Foreigner’s 40th Anniversary Tour Transcends the Years and Rocks Austin
Photo Credit To © Stan Martin, All Rights Reserved
Foreigner’s 40th Anniversary Tour Transcends the Years and Rocks Austin

Foreigner’s 40th Anniversary Tour Transcends the Years and Rocks Austin

As the smoke cleared at the end of Foreigner’s final song, they stopped to vehemently thank the fans for in turn rocking them, and that very statement undoubtedly summed up the experience of the whole night. The crowd at Austin 360 Amphitheater had such a passionate energy that it created an absolutely amazing synergy with the entire lineup, with both sides rocking just as hard as they did 40 years ago.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience was a project he set up 7 years ago with the intent of a one-time show, but realizing its inception was truly for the fans, as well as an homage to his father, he continued on with it. Sporting the late John Bonham’s ZoSo symbol on both his shirt and kit, Jason continued his father’s legacy atop a platform performing a set of well-loved Zeppelin hits in the same power and speed John once did on the drums. The entire band emulated the sound of one of rock’s most influential groups, with the Bonham signature thick bass drum beat and forceful playing bringing a rare spotlight to the drums. The audience, who had already began packing in the venue, rocked along with every tune, up out of their seats dancing despite the heat. The sun began to set on the horizon as they ended, but not on the memory and legacy of Led Zeppelin’s John Bonham. It was proven in the dynamic performance that he lives on in both his son and his fans.


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Their iconic checkered pattern lined the backdrop as Cheap Trick played their way on stage to quite the welcoming crowd. They did not hold back on their eclectic style with lead singer, Robin Zander’s white suit and feathered hat and Rick Nielsen’s showcase of his infamous guitar collection throughout the show. An all-out party in the crowd ensued with a cover of The Move’s “California Man” and with the playful interactions with the fans, and timeless tunes, they kept it going all night long. Bassist Tom Petersson performed an impressive solo mid-set on the 12 string bass following it up on lead vocals with a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “I’m Waiting for The Man.” Any semblance of seat assignments became obsolete as the anthemic hit “I Want You to Want Me” brought the audience into the aisles dancing. Nielsen broke out the 1978 Hamer Checkerboard he has played for “Dream Police” every show since its 1979 debut and finished out the show with a radical 5-neck yellow and black guitar. No one in the packed amphitheater even began to surrender to the night, and belted out “we’re all alright” with believability as they bid the band goodnight with the song.


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The black curtain covering the stage was still dropping as Foreigner’s lead singer, Kelly Hansen, ran out with the mic stand over his head and held that energy for the remainder of the show. The fans did too. And it’s just that kind of reciprocation, paired with solid hits that created this true live rock experience. Any remaining floor seats were no longer an option at this point as adoring fans flooded the stage and the sea of people filling the site sang every lyric as Foreigner played to, and not just for, their followers. The sheer number of beloved songs this band has produced paired with their timeless spirit proves their success over four decades. Their 1981 ballad, “Waiting for a Girl Like You” had the crowd coupling up in slow dances then quickly switching gears breaking out in raucous frenzy a few songs later for “Dirty White Boy.”  Hansen asked the fans to dig down to their inner 20 year old selves, to the rock residing in their soul for “Feels Like the First Time.” Foreigner founder and only remaining original member, Mick Jones, brought it home to the crowd with his opening guitar intro as they granted Hansen’s request, singing word for word. Before taking the spotlight in “Starrider,” – the song he penned for Foreigner’s first album – Mick introduced the current lineup he assembled 12 years ago when he revived the band. The entire show was a rock spectacle of showmanship as Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson ran the stage with Kelly Hansen while Bruce Watson’s constant smile lit it up. The keyboard and drum solos met head to head in a display of raw talent showcased in their own light when otherwise backing the action at front of the stage. Following a drawn out intro of “Juke Box Hero,” the crowd roared as vocals emerged from a pillar high above the soundboard. Hansen perched in the audience giving center stage to Mick – a hero in his own right – before descending and running through the crowd to join the rest of the band to blow the crowd away with a grand finale of guitar and smoke. As they returned to the stage for an encore, they asked two things of the crowd – to sing along and to spread the love by putting their arms around their neighbor and Austin delivered. In a collective voice and swaying lines, the fans showed what 40 years of love looked like as a capacity crowd – and the Bowie High School choir – sang “I Want to Know What Love Is” word for word.


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The entire feeling of the night transcended the years, the changes in lineups, even the generations, and proved that rock remains an innate part of our souls. Through four decades of song, both the acts and the audience proved love lives on and music, as the vessel of transcendence, is forever in our hearts.


  1. Rock and Roll
  2. Black Dog
  3. Over the Hills and Far Away
  4. The Wanton Song
  5. What Is & What Should Never Be
  6. Ramble On
  7. When the Levee Breaks
  8. Immigrant Song
  9. Whole Lotta Love


  1. Hello There
  2. Elo Kiddies
  3. California Man (The Move cover)
  4. Ain’t That a Shame (Fats Domino cover)
  5. Long Time Coming
  6. Baby Loves to Rock
  7. You Got It Going On
  8. -Bass Solo-
  9. I’m Waiting for the Man (The Velvet Underground cover)
  10. The Flame
  11. I Want You to Want Me
  12. Dream Police
  13. Surrender
  14. Goodnight


  1. Double Vision
  2. Head Games
  3. Cold As Ice
  4. Waiting for a Girl Like You
  5. Blue Morning, Blue Day
  6. Dirty White Boy
  7. Feels Like the First Time
  8. Urgent
  9. Starrider
  10. -Keyboard & Drum Solo-
  11. Juke Box Hero


  1. I Want to Know What Love Is (with Bowie HS choir)
  2. Hot Blooded


Stacey Lovett
Hailing from, well, nowhere in particular really, Stacey blends her eclectic style and sensibility with her nomadic heart. Traveling is key to her soul as it opens doors to new people, places & adventures and she draws from these experiences in her art - both writing and photography. She takes solace in good coffee, good conversation, good music, and good vibes and hopes to spread the same joy and inspiration to others. She currently resides in Central Texas with her equally adventurous husband & daughter and canine familiar and eagerly awaits telling the next story that crosses her path.
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Stan Martin
I have always loved photography. My dad gave me my first professional 35mm camera with a couple of lenses, an auto winder, and a flash. I was drawn to landscapes and colorful cloud formations at first, but years later I was introduced to drag racing, cars, boats, and Harleys. After moving Austin, my attention turned to live music. I also do Real Estate photography, weddings, events, sports, etc.
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