The accolades rain down effortlessly on these magnificent exponents of well-crafted songs with a melodic rock heartbeat. With ten multi-platinum selling albums amongst their canon of work and 16 top 30 hits in the U.S. alone, you’d be foolish for thinking that a live collection like this would be disposable. Sure enough it is frustrating listening to the latest studio album Can’t Slow Down for the umpteenth time since it was released back in 2009, but at least this will reassure fans they are keeping busy.
Despite suspecting most fans would have preferred a brand new studio album with the current line-up instead of a live collection which places emphasis on the mighty 1981 album 4, the production values and sound are clear and delicious. For totally devoted fans of Foreigner, this will make a glorious stocking filler this festive season.
Making reference to the line-up of Foreigner, who is in the band these days? Guitarist and focal point Mick Jones remains firmly in place alongside the fantastic vocal presence of Kelly Hansen; the very positive and busy bassist Jeff Pilson, Tom Gimbel providing flute, rhythm guitar and saxophone, Michael Bluestein tinkering on keys plus drummer Chris Frazier and lead guitarist Bruce Watson.
Those of you who know the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey will be intrigued and perhaps thrilled to know that during a couple of dates in early October at this venue, the band played special shows featuring the tracks which you can witness on this album. These dates were the first time they played and recorded their The Best of 4 and More set-list which is celebrated here.
The album 4 spawned singles like Break it Up, Urgent, Waiting for a Girl like You and Juke Box Hero back in the day which are all included here.
Urgent provides a platform for the band to explore their more expressive side as it clocks in at around eight minutes; Gimbel doing the honors on saxophone and having a ball. The other singles sound fresh and have aged really well in this environment. A minor quibble may arise for some regarding the exclusion of Luanne which although a minor moment in comparison to the four they do perform, still would have been welcomed.
Girl on the Moon and Woman in Black are pleasant surprises and overall when you hear this collection in the live setting, it makes for a pleasant pit-stop on our journey to reaching the next studio album which is way overdue surely? Perhaps popularity has its price which means bands can release albums of this nature and will remain top sellers? If nothing else, it is a reminder for those who are partially interested in what Foreigner do these days that they’re still active and the current line-up is performing with distinction.