FOREIGNER's first-ever ticketed reunion concert featuring all original members will take place on August 4 at The Sturgis Buffalo Chip in Sturgis, South Dakota. Lou Gramm, Dennis Elliott, Al Greenwood, Ian McDonald and Rick Wills will join Mick Jones and FOREIGNER to rock through some of the best-selling songs from the band's 10 multi-platinum albums and 40 years of enduring top ten hits. While FOREIGNER's original members have joined the band for surprise appearances in the past, never before have they announced a ticketed reunion where fans can join in for the ultimate soundtrack of summer.
"We'll be rehearsing for a couple of days before the show and we'll probably add a few, I don't know whether they will be different songs or not, but we'll try and give it some personality," Jones told the Daily Herald. "It's a one-off thing. So we just go out there and have a lot of fun. The old members love it. Lou and our present singer, Kelly Hansen, get along like a house on fire. So it's something really to look forward to.
"In the end, both Lou and Kelly really respect each other's vocal ability," Jones added. "You know, they push each other on. It's great to see it, I'm so happy. Because what Lou and I did together, it's a separate entity in a way, but to be able to look back and to see actually how much we did achieve together, I think it's been really great for that recognition."
Wills, who spent 14 years in FOREIGNER, from 1979's "Head Games" to 1991's "Unusual Heat", told Glide Magazine that he was looking forward to once again sharing the stage with his former bandmates.
"We had such a good time when we did the shows last year, and we said, look, if something comes up that looks special and everybody wants to do it, let's take it on board and see if everybody's happy about it," he said. "And that's what happened. The Sturgis thing came in, and we were offered the opportunity to do the show with the band that is currently out on the road as FOREIGNER now, with Kelly Hansen fronting it. And what happens is they'll do the first half of the show and then we'll change over and then the original members will come out and we'll finish the show. Then, at the very end, we'll all be onstage to do the finale, I guess."
He continued: "We get so excited about doing these things, because we just never thought it would happen, and it has happened, and everybody is enjoying themselves so much that I think there may be more things in the future as well. But FOREIGNER has been such a big part of my life now and it's been so incredible, the whole journey that we've been through. I mean, none of us could have ever imagined that 40 years after it started that we'd still be doing it and still be wanting to do it and play live still."
Wills went on to say that "there is always a chance" that Jones and Gramm will collaborate on new music in the future, explaining: "I had lunch with Lou about a month ago, over his birthday, and he was in great form. Dennis Elliott was there as well, the drummer, and everybody just seems very positive about things. No one wants to push it too hard because we don't need to, to be honest, but we're in a position now where we've achieved all the things that we wanted to achieve and now is the time to enjoy some of the fruits of our labor, as it were, from way back. I think, more than anything, it's the question of, as long as we enjoy it, we'll still think about doing more things."
The reunion comes on the heels of the 40th anniversary of FOREIGNER's best-selling album, "Double Vision", and the band is working on a very special release to celebrate the momentous occasion.
FOREIGNER's latest album, "Foreigner With The 21st Century Symphony Orchestra & Chorus", topped the Billboard Classical Albums chart for multiple weeks. This album also inspired a new 60-minute concert special airing on PBS TV stations across the country in June and July, "Foreigner Live At The Symphony".