Foreigner: Jan 27 Enmore Theatre

The show was well worth the wait for Foreigner fans – it’d been ten years since their last Australian tour. The well oiled seven-piece kicked off with an intensity that was consistent over the next two hours.

An ode to Australian patronage had everyone up as they yelled “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie…. Oi Oi Oi”. The seats in the theatre more obstructive than beneficial as a mainly baby boomer crowd preferred to stay on their feet.

Frontman Kelly Hansen owned the stage with his signature Jesus-Christ-Superstar-meets-Buffalo-Bill style, often walking through the crowd in long strides, exuding an androgynous air. He belted out Cold As Ice: his painted-on white Levis needing no justification, what with the dubious bulge.

Each member of Foreigner showcased an extremely high level of musical finesse. A seven-minute version of Juke Box Hero chocked full of intense keyboard, drum and guitar solos.

But it was Thom Gimbel who kept your attention, playing the saxophone in Urgent and shimmying his way across the stage. He made some sexy melodies and seemed pretty pleased with himself. He is intimidatingly cool with his orange-coloured shades and a “Fuck you, I write the rules” grin fixed on his face.

The crowd embraced one another with their lighters and phones out for Long Way From Home and Mick Jones ripped out a guitar solo that made his resemblance to Colonel Sanders feel unfitting.

Hot Blooded was the obvious choice for encore but it gave the crowd the high they were after. Foreigner proved to have the camaraderie and finesse of a band that might make some pretty cheesy glam-rock, but do it so well that even 30-year-old radio hits still sound badass.


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