Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion took a step back in time with a Friday night of legendary rock and roll. Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero Tour, with guests Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening, gave fans the setlist they remember with classic rock songs that, unlike the rest of us, never seem to get old.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening opened the show. Bonham, the son of Led Zeppelin drummer Jon Bonham, has built a band able to celebrate the sound and vibe of his inheritance. Starting with “Immigrant Song” and wrapping up with the requisite “Stairway to Heaven,” the set list cut deeper than the “fourth album” and was well met by fans. Vocalist James Dylan carried the spirit of Robert Plant well while guitarist Tony Catania gave the show a drop dead Jimmy Page feel. Bonham reminded us that 2018 is the 50th anniversary of Zeppelin.
If you’ve ever wondered why 80s music has such a diehard following, the next act explained the fascination. Whitesnake, led by the unstoppable David Coverdale and flanked by a crew of musicians who have rocked the stage with some of rock and roll’s biggest names, embodies everything good about the 80s: hair, showmanship, swagger, signature guitar riffs, and off the chart vocals. Jumping in to “Bad Boys” and following up with another ten sing along numbers, Coverdale and the boys charmed the crowd and sounded great. Okay, so Coverdale nailed the 80% of his vocals and struggled a bit towards the end, but otherwise gave a stellar performance. And the band? They were an over the top ode to the 80s – Tommy Aldridge on drums, Reb Beach on guitar, Michael Devin on bass, and Joel Hoelstra on guitar – and were a thrill ride from start to finish.
Speaking of thrill ride, Foreigner gave a nonstop, high energy rock show. Mick Jones, guitarist and founding member of the band, led the performance through a set list of hits including “Double Vision,” “Feels Like the First Time,” and “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Not always able to perform due to illness, Jones was greeted with warmth by the other band members. Speaking of the band members, it is difficult to write about this band without being repetitive – there are only so many ways to say this is a great show full of talented, energetic performers. Kelly Hansen, Jeff Pilson, Tom Gimble, and the rest of the team are stellar, enthusiastic, and put their hearts into the music. Fans show up to hear the songs they remember and love, and this band gives them their money’s worth with an evening of all they could ask for: hit after hit, hook after hook, riff after riff. As always, Foreigner is rock solid, fun, and a wild ride.