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  • Misael Ruiz

Foreigner live from Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara Bowl

Santa Barbara, California


Foreigner is without a doubt one of the greatest rock bands and one of the greatest bands overall of all time. If you're in the rock/metal world and you've never heard a Foreigner song or even heard of Foreigner, then I don't know what to tell you. Foreigner was first formed by guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones in 1976. Since then, they have released nine albums and have sold over 80 million records. Foreigner's driving force was always Jones and lead singer, Lou Gramm. Gramm sadly left Foreigner in 1990, returned in 1992, then left again in 2003. Since then, Kelly Hansen has been taking the lead as the singer of Foreigner leaving Jones the only sole original member of the band. Now in 2021, Foreigner is still going strong. The only bad news is that guitarist/saxophone player Thom Gimble, who has been with Foreigner since 1992, announced his retirement from the band in March. Foreigner announced a USA tour and the stop on this night was the beautiful Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara, California.

A chilly Saturday night on the West Coast was the perfect setting to see Foreigner. The lights went out and the packed venue cheered as the members of Foreigner made their way to the stage and kicked off their show with one of their best songs, Double Vision. Everyone was on their feet and could be seen singing along. The band members themselves were very energetic on stage as they ran around and gracefully played their instruments to perfection. The next song was another one of their best songs, Head Games. The third song is another one of the most widely known songs of all time, Cold As Ice. Foreigner was off to a strong start playing some of their best songs to get the crowd going wild. Foreigner is also known for writing some of the most beautiful ballads. One of those songs is Waiting for a Girl Like You. After a couple of more hits, Foreigner played the live fan-favorite, Urgent. The song is best known for having a sax solo that Gimble would always go wild on when performing live. Since Gimble was no longer in the band, keyboardist Michael Bluestein took over the duty of the sax solo, but instead of a sax, used a keytar to give the solo a synthesizer sound. Many fans have voiced their disappointment in the use of a keytar instead of a sax. Hansen took a break to speak to the audience as introduce the band members one by one. The last member that Hansen wanted to introduce and bring out was the man himself, Mick Jones. Jones would stay for the remainder of the show and specifically came out for this next song which is the first song he ever wrote as well as the first song on their self-titled debut album. The song was Feels Like the First Time and is also one of their greatest hits. It was time for the show to come to an end and what better banger to end the show with than Juke Box Hero. The intro beat to the song gets everyone on their feet and clapping as Hansen starts off singing the intro. As the song starts, the crowd goes wild and sings along to the chorus. Foreigner finished the song and left the stage. All seemed quiet for a bit. After a small break, Hansen came back out on stage talking about how it's great to be playing again after almost two years. Now, it was time for some encores. The first encore was Long, Long Way From Home. The second encore is without a doubt one of the most beautiful songs ever written and is also Foreigner's best-known songs and is also listed number 479 on Rolling Stone magazine's greatest songs of all time. That song was I Want to Know What Love Is. It is beautifully performed live and the crowd sang the chorus perfectly in unison. It's something you have to witness to believe. The night had to come to an end eventually and Foreigner picked the perfect song to end it. The final song was Hot Blooded. Everyone has heard this song at least once in their lifetime and if you haven't, then either you've been living under a rock or your music taste is very questionable. Everyone was still on their feet and singing along enjoying one last song by one of rock's best bands. When the song ended, Foreigner came together to bow before their fans left the stage once more. It was great having Foreigner return and surely enough, their fans can't wait for them to come back.

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