Foreigner have absolutely still got it, as seen on their live cut of “I Want to Know What Love Is” at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Frontman Kelly Hansen had enormous shoes to fill when he joined the band in 2005, but the 2010 Nashville live cut of the power ballad shows that he’s the real deal.
Hansen draws the audience in from the first word with a commanding stage presence and his voice is just sublime. He nails the low register opening verse and then transitions into the high altitude chorus so naturally. There’s a real art to singing a slow melodic ballad like this and Hansen absolutely crushes it. The live version of the song gives the studio version a run for its money in terms of popularity on YouTube, as it has now attracted 118 million views.
The band does a cracking job under the leadership of founding multi-instrumentalist Mick Jones, who sings backup and plays keyboard on the song live. The band pumps out a rolling groove on the romantic number that has numerous couples in the audience slow-dancing and sharing a special moment. It’s not an easy number to sing yet the band deliver a gorgeous four-part vocal harmony in the chorus that quickly has the crowd singing along to every word.
Fans online loved to hear the band play the classic live, adding comments such as “A timeless song that will live forever. Kelly Hansen’s voice is marvellous!” and “This song gives me total goosebumps. Sang beautifully. It was my favourite love song growing up.” Another highlight from the pro-shot Nashville concert is the band’s 1981 hit “Urgent”, which features a fiery guitar solo from Jones, as you can see below.
Foreigner formed in New York City all the way back in 1976, and not many bands manage to last that long and still be able to kill it live. As of 2024, the band have been kicking for 48 years, although all good things must come to an end, as in 2022 they announced The Historic Farewell Tour.
They’re not quite done yet though as the tour began in 2023 and was due to conclude in 2024. In December 2023 they changed tact however and announced the Renegades & Juke Box Heroes Tour, which is co-headlined with Styx. Foreigner have not clarified if this newly announced dual-headline North American summer tour now constitutes the tail end of the farewell tour as well.
Nonetheless it does seem likely that Foreigner will finally call it quits some time in 2024, due to Jones’ deteriorating health. He’s the only original member in the band at this point, and from 2011 onwards he has often missed tour dates, or only performed part of the set, due to his health. He has not made any appearances at any dates on the farewell tour so far as a result of these ongoing health issues. If you would like to see more from Foreigner, you can subscribe to their YouTube channel or follow them on Facebook.