Members of Foreigner, past and present, have decamped to the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant, Mich., for a pair of special shows this weekend.
The group performs Friday and Saturday (October 6-7) for concerts that will be filmed for broadcast, home video and a live album in 2018, with the current lineup joined by original frontman Lou Gramm, drummer Dennis Elliott, keyboardist Al Greenwood and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, along with the group's second bassist Rick Wills.
It's the latest in a series of reunions that have been part of Foreigner's 40th anniversary celebration this year, and group founder Mick Jones tells us it's been special to play with his former bandmates again:
"One thing for sure is all the musicians are getting together really well, getting on very well together and it's just refreshing...so they're really enjoying it. Al and Ian are...playing the same as they did 40 years ago, basically, and it's a hoot. It's great adrenaline and very enjoyable."
Gramm adds that
"It's been very exciting and certainly stirs up a lot of memories. It's great to be back onstage with Mick again, and the other members, and we're treated very nicely. The guys in his new band are terrific, and they've helped us out in a number of ways, so it's been a lot of fun...and for a number of songs towards the end of our set the new Foreigners came out and joined us, and I think that was really kind of bridging the gap and it just felt like the right thing to do."
Gramm, McDonald and Greenwood joined Jones and the current Foreigner lineup for a three-song encore on July 20 at Jones Beach in Wantah, N.Y., while Elliott came on stage Aug. 2 in Tampa, Fla., and Wills had played with the group in June 11 in Spain. There are talks about doing more shows together during 2018 as well, but nothing has been formally announced.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.