As I often do, I wandered up Route 20 to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) on Tuesday evening. I was eager to get out and catch the Foreigner Farewell Tour, with Loverboy opening. After a busy, hot July not ideal for outdoor events, the comfortable 70-degree weather was a welcome change.
Upon arriving, I was met with a longer than usual line to enter due to SPAC implementing new scanning technology. This was the first concert using it, causing some confusion. Instead of emptying pockets into “the bowl,” you now simply walk between two towers – green to enter, red to move to the normal routine line.
Once inside, I headed to my usual overpriced food stand for a large Diet Pepsi – quite the party animal. Looking around I did notice the age of the crowd skewed quite a bit old than I, it resembled that of the orchestra or ballet. I mean I shouldn’t be surprised given that Foreigner has had a 46-year career, but I was nonetheless. At 56, I felt like the kid.
First up on the evening’s festivities was Loverboy. This was my fourth time seeing them overall, 3 of those four times have been in the last 5 years.
The first time was back in my youth at the green age of 15 back in May of 1982 at the Montreal Forum. My first ever concert. They were the opener then too for Bryan Adams. Only once have I seen them as the headliner, always the bridesmaid…
They have always been a guilty pleasure, Unfortunately, they seemed a bit flat this time around. A bit tired. Forty-plus years of touring will do that to you. They just went through the songs with little to no enthusiasm. (Turn Me Loose Video) Would have preferred some deeper cuts as it’s been the same setlist for the last several years. Still, it was enjoyable hearing and singing along to the songs nonetheless.
Having none of the original members (unless you count Kelly Hansen and Jeff Pilson who have been in the band since 2005 and 2004) they certainly had more energy and enthusiasm having more youth on their side. This was only my second time seeing them. The last time was a couple of years ago in 2017 with Cheap Trick. (Props again to Setlist.fm for refreshing my memory.)
Kelly ran around with the energy of a younger man despite being 61 himself. He had the crowd singing along from start to finish playing their iconic hits, transporting back to a time of an era of classic rock and unforgettable melodies. The melodies have been what they are known for.
Midway through the show they brought out chairs and performed a three-song acoustic set and a band introduction. Jeff Pilson, formerly of the 80’s band Dokken, was actually seated for the whole show due to some sort of foot injury being wheeled on and off the stage in a wheelchair between stage changes.
After the obligatory keyboard and drum solos Kelly appeared in the back of the amphitheater suspended on a somewhat unstable tower to begin Juke Box Hero (Video), many in the crowd unaware for much of the song on his whereabouts before finishing it up on stage to “end the show”.
They returned for the encore finishing up with “I Want to Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded”. It was certainly an enjoyable welcomed Tuesday evening out in the post-heatwavy era. And in the end, it was me who was the tired one.