope that he and Mick Jones can put something together for Foreigner’s 40th anniversary next year. I’m sure the fans would eat it up.