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Foreigner kicks off Levitt season June 22

Westport News
Published 3:35 pm, Wednesday, June 12, 2013

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  • Band co-founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones has been a defining force in Foreigner, although the lineup of musicians around him has changed since the band's debut album in 1977. Photo: Contributed Photo / Westport News
    Band co-founder and lead guitarist Mick Jones has been a defining force in Foreigner, although the lineup of musicians around him has changed since the band's debut album in 1977. Photo: Contributed Photo

 

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Foreigner top-10 tunes
Foreigner recorded nine Billboard top-10 songs, one less than the Eagles and the same as Fleetwood Mac.
Peak Song
1. "I Want To Know What Love Is"
2. "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
2. "Double Vision"
3. "Hot Blooded"
4. "Urgent"
4. "Feels Like The First Time"
5. "I Don't Want To Live Without
You"
6. "Say You Will"
6. "Cold As Ice"
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Foreigner, the British-American rock band with 10 multi-platinum albums and 16 Billboard top-30 hits, kicks off the Levitt Pavilion's summer concert series on Saturday night, June 22, at the Staples High School fieldhouse.

Formed in 1976, Foreigner has sold more than 80 million albums worldwide and recorded such rock classics as, "I Want to Know What Love Is," "Double Vision," "Hot Blooded" and "Feels Like the First Time."

The Westport performance is a fundraiser for the Levitt, which is using different local venues for its shows this summer while its riverfront home undergoes a $6.7 million renovation and expansion.

Tickets for the 9 p.m. concert alone are $70 and $95.

A pre-concert cocktail party at 7 p.m. and post-concert party are planned. Tickets including both parties and premium seating at the concert range from $250 to $1,000. The highest-price ticket includes a private, three-set acoustic performance by band members and a photo session.

Tickets are available at www.levittpavilion.com .The Levitt said ticket sales will help provide 50 nights of free entertainment this summer.

In its 35-plus years, Foreigner has had multiple lineups of musicians and three lead singers. But one constant has been the band's co-founder, songwriter and lead guitarist Mick Jones, now 68.

The current lead singer, Kelly Hansen, signed on when Jones re-formed the band in 2004.

Since its debut album "Foreigner" was released in 1977, the band has produced nine more studio albums, three live albums, 13 compilation albums and 39 singles.

Between 1977 and 1995, Foreigner pumped out 10 albums. Then, after an 11-year hiatus from recording, the reconstituted band issued "Live '05" in 2006.

Foreigner released its latest album, "Feels Like The First Time," in September 2012. The three-disc set includes new, studio recordings of the band's greatest hits, a DVD of its nationally broadcast PBS-TV special, and "Acoustique," a CD featuring an unplugged studio approach to some of the bands most memorable music.

The band's publicist said Foreigner currently ranks No. 10 in air time on classic-rock radio stations in the U.S., behind Led Zeppelin, Van Halen, the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Aerosmith, AC/DC, Boston, the Eagles and ZZ Top.

Jones, Foreigner's leader and chief creative force, formed a blues/rock band in the early 1960s that opened for The Rolling Stones in London clubs, according to Foreigner's website.

After playing with the British band Spooky Tooth in the early 1970s, Jones went to New York, where he formed Foreigner in 1976 with Foreigner with fellow Brits Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliott, and Americans Lou Gramm, Alan Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi.

The name Foreigner reportedly stemmed from the fact that -- with three British and three American citizens -- no matter where the band played, at least three of them would be foreigners.

Gramm, the longtime lead singer, underwent brain surgery in the late 1990s that changed his voice. He left the band in 2002, reportedly after a rift with Jones over its musical direction.

The current front man, Hansen, now 52, had been the lead singer for Hurricane and other bands.

For complete ticket information, visit www.levittpavilion.com