Foreigner & Loverboy – PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ – Sunday, September 3, 2023
Review & Photos by Lori Schneider (IG: @LoriSchneiderPhotography)
Opening for Foreigner and performing a 10-minute set was an A Capella Group from Steinert High School in Hamilton, NJ who earned the opportunity to perform for the famous rock band. Foreigner is known for having shows and bringing a local choir up on stage to perform a song with them. This A Capella Group, known as the Spartones, won the competition hosted by The Boss radio station 107.1 FM to be a part of the legendary rock band’s farewell tour.
Providing support for Foreigner on the Farewell Tour was Loverboy. The music of Loverboy, a Canadian rock band formed in Calgary, Alberta, in 1979 is characterized by a blend of rock, pop, and new wave influences, making them a prominent part of the music scene in the 1980s. Loverboy is known for their energetic and catchy songs, often featuring anthemic choruses and memorable hooks. For more than 40 years, Loverboy has been “Working for the Weekend” (and on weekends), delighting audiences around the world.
Loverboy’s self-titled debut album in 1980 was a commercial success and established them as a prominent band in the North American music scene. They followed up with several more albums throughout the 1980s and early 1990s. Soon the band found themselves playing on mega tours with Journey, Bob Seger, Cheap Trick, ZZ Top, Kansas and Def Leppard, to name a few. They quickly became MTV darlings, being one of the first bands ever featured on the music channel.
The band’s lineup has also evolved over the years, but key members currently include vocalist Mike Reno, guitarist Paul Dean, Matt Frenette on drums, Doug Johnson on keyboards, harmonica, piano, synthesizers and saxophone and Ken “Spider” Sinnaeve on bass. Loverboy’s music is often associated with the arena rock and pop-rock sound of the 1980s, and they continue to perform and tour, appealing to fans of classic rock and nostalgia for that era.
With Mike Reno’s trademark bandana and still rockin’ vocals, Loverboy performed a 10-song set including 1985’s “Lovin’ Every Minute of It” and their other string of hits “Working for the Weekend”, “Hot Girls in Love”, “Lucky Ones”, “Notorious”, “Turn Me Loose”, “Take Me to the Top”, “The Kid is Hot Tonite”, “Heaven in Your Eyes” and “Queen of the Broken Hearts”.
Their pop culture credibility and reputation as a live act which has always been its calling card, continues to entertain fans of all ages.
Foreigner, a British-American rock band formed in 1976, brought the last stop for this leg of their Farewell Tour to Holmdel, NJ on a hot Labor Day weekend. Known for their melodic and classic rock sound, characterized by powerful vocals, memorable guitar riffs, and catchy hooks, their massive success was guaranteed with their self-titled debut album in 1977. Many of their iconic songs were featured on this album. Over the years, they’ve released numerous albums and have continued to tour extensively.
The band’s original lineup included members from both the United Kingdom and the United States, which contributed to their transatlantic appeal. The lineup has changed over time, but the founder and guitarist Mick Jones has been a consistent member throughout their history although absent for this final show on this leg of the tour. Other members include Kelly Hansen (vocals and percussion), Luis Maldonado (rhythm and lead guitars, bass, backing vocals), Chris Frazier (drums and percussion), Michael Bluestein (keyboards and backing vocals), Bruce Watson (rhythm and lead guitars, backing vocals) and Jeff Pilson (bass, keyboards, backing vocals).
Foreigner performed a catalog of their hits, an 11-song set (which included a 3-song acoustic set) with keyboard and drum solos and a 2-song encore. The crowd was dancing and singing along the entire night. The set opened with “Double Vision” and included some of their most famous songs “Head Games”, “Cold As Ice”, “Waiting for a Girl Like You”, “Dirty White Boy”, “Feels Like the First Time”, “Urgent” and “Juke Box Hero”. Juke Box Hero included a special performance with crowd interaction as Kelly Hansen strapped himself to a special lift at the back of the venue in the middle of the crowd raising high up into the air beginning the song. When lowered, he then made his way through the crowd and back to the stage. Foreigner’s encore included “I Want to Know What Love Is” and “Hot Blooded”.
Foreigner’s music has had a lasting impact on the rock music scene for over four decades and continues to be popular among fans of classic rock.