Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane with Foreigner | Concert Review (Las Vegas Residency 2023)

Foreigner was one of those bands that I never thought I needed to see live until the opportunity arrived. I’ve heard their music throughout my whole life. I’ve heard their songs on American Idol, Pitch Perfect (2012), Glee, and strangely enough, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel (2009). As mentioned in my Blue Öyster Cult concert review, I was determined to see as many “old” rock bands as possible. So, when looking through different bands that had concert dates in Las Vegas, I found Foreigner and thought, “heck, why not?!?” 

Convincing my dad to attend was easy because he was already going to be in Las Vegas for a family trip and he loves classic rock music. Because we were going to be in Vegas from March 23-27, we settled on the March 24 date because we figured get it out of the way, so that we could relax during the rest of our trip. My dad and I were in the center, so we got a great view of the stage, once again.

Just as a warning, I messed up when I bought the tickets because I thought the show was part of Foreigner’s farewell tour with original member Mick Jones. It wasn’t; it was just part of a Las Vegas residency. My dad and I still had a good time, but he was disappointed that Mick Jones wasn’t there (spoiler alert).

We were staying at the California Hotel & Casino, but the concert was at The Venetian Hotel. So we left the California hotel at about 5:52 p.m., took an uber to the Venetian and arrived at around 6:15 p.m. We killed some time by walking around the casino and talking to a nice guy that goes to a lot of concerts in his free time. My dad also bought me a shirt to remember the Foreigner concert by; it had a jukebox on the front with the band logo and the back showed the length of the Vegas residency. It was a decent shirt; it wasn’t worth the $45 that my dad spent, but it was decent. I wanted to buy my dad a shirt as well, but he didn’t like it enough to want one.

The gates for the venue opened at 7:00 p.m. We freshened up and then sat down at 7:30 p.m. My dad and I talked stories for a bit until the concert started at about 8:10 p.m. The lineup for the night was Kelly Hansen on lead vocals, Jeff Pilson on bass guitar, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, Bruce Watson on guitars, Chris Frazier on drums, and Luis Maldonado on guitars. The setlist for the March 24 show can be found on the setlist.fm website. 

Foreigner played hits such as “Head Games,” “Cold as Ice,” “Feels Like the First Time,” and “Juke Box Hero” to please the casual fans. But because they were going to be in Vegas for a while, the band decided to spice up the setlist. What I mean by that is they did an acoustic set, similar to what Def Leppard did on their 2019 Vegas residency. I was pumped, especially when they played “When It Comes to Love,” a rare track from their Can’t Slow Down album from 2009.

The people in the audience that night had no appreciation for deep cuts and rare tracks, unfortunately. They only wanted the hits, including my dad. It was kind of funny, I was vibing and swaying my head to the acoustic set, while everyone else was bored out of their minds. I love when bands perform deep cuts and songs they usually don’t play live because most of the time, the deep cuts are better than the hits. I mean, who wants to hear the hits performed over and over again?!?! Sorry for that quick rant, but seriously, I think “Girl on the Moon,” “Say You Will,” and “When It Comes to Love” sound better when they’re done acoustically.

Other highlights from the show included Foreigner’s performance of “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” which had Pilson’s bass turned up a notch; Frazier’s drum solo before “Juke Box Hero,” and the band’s performance of “Hot Blooded.” The latter is my favorite song of theirs. Everyone sounded great and Kelly Hansen is a really good frontman; he’s very charming and has a great sense of humor. The screens had bright and beautiful visuals in the background, which hyped up the concert even more. They had a moon background for “Girl on the Moon” and the 4 album cover in the background for “Urgent.” 

The only downside of the concert was the band’s over-the-top performance of “I Want to Know What Love Is.” It was so cheesy and mushy that it made me sick! Hansen was telling the audience to wrap their arms around someone they loved and there was a choir in the back of the stage. I believe the choir was there to promote a foundation that supports music programs, which was cool. But the choir was too much for me to handle. I don’t even like “I Want to Know What Love Is” to begin with. Everyone else loved it, but not me!

The concert ended at 10:00 p.m., so the show was under two hours. Unlike the Blue Öyster Cult show, which featured a few songs from the band’s most recent studio release, the Foreigner concert was more of a greatest hits event that pleased the casual fans. I kind of expected Foreigner to play mostly the hits because they hadn’t released a studio album since 2009. That’s why I didn’t bother listening to any of their albums before the concert. If they played a hit that I never heard before, then I’d be less annoyed because it’d be brand new to me. It was still a great show and I didn’t really care that Mick Jones wasn’t there because I wanted to just enjoy the music!

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20 thoughts on “Taking a Trip Down Memory Lane with Foreigner | Concert Review (Las Vegas Residency 2023)

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  1. That’s cool that you got to go with your Dad. I’m not the biggest Fooreigner fan but I’d got see them if they came to Sudbury. Too bad MJ wasn’t there. I hear he isn’t in the best of health and it is random if he shows up. I’m stoked to see George Thorogood in May!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Kevin! If you get a chance to see them, you should because they put on a great show. If you don’t like the hits though, that’s probably not a good idea lol! Yeah, my dad and I figured Mick would show up randomly after we found out he wasn’t at our show.

      Ooh, according to Google, George Thorogood does “high energy boogie blues.” Very intriguing, what’s his best song?


    1. This is really random but I’m debating whether or not to get tickets to see Queen + Adam Lambert in San Francisco in November. The tickets are expensive and I was wondering if they’re worth it? I know you saw them in 2019, that’s why.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s right, you didn’t have to travel far for the Queen concert! That’s the curse of living in Hawaii; we don’t get many concerts because it’s so dang expensive to get here.

        Liked by 1 person

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