Foreigner/ Whitesnake /Jason Bonham

July 8, 2018

Heritage Park Amphitheatre

Simpsonville, SC

Review by Joseph Hett

Foreigner, Whitesnake and Jason Bonham Shine In Simpsonville

The “Juke Box Heroes Tour” made a stop in Simpsonville, SC, just outside of Greenville, on Sunday evening with Foreigner, Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. Beautiful weather and low humidity made this rocking night extra special.

Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening came out first for “Immigrant Song.” They continued with Zeppelin classics to warm up the already warm crowd.

All members had dark shades on since the bright sun was setting as they continued with “Good Times Bad Times” and “The Ocean.”

Bonham said they were going to play something different (“Dancing Days”) to get everyone up and moving around since it wasn’t a school night.

To close out their 45-minute set, they pulled out the one and only “Stairway To Heaven.”

They did have a raw and rocking sound true to Led Zeppelin. Heck, even guitarist Jimmy Sakurai looked like Jimmy Page. Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening is the closest thing you have to hearing Led Zeppelin songs played in their original form.

Whitesnake came out on fire with “Bad Boys” and “Give Me All Your Love.” Frontman David Coverdale made his rounds on the stage for the fans to make sure they got a good glimpse of him. On several occasions, he said, “Make some f—— noise Simpsonville!” to get the crowd hyped up.

Everyone jumped up as they began to play “Slow An’ Easy” from 1984’s “Slide It In.”  That was followed by an amazing guitar solo duel by Joel Hoekstra and Reb Beach.

The legendary drummer Tommy Aldridge got his time to shine with a solo during the middle of the heavy riffing “Crying In The Rain.”

They closed their set out with the Whitesnake staples of “Is This Love,” “Slide It In” and “Here I Go Again.”

The live performance of the ballads seemed to be played heavier since the bass and drums kind of drowned out the vocals versus the studio versions.

They ended with the epic and powerful “Still Of The Night.” It took Simpsonville on a rollercoaster of rock and roll to close out Whitesnake’s set.

It was a killer set. The only classic they left out was “Fool For Your Loving.” It was a treat to see Whitesnake come around for the first time in a long time. David Coverdale has assembled a talented group of musicians to allow Whitesnake to proudly slither into the future.

The headliner, Foreigner, came out last and cranked out classic after classic with “Long, Long Way From Home,” “Double Vision” and “Head Games.”

It was a pleasure to see founding member and guitarist Mick Jones. Due to health issues, Jones has sporadically toured with Foreigner over the past few years.  It was a treat to see him in good health with his phenomenal guitar musicianship.

For “Cold As Ice,” singer Kelly Hansen jumped down to the floor and ran through the isle high-fiving fans. This wouldn’t be the last they would see on him out there. Hansen was a constant showman throughout the evening. He ran all around with his signature theatrics – all while signing spot-on.

Hansen said Foreigner is celebrating their 40th anniversary. He then gave a shout out to all of the people in the amphitheatre over 40. Then he had to be fair and gave the under-40 crowd recognition too.  They then went into “Feels Like The First Time.”

“Urgent” featured an extended saxophone solo by Thom Gimbel.

Hansen gave a brief description of Mick Jones’ impressive career accomplishments – like when Jones jammed with Jimi Hendrix.  Jones then started with vocals and acoustic guitar for the deeper cut “Starrider,” from Foreigner’s 1977 self-titled album.

Hansen appeared from a lift near the mix table for “Juke Box Hero.”  He rose in the air while rocking back and forth – attached to a safety harness.

For the encore, the Mauldin High School choir joined Foreigner onstage for “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Foreigner then closed out the show with the classic “Hot Blooded” as plumes of fire lit up the night.

Foreigner gave everyone a rocking show. It was a one-two punch of hit after hit. It’s amazing how many notable songs Foreigner has. Jones has created a very energetic band. As long as Jones stays in good health, Foreigner is here to stay.