FOR­EIGNER AT IRON­STONE

Riverbank News - - FRONT PAGE - BY VIR­GINIA STILL vstill@oak­dale­leader.com

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, July 29 at 6:30 p.m.

The band has gone through some changes since its begin­ning in the ‘70s 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, lead singer Kelly Hansen, bassist Jeff Pil­son, multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist Tom Gim­bel, gui­tarist Bruce Wat­son, on key­boards, Michael Bluestein, 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 where 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.”

PHOTO COUR­TESY JOHNNY GATES PHO­TOG­RA­PHY

For­eigner, shown at a prior con­cert in Spain, will be back in the States to per­form at Iron­stone Am­phithe­atre in Mur­phys on Sun­day, July 29 with spe­cial guests Ja­son Bon­ham and Queen­sryche.

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