Concert goers have a lot of options in the summer and 2018 is no exception. There are plenty of classic rock shows to pick from with the ‘Jukebox Heroes Tour’ with Foreigner, Whitesnake, and Jason Bonham landing on many must see lists. This tour has been going strong since the middle of June and made a stop at the Pepsi Center Tuesday night in Denver, CO.
Jason’s Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience started off the night performing a classic set of Led Zeppelin songs from decades ago. This was the first time I have heard vocalist James Dylan sing and I was impressed with his solid job replicating the iconic vocals of Robert Plant. Bonham mentioned that they played 40 shows last year and did not play the bands most requested song live. Can you guess what that song that could be? Yes. In some musical circles “Stairway To Heaven” is the greatest song ever recorded. They ended their set with this iconic song which had the crowd singing along and giving a standing ovation at the end.
Bluesy hard rockers Whitesnake were up next and played an hour long set that focused on their eight times platinum selling self titled album from 1987. David Coverdale still fronts the band using the same stage theatrics he has done since the 1980’s. His raspy blues voice still sounds strong as he commands the stage while interacting with the audience. Whitesnake is backed by the dueling guitarists of Reb Beach and Joel Hoekstra. They each showed off their skills individually trading off solos then meeting up in the middle of the stage for a back to back signature guitar pose. Coverdale casually introduced the bands mega hit “Here I Go Again” and immediately the crowd jumped from their seats and sang word for word.
Foreigner which just celebrated their 40th anniversary as a band, closed out the night playing a set of their biggest hits. It was unfortunate as the band took the stage that founding member Mick Jones was not there. He has missed shows in the past because of his health and it was a bummer not to see him perform tonight. It is hard to believe but vocalist Kelly Hansen has been a part of this incarnation of Foreigner for 13 years now. He has established himself as a formidable frontman and sings with a passion that gives the classic songs new life. Hansen acknowledged the passage of time introducing the hit “Feels Like the First Time”. He took a informal applause poll identifying who was below or above 40 years of age. “Let’s hear it for over 40!” Hansen said. One of the highlights of the night happened at the end when a local Colorado high school choir joined the band onstage to sing “I Want to Know What Love Is”. It was an epic moment where everyone pulled out their camera phone flashes while holding onto the person next to them singing all of the words.
There could be arguments made that Foreigner tonight was merely a tribute band as there were no original members onstage performing their big songs. For the most part fans could care less as they are still interested in hearing these classic songs performed enthusiastically while celebrating their past.
Review and photos by Jason Bullinger