Traversing through the ever-changing times and continuing to entertain audiences all over the world is multi-platinum rock and roll band Foreigner, with a performance scheduled at Ironstone Amphitheatre in Murphys on Sunday.
The band has gone through some changes since its beginning in the 1970s but Mick Jones, the leader and founder of the band, has managed to keep their music alive and thriving.
With over 40 years in the industry, Foreigner has been rocking stages with hits like “Juke Box Hero”, “Cold as Ice”, “Hot Blooded”, “I Want to Know What Love Is,” “Waiting for A Girl Like You” and have had 10 multi-platinum albums, 16 Top 30 hits, and album sales exceeding $75 million.
Currently the band is comprised of front man and lead singer Kelly Hansen, bassist Jeff Pilson, multi-instrumentalist Tom Gimbel, guitarist Bruce Watson, Michael Bluestein on keyboards and Chris Frazier on the drums. Songwriters Hall of Fame member Jones joins the band for some of their live performances.
“The lead singer is Kelly Hansen who is amazing,” said Pilson. “He is an amazing vocalist. Performs great and entertains the crowd. I think he is the best front man in rock right now. He is just outstanding.”
Pilson joined the band in 2004 after filming the movie “Rockstar” where he met Jason Bonham, son of the late Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham. They were bandmates of the fictional band in the movie and they established a real life close friendship.
“We got along musically and personally,” expressed Pilson. “So, in 2004 he started working with Mick Jones and they weren’t really sure what they were going to do so he sort of talked Mick into revamping Foreigner. When that happened, they called me up and I have been here ever since.”
Playing the cello in the fifth grade was the first instrument Pilson started with and then in the sixth grade while singing a commercial jingle on the playground, he was approached by some kids that asked him to be in their band and that they needed a bass player. With his paper route money, he purchased a bass guitar and an amp. Although the band never emerged the bass player did and Pilson continues to rock stages all over the world.
“I was a big Foreigner fan really,” Pilson explained prior to joining the band. “I was in a band that covered Foreigner songs. I always loved Foreigner. It was great hard rock music with great melodies, great songs and great singing.”
They have toured with many bands over the years like Cheap Trick, Styx, Kansas and Kid Rock. They had a Live Nation headlining tour for their 40th anniversary last year. They also released an album called “Foreigner 40” in May 2017, which features 40 hits from 40 years. The album also has a new song called “Give My Life for Love” and a reimaged song written by Jones called “The Flame Still Burns.”
Foreigner will hit the stage at Ironstone Amphitheatre with special guests Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening and Queensryche.
“It is a great experience and playing live is a real special thing,” stated Pilson about what fans can expect at their show. “It really is. Expect a great show. Jason Bonham has been playing with us every night and his show is incredible. They do Led Zeppelin so amazingly well. It is just unbelievable. You are going to see a lot of songs that you won’t even realize how many Foreigner songs you know until we play.”