San Antonio loves its rock ’n’ roll, and it surely loves Foreigner. One of the all-time best-selling rock bands is on its 40th anniversary tour. They made a stop at the Majestic Theatre on Feb. 2 and, from the sound of things, they are still a tight-knit group that’s not slowing down anytime soon.
Lead vocalist Kelly Hansen, who’s been with Foreigner for more than a decade, was loose and energetic all around the stage, interacting with the crowd at the sold-out show with ease. It wasn’t crowd-surfing, but Hansen even left the stage for a few minutes for an impromptu meet-and- greet with fans in the front rows for part of a song. The lone remaining founding member, lead guitarist Mick Jones, was solid, easily demonstrating decades worth of skills.
Bassist Jeff Pilson and rhythm guitarist Thom Gimbel, also, were jubilant in performance from beginning to end. Foreigner blazed through a string of hits: “Double Vision,” “Head Games,” “Cold as Ice,” “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” “Blue Morning, Blue Day,” “Dirty White Boy,” “Say You Will,” “Feels Like the First Time,” “Urgent,” and “Juke Box Hero.” Towards the end of the show, percussionist Chris Frazier and keyboardist Michael Bluestein got to showcase their solo skills, as did Gimbel with his flute.
So, you’re re-reading the headline — what’s this about the Reagan High School Choir? Foreigner has been making it its policy to do what it can to help advance music education in schools. During its current tour, the band is selecting a local musical group - typically a school band or vocal ensemble - to perform a song with them.
The Reagan choir made itself available for Foreigner’s San Antonio stop, and sure enough the choir got picked to provide back-up vocals in a performance of “I Want to Know What Love Is,” the band’s biggest hit. Sobre Sound got to reveal a bit about the Reagan choir’s performance before Feb. 2. Prior to the music starting at the Majestic, the choir members were all smiles.
Many of the students were helping to sell copies of a Foreigner greatest hits CD, with buyers entering into a raffle for a guitar autographed by the band members. A few students enjoyed holding the prized guitar pre-show. In the band’s penultimate performance of the night, it was showtime for the Reagan choir. Clad in their dark green Reagan T-shirts, the choir members strolled onto stage and blended into the background.
At that point, the frenzied crowd, with many fans standing at the stage floor edge, joined in the singing of the band’s legendary tune. Some choir members looked wide-eyed, but none skipped a beat or a lyric for one of the biggest moments of their young lives.
After the choir left the stage, Foreigner closed out its concert as it began it, with passion and swagger in performing “Hot-Blooded.” Foreigner is preparing to release an anniversary album in May. But they also donated $500 to the Reagan choir, which definitely came away from the show with memories that will not fade anytime soon.