Forty-five years later, it felt like the first time for Foreigner, the veteran rock The troupe is planning a tour for the very last time.
The group, formed in 1976 by British guitarist Mick Jones, will kick off their historic farewell tour next July 6 in Alpharetta, Georgia, with 32 dates in the United States until September 3 in Holmdel, NJ Loverboy will open. More legs, both domestic and foreign, are available through the end of 2024.
“Foreigner are a completely revitalized band with a whole new energy that have captured the hearts of our fans around the world, and I want to come out while the band are still at the top of their game,” said Jones, 77. Billboard. “I had the idea of becoming a foreigner in 1974, and I was 30 at the time. When our farewell tour ends, more than 50 years will have passed, and that’s a long time to be on the road.
Kelly Hansen, Foreigner’s frontman since 2005, says he and Jones had been discussing the move for a while. “It’s a very difficult decision to make,” he notes, adding that maintaining the caliber of the band’s performance, and his own in particular, was a huge factor in the decision to pull the plug.
“This catalog of songs, it’s extremely difficult for a tenor rock singer like me to sing,” said Hansen, 61. “I never thought that in a million years I’d be singing these songs in the keys at this age, and I don’t know how long I’ll be able to do it at the level I need. You can drop keys and do this and do that, but I’m more of an old school person. If I’m not doing it for real, I shouldn’t be doing it.
“We are at a time in life where a lot of bands from the 70s are about to be able to play shows again. I sometimes see other musicians say to me, “Wow, that was disappointing”, and I don’t want to be someone that other people say that about. I want to do this band the way it’s supposed to be, and when it’s not like that, I don’t want to do it.
Since forming, Foreigner has released nine studio albums, including five multi-platinum ones, plus the 1982 hit set Folders – and has sold over 50 million records worldwide. It is also a top nine single on the Billboard Hot 100, including such rock radio favorites as “Feels Like the First Time”, “Hot Blooded”, “Double Vision”, “Urgent” and the powerful ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is More than two dozen members have made the roster over the years, and members of the first two lineups made a string of appearances with the current lineup in 2017 and 2018.
Jones, the last original member still active with Foreigner, became something of a special guest at the band’s concerts, not attending all the shows for health reasons and playing during the last part of the set. “Mick is doing all the shows he can with us as his health allows, and we recognize that,” Hansen says. “I can’t say it doesn’t have an effect ‘on the farewell tour decision,’ but it’s also a fact of life and time, so you take what you’re given and you make your decisions based on that.”
Foreigner has a number of gigs scheduled this month and also in the spring, before the farewell tour kicks off – including March and April residencies at The Venetian in Las Vegas. Hansen adds that while Foreigner puts an end to tour it may not go away completely. “I’m sure there may be odd or occasional things we do,” the frontman says. “You can never say never about things. But for me, this (tour) is that. It’s not like one of those ploys, as we’ve seen, to get people to attend shows.
Hansen and Jeff Pilson, Foreigner’s bassist since 2004, say Foreigner – whose latest studio album, Can’t slow down, was released in 2009 – may also release new music in the near future. “There’s a whole bunch of stuff in different stages of completion, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility,” Hansen predicts. Pilson says Jones has written material with Marti Frederiksen that he expects the band to work on at some point.
“There are probably four that I know of that are close, and a few other snippets,” Pilson says. “Chances are there won’t be a brand new (album). I can see new songs being added to some sort of package or some sort of single. I definitely see new material coming, hopefully next year. We don’t need any new hardware, but it’s always nice to have some.
Tickets for The Historic Farewell Tour go on sale November 18 via livenation.com. The band is once again working with the Grammy Museum Foundation to recruit local choirs at each stop to perform with the band for “I Want to Know What Love Is” via choirsforeigners.com. More information and updates will be posted on foreignonline.com.
The complete itinerary of the first stage of the circuit:
Thu July 6 Alpharetta, GA – Ameris Bank Amphitheater
Saturday, July 8 West Palm Beach, FL – iTHINK Financial Amphitheater
Sunday, July 9 Tampa, FL – MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheater
Tuesday, July 11 Nashville, TN – Ascend Amphitheater
Friday, July 14 Rogers, AR – Walmart AMP
Tuesday, July 18 Kansas City, MO – Starlight Theater
Wednesday, July 19 St. Louis, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
Friday, July 21 Indianapolis, IN – Ruoff Music Center
Saturday, July 22 Tinley Park, IL – Hollywood Casino Amphitheater
Monday July 24 Cleveland, OH – Blossom Music Center
Tuesday, July 25 Toronto, ON – Budweiser Stage
Friday, July 28 Darien Center, NY – Lake Darien Amphitheater
Saturday, July 29 Burgettstown, PA – The Star Lake Pavilion
Tuesday, August 1 Saratoga Springs, NY – Saratoga Performing Arts Center
Wednesday August 2 Wantagh, NY – Northwell Health at Jones Beach
Friday, August 4 Gilford, NH – Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
Saturday, August 5 Mansfield, MA – Xfinity Center
Tuesday, August 8 Raleigh, NC – Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek
Wednesday, August 9 Charlotte, NC – PNC Music Pavilion
Friday August 11 Dallas, TX – Dos Equis Pavilion
Saturday August 12 Houston, TX – Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Monday August 14 Austin, TX – Moody Center
Wednesday, August 16 Denver, CO – Ball Arena
Friday, August 18 Salt Lake City, UT – USANA Amphitheater
Sunday, August 20 Phoenix, AZ – Ak-Chin Pavilion
Monday, August 21 Irvine, CA – FivePoint Amphitheater
Wednesday, August 23 Wheatland, CA – Toyota Amphitheater
Thu Aug 24 Mountain View, CA – Shoreline Amphitheater
Wednesday, August 30 Detroit, MI – Pine Knob Music Theater
Friday, September 1 Uncasville, CT – Mohegan Sun Arena
Saturday, September 2 Syracuse, NY – St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater at Lakeview
Sunday, September 3 Holmdel, NJ – PNC Bank Arts Center