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September 20, 2014
Tennessee Theater
Knoxville, Tennessee

Saturday night, the historic stage of The Tennessee Theater was stormed and rocked by the group, Foreigner, and it’s unlikely that it will ever be the same again . . . and in a good way. The always perfect acoustics of that majestic theater made Foreigner’s kind of rock classic in every sense of the word.

Greeted by an enthusiastic, capacity crowd, the band nimbly and energetically blitzrieged through their thirty-plus years of hits. When the band hit the stage blasting through “Double Vision,” the crowd rose to its feet, never to be seated again. Second on the set list was “Head Games,” followed by “Cold As Ice” during which lead singer, Kelly Hansen, hopped off the stage and wondered through the crowd as they sang along with him.

The women in the crowded melted during, “Girl Like You,” and swooned as Hansen shook his bee-hiney that had white pants spray-painted on it (yeah, those words are written out of envy) while the band rocked out to “Dirty White Boy.” The band then stormed through “Say You Will,” “Feels Like The First Time,” and “Urgent” (Tom Gimbel’s sax work was absolutely killer!) before closing the pre-encore set with “Juke Box Hero.”

The band encored with “Long, Long Way From Home,” “I Want To Know What Love Is” (joined on stage with a local high school choir) and “Hot Blooded.”

Hansen worked the crowd like a polished tent revival preacher, with them eating out of his hands with every word he spoke. They laughed and cheered at everything he said. The band (Hansen, Gimbel, Jeff Pilson, Michael Bluestein, Bruce Watson and Chris Frazier) were brought together in 2005 to form the current configuration by the band’s remaining founding member, Mick Jones.

Hansen didn’t say why Jones wasn’t on stage with them but it is, no doubt, due to his other projects he’s working on, including one with fellow band founder, Lou Gramm. That said, the crowd didn’t seem to notice or to allow it to curb their enthusiasm towards the band. All were very happy campers throughout the show.

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