VERONA — Turn out the lights and flick those lighters high in the air for one of the most recognized bands of the 70s and 80s, Foreigner is coming to rock the Turning Stone Casino on Sunday, May 5.
Original founding member and lead guitarist Mick Jones has assembled a new group of musicians to carry on the legacy that Jones started in 1976 with past members Ian McDonald, Al Greenwood, Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Ed Gagliardi, Rick Wills and Johnny Edwards.
The songs are the same, as the group performs classic hits like “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision” and “Cold As Ice,” albeit through the vocal pipes of former Hurricane front man, Kelly Hansen. Hansen has a deeper, more bodied sound to his voice than original frontman Lou Gramm, who was known for his high-tenor pitch. But the Foreigner sound is still as uplifting as ever. Hansen joined Foreigner in 2004.
The rest of the group includes former Dokken bassist Jeff Pilson, Thom Gimbel, who’s toured with Aerosmith, on sax, flute and rhythm guitar. Former Boz Scaggs keyboardist Michael Bluestein, journeyman guitarist, Bruce Watson who’s worked with the likes of Elton John, B.B King, and Rod Stewart. Former Whitesnake drummer Chris Frazier rounds out the group. Frazier in addition to Whitesnake has worked with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai, and later Eddie Money
But these rockers are not the only ones who’ll be performing on stage for this performance. Joining them will be the Chittenango High School Select Choir, backing up the group on their No. 1 hit, “I Want To Know What Love Is.”
And it’s not the first time they’ve done so, according to Matthew Stearns, Chittenango High School vocal music and department chair.
“The Chittenango High School Select Choir has performed two other times with Foreigner. We are so excited to be performing with them again. To be up on that stage, with 5,000 people watching, and the whole stage shaking from the sound, is an incredible experience for the students. Foreigner is such an iconic band and their music has crossed many generations.”
In return for their participation, Foreigner will donate $500.00 to the choir for appearing with the band. The choir will sell Foreigner CDs at the concert to raise monies for Foreigner’s charity partner, The Grammy Foundation.
Both Foreigner and The Grammy Foundation are intent upon helping to keep music education available to students as part of the core curriculum in high schools throughout North America. The entire proceeds of the choir’s CD sales from this show are contributed to this initiative.
Showtime is 7 p.m. on Sunday, May 5 at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino Event Center, 5218 Patrick Road, Verona. For ticket prices and available seating log onto www.turningstone.com/entertainment.