The band will embark on a farewell tour this summer
“One hundred percent live,” is what frontman Kelly Hansen exclusively promised us about Foreigner’s Las Vegas residency. The six-piece delivered on that promise Saturday night (Apr 8th) at the Venetian Theater on the Strip.
The 16-song set put the music center stage. Though the band is known for their 70’s and 80’s rock hits, most members on stage have only been with the group since the new millennium. Still, it is evident that Hansen and company take the legacy of Foreigner’s catalogue very seriously. And the fans reciprocate that love.
All the hits were present, from early-set head-bopper “Cold as Ice” to “Feels Like the First Time,” and of course, the power ballad, “I Wanna Know What Love Is.” But the showstopper of the set was the rarely-played “That Was Yesterday.”
Another Vegas treat: the group sat for a three-song acoustic set featuring deep cut “Girl on the Moon.” The band demonstrated a tightness rarely seen in touring bands, whether newly minted or legends celebrating 46 years.
Speaking of legends, the sole remaining founding member, Mick Jones, was absent from the Vegas gig. He’s been touring intermittently due to his health. However, he is known to pop in from time to time, so fans seeing Foreigner when their two year farewell trek begins in earnest this summer still may catch a glimpse of this musical icon. But the band honored what Jones helped to create with every note they played.
Bassist Jeff Pilsnon said from the stage that Kelly Hansen is the rare frontman not to suffer from “LSD,” or “Lead Singer Disease.” And this is evident not only from our down-to-earth conversation in March, but from his stage presence as well. He can turn on a dime from killer rock vocalist, right hand raises above his long wavy hair as he belts, to self-effacing emcee. Early on this night, he ripped up a piece of paper taped to the floor reminding him what city they were playing. “I know who I am and where we are,” he says before ripping it and handing it to a fan. He also goofed off with a photog’s DSLR. Of course, never missing a note with his powerhouse voice.
The band played their seminal “I Wanna Know What Love Is” second to last. They closed with “Hot Blooded” that had the crowd singing along to every word. But it was clear from the outpouring from the Vegas crowd that after 46 years, Foreigner—and all its past and present members that guard the legacy—certainly do indeed know what love is.
Hansen also teases from the stage that the iconic group may return to The Venetian Theater one final time in 2024. All of the group’s residency shows thus far have sold out, he claims from the stage.