FOREIGNER – Double Vision: Then and Now Live. Reloaded

FOREIGNER – Double Vision: Then and Now Live. Reloaded

  • Rating: 5 / 6

The marvelous Foreigner surely need no introduction as these guys are responsible for crafting some of the most cherished and memorable (hard) rock tunes known to man, and ever since the band’s inception back in 1976, guitarist and musical visionary Mick Jones has kept Foreigner on the road and in the studio. It is remarkable to think that the skilled ensemble has sold more than 80 million records worldwide and yet they show no sign of slowing down in terms of touring and delivering energetic live performances, which is evident on this nicely packaged live CD/DVD. The concert was captured on tape and film at the Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort in Michigan.

Boasting a bright and bombastic sound with plenty of depth and dynamics to it, “Then and Now” contains heaps of classic and highlights from the Foreigner back catalogue and they are all delivered with an overwhelming sense of confidence and style. It is raw, warm, and vibrant, and you can tell that the past and present members of the outfit are having the time of their lives up there on stage. Actually, the idea of having two line-ups on stage that night (the original one as well as the present-day line-up) was a stroke of brilliance and both the CD and DVD truly emphasize and underline the fact Foreigner has been gifted with some of the most talented and extraordinary musicians out there over the years.

You get “Cold as Ice”, “Waiting for a Girl Like You”, “Urgent”, “Juke Box Hero”, “Double Vision”, and plenty of other well-known cuts. Any downsides then? Well, “Headknocker” and “The Flame Still Burns” never did that much for me, but that is merely a matter of personal preference. Lead vocalist and present-day front man Kelly Hansen is right on the money and Mick Jones’ charismatic and unique way of playing is as strong and inspired as ever. The backing vocals are also superb and the overall sound and presentation of the show is loud and crisp – just the way it should be.

The DVD contains some decent bonus features such as interview segments and backstage footage, which is always fun to watch, and the performance itself is nicely shot and takes you as close to the stage and the action as possible, so no complaints there.

Foreigner have issued some glorious studio albums that have stood the test of time well, but one could argue that the group is at its best in a live setting, which is exactly why you ought to invest in this stellar live offering of theirs now. What a fantastic way to mark the 40th anniversary of the “Double Vision” LP (1978) this is!

Standouts and highlights: the driven “Urgent”, the energetic “Juke Box Hero” and the atmospheric “Starrider”.