Foreigner, Europe, FM – 3rd April 2014 – O2 Apollo Manchester14th April 2014
Tonight was a lineup made in heaven for most AOR fans starting with our own UK helmers FM, followed by Swedish rockers Europe finishing with one of the bands that started it all Foreigner. I have to say though that I’ve followed the first two more than the latter aside from the Greatest hits, Acoustique, Unusual Heat and Can’t Slow Down – a small sample from a band that’s been around since 1977 although they have only released 9 albums Foreigner are renowned for the quality of their material.
FM open up the show with ‘Tough Love’ and although it’s definitely a more AOR sounding track from their catalogue, they have an abundance of other openers that could have competed better, FM are a solid true brit flag flyer of what we can add to the melodic rock world and delivered a good set although limited to 30 min stage time.
When Europe hit the stage it was obvious from the start the show was a little harder rock than normal, there was a rougher edge to the material (something guitarist John Norum always wanted the band to be) and as a follower of the band it was apparent for this set they’d upped their game for the time allowed, by the time at the end of the set “That Song” came on everyone was out of their seat chanting along, Europe have delivered the five previous time’s I’ve seen them and again tonight they do the same.
Foreigner hit the stage with Double Vision and I’m a little shocked to hear ‘Cold As Ice’ so early into the set, but then as the set progresses it’s apparent of the quality and backlog of material they have that it’s obvious it’s all of that same quality, and it’s also blatantly apparent why Europe had to up their game, this was Foreigners arena tonight. Guitarist Mick Jones comes onstage four songs into the set and the band then step up another gear, they are amazingly impressive live, this is the first time I’ve seen them and I think vocalist Kelly Hansen is phenomenal, Foreigner have completed themselves with his addition. ( I have Hansen’s Hurricane band’s first two cds and they are awesome – check em out ). As the band work through their set it’s astounding how many songs you know, as mentioned before this is testament to the bands material, and as they work through the set you can see the way they interact it’s a good relationship they have onstage, by the time they leave the stage after closer ‘Hot Blooded’ the crowd leave with appetites full from an amazing night.
1. Double Vision
2. Head Games
3. Cold as Ice
4. Waiting for a Girl Like You
5. Feels Like the First Time
6. That Was Yesterday
7. Dirty White Boy
10. Keyboard solo / Drum solo
11. Juke Box Hero
13. Long, Long Way from Home
14. I Want to Know What Love Is
15. Hot Blooded