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Foreigner
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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Ocean City Springfest
Ocean City, Md. • Saturday May 4, 2013
 
        For my first concert of the 2013 season, it was a little different not driving a distance but walking down the boardwalk to Springfest for the Foreigner concert. I think all of our local bars must have been pretty empty as I saw most all the locals at the show. They took the stage right at 8pm, but did you ever get the feeling that all seems complete but something is missing? Well, you wouldn't have judged that from the sold-out crowd or from the talent of the band who came out rockin’ with lead singer Kelly Hansen (a position he's held for 8 years), Jeff Pilson (bass, former member of Dokken and thanks for the guitar picks), Tom Gimbel, (Foreigner's Mr. Everything playing guitar, keyboards and saxophone), along with drummer Chris Frazier, keyboard player Derek Hilland and guitarist Bruce Watson. They played a spectacular 90-minuet set of all hits.
        The group opened the show with "Double Vision", and Hansen got the crowd singing along as he ran across the stage, from side to side.  That energy continued to build with "Head Games" and "Cold As Ice" where Hansen ventured into the crowd high-fiving everyone and somehow making his way back to the stage to slow things down with "Waiting For A Girl Like You". Next he engaged the audience further by asking, “how many naughty girls are in the house?” The reply was plenty enough to enjoy "Dirty White Boy." Next, an acoustic version of "Say You Will", brought all the members of the band to the front of the stage to add their harmonies. Now came the moment of what was missing. After Hansen introduced each member of the band, from the side of the stage out walked Foreigner's co-founder Mick Jones, who has had health issues and minimal touring over the last two years. (I have shot Foreigner quite a few times and last Nov. he was not with the band so this was once again a very special treat since he is the chief song writer and inspirational leader of the band). His guitar licks introduced "Feels Like the First Time". With the party going strong now, Gimbel's saxophone work on "Urgent" got the band on full throttle and the crowd to its feet. Giving the band members a much deserved break, Hilland and Frazier got a moment to shine as they both did respective solos. Hansen returned to the stage as Jones, Watson, Gimbel and Pilson rushed to the front of the stage to play "Jukebox Hero." This got the crowd in a frenzy and even though the band exited the stage, we knew they had to come back to give us more.
        And deliver they did, returning to the stage for their encore set with "Long, Long Way from Home."  In a highly anticipated moment, members of the Stephen Decatur High School Choir were led onstage to sing "I Want to Know What Love Is", as part of Foreigner's commitment to help fund high school musical education programs. What a thrill for those kids and their parents. Making reference to the cold ocean air blowing in the tent from the ocean, Hansen asked if the crowd was ready to get warmed up for the final song, "Hot Blooded." In reality, the crowd had been warmed up long before the final song was played with their singing along, hands clapping and heads bobbing continuing through the last number. To the appreciative roar of the audience, the entire band gathered at the front of the stage for their final bows and goodbye waves.
– Gary Crouthamel, concert photo journalist 
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