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Foreigner’s Las Vegas Strip series might be the band’s last | Las Vegas Review-Journal
Foreigner’s Las Vegas Strip series might be the band’s last | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Vocalist Kelly Hansen and bassist Jeff Pilson return with Foreigner when the band resumes its series at The Venetian Theatre March 24-April 8. (Krishta Abruzzini)
Vocalist Kelly Hansen has given new life to venerable rock band Foreigner, returning to The Venetian Theatre March 24-April 8. (Krishta Abruzzini)

This time might be the last time for Foreigner on the Strip.

The venerable rock band is playing The Venetian Theatre on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, continuing Tuesday and April 13. But all good things must come to an end, including a monster rock band from the 1980s. The musicians are planning an adventurous sendoff.

“We have a farewell tour starting July 6, with Loverboy, and we’re going to go on to 2024,” vocalist Kelly Hansen said in a recent interview. “The idea is to try to go to all the places we’ve never been. I don’t think we’ll be able to do that completely, but we owe it to the fans to never give them less than the songs deserve.

“I want the legacy, the memory of this band in live performance to be very, very strong.”

A final run in Las Vegas in 2024 is not out of the question, but much depends on the band’s status after its 2023-24 tour.

“Next year is not completely decided yet,” Hansen said. “But I think it’s obviously safe to say it’s this time, or the next time, would be the last time.”

As it stands, The Venetian shows are the final chance for fans in Vegas to see Foreigner in concert. Original member Mick Jones is still making his midshow cameo appearances, in triumphant fashion. “Urgent,” “Double Vision,” “Head Games” and “Juke Box Hero” are all on the set list.

Hansen rejuvenated Foreigner’s career when Jones recruited him as the band’s new front man in 2005. He has extended Foreigner’s lifespan in much the same fashion as Arnel Pineda has boosted Journey, and Adam Lambert has buoyed Queen, in the latter stages of those bands’ careers.

Foreigner has shown in their hot-selling shows to be enduring juke box heroes, as it were.

“These songs are very challenging to sing, and in the front of my mind in making this decision was how long we really wanted to go,” Hansen said. “I’m like, ‘Well, we can keep going until I suck. Or, we can stop while I’m really good.’ And I’ve got other interests. I got married a couple years ago, I have a family and am ready to move to the next chapter of my life.”

Foreigner pranked their fans on April Fool’s Day by announcing it had unexpectedly been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Band manager Phil Carson then followed up that the message was a “spoof.” But he did make a strong case that Foreigner should be in the Rock Hall, with as many top-10 hits as Fleetwood Mac, more than Journey and just one fewer than the Eagles. All have been inducted.

Maybe it will happen, finally, next year. It would be a fitting farewell honor.

“I want to be clear how much we all recognize and understand and appreciate the value of all of the fans all over the world who supported this band for decades,” Hansen said. “They really held us up through thick and thin, and that’s not lost on me or anyone in the band.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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