Judge Patrick Naugle just wants to know what love is.
Our reviews of Foreigner: Alive And Rockin' (published November 8th, 2007), Foreigner: All Access Tonight (published July 21st, 2004), and Foreigner: Live (published May 13th, 2009) are also available.
Feels like the first time…live!
Welcome back to Classic Rock 101, students! Taking the stage tonight is the band Foreigner! For those of you who were born after 1990 (woe to you whose birthright is Vanilla Ice), here is your history lesson for the day. Foreigner was a huge draw in the late 1970s and early 1980s with hits that spanned classic rock to romantic love songs through '80s synthesizer pop. Although their lineup seems to have changed more often than my underwear, they're still on the road rocking and rolling (albeit without their original singer nor many of the original band members). Foreigner: Live is a 2005 concert that features the band giving their all to some of their biggest hits. Get ready to pull out your spandex and headbands, the music is about to begin…
It's while watching a concert like Foreigner: Live that makes one feel the squeeze of time on the soul. My memories of this particular band are of hard rocking youngsters strutting around stage producing music that spoke to my adolescent soul. When the band first takes the stage (and this concert is already more than five years old at this point), it's a bit of a shock—my first reaction was, "I'm sorry, did my grandparents form a band and someone forgot to tell me?" Everyone just looks so…old. As the cameraman pans to the audience it's as if every 56-year-old woman in the tri-state area made their way to the theater to revisit their youth. Then again, I guess I'm forgetting that I've also grown old, too.
But I digress.
For those of you who are die hard Foreigner fans, this newly released concert should make you happier than an Aerosmith groupie buck naked in Steven Tyler's sack. In a show like this you really only care about one thing: does the band play this hits you want to hear? The good news is that this incarnation of Foreigner covers all of the bases and then some. Favorites are played and sound (almost) like they did 20 years ago. Some of the band's earlier hits are touted onstage; including the muscular "Juke Box Hero," "Double Vision" and the piano heavy "Cold As Ice;" while their sappy, '80s drenched ballads like "Waiting for a Girl Like You" and "I Want to Know What Love Is" (a personal favorite) are trotted out in full regalia. For the curious among you, the band even has a few new songs to show off (my favorite being the mid-tempo "Too Late," which has a nice classic rock feel to it). They even retool some of their biggest hits like the stripped down version of "Say You Will." If you have any complaints about this particular Foreigner concert it can't be that they don't know what the set list should look like.
Of course, my biggest, and really only, gripe is the fact that the singer I grew up with—Lou Gramm—is nowhere to be found here. Gramm eventually pursued a somewhat successful solo career in the late 1980s and mid-1990s and left the band for good after one final album more than fifteen years ago. In his absence lead guitarist (and one of the only original band members left) Mick Jones has replaced him with lead singer Kelly Hanson, with the group since 2005. Hanson does an admirable job of sounding like Gramm, though that certain something seems to be missing when this newly minted front man tackles some of Foreigner's biggest and best known hits.
Foreigner: Live is a nice way to hear all of the band's biggest hits in one place. Although the show itself isn't flashy or aesthetically thrilling (it's just the band and some basic lights and television screens), the band is tight and the music is entertaining. Just make sure to find a few moments to mourn the loss of Lou Gramm.
Concert Track Listing
Foreigner: Live is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen with a 1080p resolution. Originally shot digitally, this transfer looks excellent by comparison; although it's not going to blow you away (ala the newest action blockbuster), this is a very fine looking picture that sports solid colors and textures. The image is crystal clear—you feel like you could almost reach out and grab Kelly Hanson's frilly shirt (seriously, do these guys have any fashion sense at all?) and Mick Jones's shiny guitar. Fans of the band will be thrilled with this transfer.
The soundtrack is presented in both a lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround track as well as LPCM 2.0 Stereo. The 5.1 mix is spacious and full, allowing the music to flow through all channels and speakers with the greatest of ease. I really enjoyed listening to this concert and being immersed in the music. Image Entertainment has put forth some effort to make sure fans get the very best when it comes to Foreigner's live stage show. No alternate subtitles nor extra supplemental features are included on this disc.
For anyone over the age of 30, enjoy spending an evening rocking out with
your inner teenager.
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