Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, Sterling Heights, MI - Thursday 3rd July, 2013
Sadly we had also missed the previous year’s performance, with Journey and Night Ranger when my mother was taken ill and Rhonda and I had to make an unscheduled trip back to the UK to be at her bedside.
In fact, on that tour which was the precursor to Mick’s surgery, he missed a lot of shows and Night Ranger’s Joel Hoekstra actually stepped in for Mick on many dates.
So another year on, what does this tour bring us?
Well, tonight’s show has the extremely talented – So I understood before the gig, but had never seen for myself until tonight … – Gary Hoey and his band opening for Foreigner.
He opens with an old classic blues rocker, ‘Goin’ Down,’ which gets my attention right away, nicely done!
Then I’m stunned as he starts jamming ‘Lunatic Fringe,’ yes the old Red Rider / Tom Cochrane track, it misses keys but the fact that he goes out and gives it a go has my respect!
Then it’s to some of his originals in the shape of new tune and title track of his forthcoming album, ‘Deja Blues,’ which is a laid back style instrumental followed by another original in ‘Peace Pipe.’
For a three piece outfit, they make a great combined sound I must say.
I loved Pat Travers version of this tune and Gary’s is certainly enjoyable too.
The Gary Hoey Band live in Detroit, well, Sterling Heights actually!
Photo: Alun Williams
Bruce Watson – From UK rockers Big Country - enters the stage instead and immediately as confused as I am, I get a text from a friend here tonight saying, ‘No Mick Jones? Did you know? The guy behind me said he’s had a heart attack?!’
I fear the worst and wondering how the hell the rest of the band could continue if this is the case, I text back saying I have no idea. I look online, for news through my phone, I contact my wife at home who couldn’t make it tonight and we find nothing …
Now the night seemed soured with the not knowing ….
Sure ‘Double Vision’ sounded good, but where’s Mick and is he alright?
Kelly Hansen, Detroit bug eater! - Photo: Alun Williams
You have just played a ballad dude, come on?!
Again, the band is faultless in their presentation, it still seems wrong without Mick, but that’s me …
‘Next up the man who can play every instrument, with his hands or lips and has been a part of Foreigner for the past twenty years, give it up for Tom Gimbel!’
Then Bruce Watson is introduced and I’m wondering if Kelly will at least have the decency to acknowledge Mick Jones, which of course he indeed does ...
‘… Finally, would you please give it up for the man who’s not been well lately and is only able to play part-time for Foreigner right now, but he’s the man who started it all, so please give it up for MICK JONES!!!!’
Massive response! Huge!
It’s drum solo time next from Chris Frazier and he stops for a drink which he proceeds in pouring it out on his drums and then lets rip by hitting the skins significantly, which splashes up very effectively in the white spotlights around the drums. Sweet!
It’s a track that has always rocked out and it does so, very well indeed especially Mick’s riffs / solo at the end of the song. Excellent and tis closes the set.
‘Thank you! It’s great to be back in Detroit! I was thinking I would never get to play here again, you’re great, thank you all!’You have no idea Mick, how many people you probably moved right there!
Mick Jones and Kelly Hansen, the Foreigner frontmen. - Photo: Alun Williams
What a great finale to a night that started with many folks very concerned as to the whereabouts of Mick Jones, but who were then very pleased indeed to see the man come out onstage even if it was towards the end of the set.
Very entertaining night!