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DVD Review: Foreigner – Live at the Rainbow ’78

I’m probably not alone in saying that the only time I have seen Foreigner live is with the more current lineup with Kelly Hansen. My only experience with Lou Gramm live is watching the band’s DVD All Access Tonight which frankly wasn’t Lou’s finest moments on stage. On March 15th Foreigner will release Foreigner – Live at the Rainbow ’78 which gives us the chance to see Foreigner like many of us have never seen them before.

We all know the “hits” from Foreigner. Their Top-10 hits are the soundtrack to a generation that grew up in the 70’s and 80’s. Their set-list to this very day is wall-to-wall songs that you know all the words to. What is so special about this show is that it isn’t what you get today at all. If you are a fan that is only in it for the hits, then this probably isn’t for you or maybe it is exactly what you need.

Filmed at London’s Rainbow Theatre on April 27th, 1978, this show was down almost two months prior to the release of the band’s sophomore Double Vision album. So you are seeing an audience experience “Hot Blooded” and “Double Vision” for their first time (could you resist?). Lou is a dynamo on vocals. He is lean to the point of skinny and his voice soars. The track “I Need You” for example pushes almost to dog-whistle heights. But he seems to do it with ease. We are treated to “Woman Oh Woman”, “The Damage Is Done” and “At War With The World” none of which I personally have ever seen them do live.

You also experience the band as many of us have never been fortunately enough to see. Ed Gagliardi on bass, Dennis Elliott on drums, Al Greenwood on keyboard and Ian McDonald on guitar, flute, sax and keyboard. I must honestly say that when I see the band do “Starrider” it to me is always the song that leaves me a little flat. This video, if for no other reason, has caused me to reconsider that song. It is a masterpiece with this band. Ian almost stole the show with his performance on flute, Al was a wizard on keys on the solo and it the song had a much more progressive vibe to it.

  1. Long, Long Way From Home
  2. I Need You
  3. Woman Oh Woman
  4. Hot Blooded
  5. The Damage Is Done
  6. Cold As Ice
  7. Starrider
  8. Double Vision
  9. Feels Like The First Time
  10. Fool For You Anyway
  11. At War With The World
  12. Headknocker

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