Foreigner at the Hammersmith Apollo
Support act Europe took to the stage and performed a short but electric set. Lead singer Joey Tempist proved he can still twirl a microphone stand and Rock the Night like a pro at 51. Their last song and biggest hit Final Countdown had the whole of the Apollo on their feet, which whet the appetite for the main event.
Headline act Foreigner burst onto the stage, opening with Double Vision. Proving that time has only been kind to them, they rocked the stage and the sold-out crowd. In stark contrast to the monochrome-dressed band, lead singer Kelly Hansen stood out in lavender blue jeans and a loud shirt that echoed his voice and personality. After two decades in the business his voice is still pitch perfect.
Bass guitarist Jeff Pilson pulled off an amazing guitar solo in Head Games, showing that the boys haven’t lost any of their energy. During Cold as Ice Hansen casually strolled into the crowd and waltzed along the seats, causing a storm in the stalls. The 80s theme was still there in the keyboard synths and simple set design, but this group could perform in a rubbish dump and still engage the audience.
After being unable to perform on some of the tour due to ill health, Englishman and lead guitarist Mick Jones made a refreshing return to the stage. Looking relaxed and effortless he welcomed the fans from his “hometown once upon a time”.
However it was Hansen who stole the show. Like a true rock star he swore, encouraged the audience to “touch each other” and totally owned both the stage and the fans. Throughout the evening he charmed the crowd with his flirty chat; it’s surprising there weren’t knickers being thrown!
Although Foreigner are most famous for their ballad I Want to Know What Love Is, the evening showcased their extensive talent, taking the crowd on a rock rollercoaster. They confirmed their place as one of the world’s best-selling bands of all time.
For the final act they performed their big ballad, a school choir in tow, and it is safe to say everyone was on their feet singing as Hansen polished off his Sunday serenade.
Photos: Erol Birsen
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