Watch: Injured JEFF PILSON Performs While Seated At FOREIGNER's Farewell Tour Kickoff

July 7, 2023

Legendary rockers FOREIGNER kicked off their farewell tour Thursday night (July 6) at the Ameris Bank Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, Georgia.

As the result of a recent back injury, FOREIGNER bassist Jeff Pilson performed the show while seated on a stool.

"I got a bird's eye view of everything that I wouldn't ordinarily get," Jeff told Ultimate Classic Rock. "I think the beginning of the tour sort of put everybody in an emotional state that was really cool. We really connected with the crowd. I think people felt it last night, it was palpable."

FOREIGNER's setlist was as follows:

01. Double Vision (from "Double Vision" [1978])
02. Head Games (from "Head Games" [1979])
03. Cold As Ice (from "Foreigner" [1977])
04. Waiting For A Girl Like You (from "4" [1981])
05. Dirty White Boy (from "Head Games" [1979])
06. When It Comes To Love (from "Can't Slow Down" [2009])
07. Girl On The Moon (from "4" [1981])
08. Say You Will (from "Inside Information" [1987])
09. Feels Like the First Time (from "Foreigner" [1977])
10. Urgent (from "4" [1981])
11. Juke Box Hero (from "4" [1981])
12. I Want to Know What Love Is (from "Agent Provocateur" [1984])
13. Hot Blooded (from "Double Vision" [1978])

In a recent interview with "Real Music With Gary Stuckey", Pilson addressed the fact that he and his FOREIGNER bandmates are often dismissed as a glorified cover band, particularly since founding guitarist Mick Jones no longer regularly tours with the act.

The only remaining original member of FOREIGNER, Jones suffered from some health issues beginning in 2011, eventually resulting in heart surgery in 2012. Ever since, it is never announced whether he will be appearing with the band for specific shows — it just depends how he is feeling.

Asked about criticism from some fans that FOREIGNER without any original members is nothing more than a "cover band," Pilson said:"You know what's funny? You see some of that on the Internet, but it's not as pervasive as you think. And I'm actually amazed, because when we play, we get no negative feedback. So, sure, people are gonna say stuff like that online. It only takes one or two people to make it sound like there's a bunch.

"What I tell people is anytime anybody has a problem with the no-original-members thing, I just say, 'You know what? I get it. But come and see the band. And then you tell me whether we do FOREIGNER justice or not.' And I'll stand by what we do a thousand percent."

Joining Jones and Pilson in FOREIGNER's current lineup are Kelly Hansen on vocals, Michael Bluestein on keyboards, Bruce Watson on guitar, Chris Frazier on drums and Luis Maldonado on guitar.

After singer Lou Gramm left FOREIGNER in 2003, Jones took some time off before regrouping a couple years later with an entirely new lineup, featuring Hansen and Pilson, among others.

In 2018, Gramm revealed that he was retiring from touring as a solo artist. The vocalist made the announcement just months after he participated in FOREIGNER's "Double Vision: Then And Now" concerts, which featured current and original members of the band, including Jones, drummer Dennis Elliott, keyboardist Al Greenwood, bassist Rick Wills and guitarist/saxophonist Ian McDonald.

Gramm was the voice on FOREIGNER's biggest hits, including "Feels Like The First Time" and "Cold As Ice" from the band's eponymous debut in 1977, and later songs like "Hot Blooded" and "I Want To Know What Love Is".

FOREIGNER's farewell tour is currently scheduled to run through November 18 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, but is expected to continue into 2024. For the first leg of the U.S. Live Nation-produced tour, FOREIGNER is being joined by LOVERBOY.

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