Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Are you HOT, MAMA?!?? You sure LOOK THAT WAY TO ME-EE-EEEE!!!

(Journey/Foreigner*/Night Ranger live at Verizon Wireless Clusterfuck  8/21/11 )

As an initial disclaimer, I shall not include any discussion of Mr. Humpy in this review-type-thing, as he isn't worthy of explanation.

I must admit that on my list of "bands I MUST see before I die", Night Ranger was...absent.  So it was with much dread at the impending arrival of "Sister Christian" that I turned my attention to the stage as the band (3/5 original members!!) sauntered onto the stage as if the '90s had never happened.  I admired their enthusiasm and energy, and the performance was rawkin' and very solid!  They played a REALLY good song ("Lay It On Me") from their new album and the two songs I wanted to hear ("Sing Me Away" and "Don’t Tell Me You Love Me") along with two, count 'em, Monster Ballads...including one that WASN'T EVEN THEIR SONG!!  Yep, they played "High Enough" by Damn Yankees, which singer Jack Blades was of course a part of, but still.  I guess I should be thankful that they didn't play "Secret of My Success" and shut the hell up. 

Night Ranger:

Lay It On Me
Sing Me Away
High Enough
When You Close Your Eyes
Don’t Tell Me You Love Me
Sister Christian
You Can Still Rock in America 

Mick Jones, original Foreigner member, was absent due to sickness, which left the current Foreigner line-up distressingly "original Foreigner member" free.  They were like one of those fruit drinks that has a disclaimer that says "contains no fruit juice".  In fact, they should either be referred to as "Foreigner" or Foreigner*  (*warning: contains no actual Foreigner).  Since the line-up boasted singer Kelly Hansen (SOLID on vocals!!)  -- from the hair band Hurricane -- and bassist Jeff Pilson -- from the hair band Dokken -- they could've laid more claim to either of those bands at that time.  But I digress, because, snarky line-up comments aside, Foreigner* ROCKED!!  I realized, when singing along to "Head Games" and "Hot Blooded" and all, that if one digs past the macho '70s ROCK GOD lyrics ("Can I LEAVE-YOU-MY-KEYYY!!") there are some fine chunks of rock to be had in the Foreigner* songbook.  Like "Double Vision".  And "Dirty White Boy". Especially "Dirty White Boy." For reference, Foreigner's* set also included two Monster Ballads in "Waiting For A Girl Like You" and "I Want To Know What Love Is" further proving that while one can certainly dig past cheese in quest of Powerful Rock Riffs, when there is nothing before you but cheese, then...let the middle-age housewifeyness begin!!  Anyway, to sum up, Kelly Hansen's vocals plus riffage equal goodly amounts of rock to be had.  Woulda been nice to have someone from Foreigner playing with Foreigner* though.


Double Vision
Head Games
Cold As Ice
Waiting For A Girl Like You
Dirty White Boy
Feels Like the First Time
I Wanna Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded

Jukebox Hero

Y'know, I was gonna write up a grand review of Journey's segment of the show, but hell, I'm just gonna keep it simple: after 30 years of loving the band without seeing them, Journey were breath-taking.  Theirs was a flawless, energetic, impassioned performance by a band that certainly seems to be re-energized by their new singer and renewed popularity (did I mention the venue was either sold out just a few tickets shy of it?).  And if you wouldn't be somehow invigorated, inspired and goosebumpy hearing however many thousand people singing "Don't Stop Believin'" in unison, you are too jaded, bitter, and cynical, and need to loosen up. 

And don't even give me any grief about Steve Perry. 


Separate Ways
Ask the Lonely
Send Her My Love
City of Hope
Stone in Love
Edge of the Moment
Wheel in the Sky
Open Arms
La Do Da
Be Good To Yourself
Any Way You Want It

Don’t Stop Believin’
Lovin’ Touchin’ Squeezin’