Foreigner live 2008
The Rolling Stones of 1969 were in their prime, their sound delivered by primitive technology. Foreigner of 2008 ought to have been past their prime, their power rock delivered with modern technology.
In fact, irrespective of white hair and wrinkles, Foreigner in 2008 was an impressive outfit. In part that was due to the departure of founding vocalist, Lou Gramm, five years earlier due to a ‘failing voice’ (says Wikipedia). He was replaced by Kelly Hansen who, at a relatively youthful 47 sounds in faster songs identical to Gramm, back when I was enjoying hits from ‘Foreigner’ and, later, ‘Foreigner 4’. It’s only in slower numbers such as Waiting for a Girl like You where he develops more of his own character. Even so it holds closely enough to avoid jarring, and the delivery is styled to match the original.
It’s vocalists who age out first. The other musicians are also of varying ages, for there is only one remaining from the band’s hit days in the 1970s and 1980s: keyboardist/guitarist Mick Jones.
As usual with these kinds of things, there’s a bit too much focus on the lead singer and guitarist, and a little less than I’d prefer on the main keyboardist and drummer. It’s worth watching the drummer here in his brief moments as centre of attention. The reason: it’s Jason Bonham, who worked with the band from 2004 to 2008.
Golly, the man was his father’s son. It took a moment for me to see it because of the dark sunglasses, but look at the way he moves his hands and his body—and the way he holds his mouth—and you can see John clearly.
Even more so, the more you pay attention to what he’s doing. Like his father, most of his drumming seems to be solid, but undemonstrative. Then you start to notice in songs such as Cold as Ice the amount of subtle decoration he is inserting in the pounding 4/4 beat, in particular the tiny drum rolls that he squeezes into spaces where they would scarcely seem to fit. But they do, and lift the whole piece.
At the end of that song, I felt Bonham had been cheated when Jones thanked the keyboardist.
The concert was filmed at the Sound Stage venue in Chicago. It’s a modestly-sized closed space with, I’d guess not many more than a couple of hundred in the audience, there to give the event a live feel rather than to make any real money for the band.
Technically, this presentation is just about perfect. The band is as tight as a band can be. The live recording, especially in a space which seems to have been designed for it, is damned near close to a studio recording in quality. Stephen Dawson
Running time: 105 minutes Picture: 1.78:1, 1080i60, MPEG4 AVC @ 21.33Mbps Sound: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 24/48 3/2.1 @ 4828kbps (core: DTS 24/48 3/2.1 @ 1509kbps); English: LPCM 24/48 2/0.0 @ 2304kbps Subtitles: Nil Extras: Nil Restrictions: Exempt, Region Free
Director: Joe Thomas Starring: Mick Jones, Kelly Hansen, Tom Gimbel, Jeff Pilson, Michael Bluestein, Jason Bonham Movie: A| Picture: A| Sound: A| Extras: D