If the term “classic rock” had to be embodied by a single band, one of the best candidates would certainly be Foreigner.
No playlist of ’70s and ’80s rock hits will let an hour pass without showcasing the wicked piano chords of “Cold as Ice,” the opening synthesizer love spell of “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” or the salacious guitar chords of “Hot Blood”.
Foreigner is scheduled to return to Sun City for a performance at the Abraham Chavez Theater on Monday, April 11. As has become tradition with the band, a local school choir will be invited to perform.
After successfully piecing together their lineup in the mid-2000s, Foreigner emerged a tougher, better, faster and stronger touring band with the core of Mick Jones, the band’s founding producer, guitarist, keyboardist and songwriter. -performer, as well as frontman Kelly Hansen. , former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson and keyboardist Michael Bluestein.
“Who wouldn’t want to keep playing these great tunes for adoring fans everywhere?” Bluestein said from his Los Angeles home.
“The chemistry is just strong. Everyone loves hanging out with each other,” he said. “When you’re on the road, there’s a lot of down time. And if you don’t like the people you’re shooting with, it can be difficult.
The stability of the new range – which lasted nearly twice as long as the original Foreigner incarnation – worked in spades for Foreigner.
Other than a revolving door of drummers, the core lineup remained unchanged from the addition of Bluestein in 2008 until the departure of saxophonist and keyboardist Thom Gimbel in 2021.
The band even released a new LP of original music produced by Mark Ronson in 2009 called “Can’t Slow Down”, giving Foreigner their best chart success since 1987 with three hit singles: “Too Late”, “When It Comes to Love,” and “In Pieces.”
Despite Foreigner’s recent successes, it still adheres to a set of classic hits only these days.
“Some would say it’s a giveaway — the problem of having too many hit songs that everyone wants to hear,” Bluestein said.
“We like to play these new tunes once in a while, but that classic stuff wins out. If it’s playing ‘Double Vision’ or ‘When It Comes To Love’, we all know who go win.”
Perhaps due to the band’s desire to preserve their successful legacy, Foreigner hasn’t released a new album since ‘Can’t Slow Down’ – instead, he only occasionally releases new singles. .
“From what I hear, Mick has some stuff going on,” Bluestein said.
“We like to do new things, but there are a lot of forces at work that seem to push us to play the hits. The old phrase ‘give people what they want’ comes to mind.
To commemorate Foreigner’s 40th anniversary in 2017, members of the band’s original lineup reunited alongside current members for a series of shows.
The tour was the last for Ian McDonald, the band’s founding keyboardist and saxophonist, who died of cancer in February.
“I was lucky enough to be able to talk to these guys,” Bluestein recalled of the reunion shows.
“We talked about some of the original equipment and arrangements used on the original recordings, and of course, rest in peace Ian. Not just with Foreigner, he was also an absolute legend with King Crimson. Serious versatility there.
Bluestein said the endurance of the band’s catalog is worth noting.
“Songs are the unifying factor,” he said.
“People’s attachment to them – that trumps everything. We feel like we’re doing them justice and considering the tour keeps selling out, it seems to be working.