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Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC


By Spotlight Central, Photos by Love Imagery

originally published: 07/08/2024

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Inside Englewood, NJ's BergenPAC auditorium this Saturday, June 29, 2024 evening, hot blooded Foreigner fans urgently anticipate a concert by the group's original lead singer, Lou Gramm, along with his band, The Lou Gramm All Stars.

DJ Al Magliano takes the stage to welcome the crowd and reminds them that this Fall, Gramm — along with co-founder Mick Jones and four of his other original Foreigner band members — will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Following a short video retrospective of Gramm’s career, musicians Alex Garcia on guitar, Tony Franklin on bass, Jeff Jacobs on keyboards, Ben Gramm on drums, and guitarist/saxophonist Scott Gilman take the stage as Lou Gramm enters and the crowd reacts by cheering and applauding.

Deftly accompanied by the All Stars band, Gramm’s powerful and clear voice fills the theater on Foreigner’s 1977 debut single, “Feels Like the First Time.”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Four-part harmonies ring out on the song’s “Feels like the first time/Feels like the very first time” refrain before Alex Garcia plays a wailing guitar solo and Gramm belts out the song’s conclusion to enthusiastic whistles, cheers, and applause.



 
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“Good evening, everyone!” responds Gramm, 74, announcing, “Tonight, we’re going to do songs from Foreigner’s albums, and from my solo albums, too.” Here, Gramm launches into the 1978 Foreigner hit, “Double Vision,” where he croons, “Fill my eyes with that double vision/No disguise for that double vision.”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

After Gramm reveals, “We’re gonna do the first song Mick Jones and I ever wrote together,” drummer Ben Gramm kicks off the rockin’ “Long, Long Way From Home” on an arrangement which features multi-instrumentalist Scott Gilman on tenor sax.

The crowd shouts out “Lou!” and Gramm and Co. follow up with the driving “Just Between You and Me,” a song which has Alex Garcia shredding an electric guitar solo while accompanied by Gramm and the band.

Gramm asks, “How’s everybody doing tonight?” and the crowd cheers as he and the All Stars sail into “Blue Morning, Blue Day.”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Concertgoers dance at their seats as Scott Gilman wails on tenor, Gramm plays cowbell, and Tony Franklin thumps out a solid bass line on this funky minor-key rocker.

“It’s time to go to the ice department!” declares Gramm as he and the group segue into Foreigner’s 1977 hit, “Cold as Ice.” Lou holds his mic out for music lovers to sing along on the tune’s “You’re as cold as ice/You’re willing to sacrifice our love” refrain. Lou keeps time on the tambourine as Alex Garcia plays an electrifying guitar lead and Jeff Jacobs contributes a swirling and funky keyboard solo before the crowd reacts with a standing ovation.

“Thank you so much! Are you guys having fun yet?” asks Gramm, prior to announcing, “My brother Ben is gonna play for you — you’re going to love this!” Here, Lou and the band exit the stage leaving Ben to perform a powerful and ricocheting drum solo.

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC



 
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After Ben captivates the crowd with his speed, agility, and accuracy, Lou and the musicians return and launch into “Midnight Blue.” Concertgoers clap their hands overhead to the beat on this rocking 1987 Lou Gramm solo number which has the crowd standing and cheering.

Following Lou’s dynamic and emotional lead vocal on the power ballad, “That Was Yesterday,” Gramm declares, “We’re gonna play some head games with you tonight!” as he and the All Stars perform Foreigner’s 1979 hit, “Head Games.” Accompanied by brother Ben’s booming drums, Tony Franklin’s thumping bass, and Jeff Jacobs’ percussive keyboard, Lou gets heads bopping in the audience as he delivers this power rocker.

A fan yells out, “Lou, we love you!” as an ethereal Jeff Jacobs keyboard intro opens the 1981 Foreigner classic, “Waiting for a Girl Like You.” Gramm gives it his all as he croons the power ballad’s “I’ve been waiting for a girl like you to come into my life” refrain and the crowd reacts by standing and cheering for his heartfelt performance.

Guitar and bass play the funky intro to Foreigner’s 1981 Top 10 hit, “Urgent.” Power chords ring out as Gramm sings the “You say it’s urgent/So urgent” chorus and Alex Garcia rips a fast and furious guitar solo, Gramm keeps time on the cowbell, and Scott Gilman renders a screaming tenor sax solo under flashing lights.

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Concertgoers react with enthusiasm as Gramm reveals, “The New Jersey Mass Choir made a beautiful song go beyond beautiful!” on Foreigner’s #1 smash, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Gramm invites the crowd to take the place of the choir and sing along on the number’s ubiquitous “I want to know what love is/I want you to show me” chorus. At the conclusion, audience members leap to their feet to cheer, and Gramm reacts by exclaiming, “Thank you, Englewood! We appreciate you very much!” as he and the All Stars exit the stage.

The crowd chants “Lou! Lou!” in unison, and cheers multiply when he returns with the band to play an encore of Foreigner’s cinematic rocker, “Jukebox Hero.” Gramm gives a powerful and dynamic performance under flashing lights as music lovers dance and clap along to this classic rock story song which boasts driving drums, a thumping bass, and wailing guitars.

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Audience members happily sing the memorable “He’s a juke box hero/Got stars in his eyes” refrain while simultaneously pointing in rhythm to the tune’s infectious beat.

Fans continue to cheer, and Gramm responds, “Thank you, New Jersey!” before Alex Garcia plays the iconic guitar intro to another Foreigner hit — 1978’s “Hot Blooded.” Gramm holds out his mic for the crowd to sing along on the power anthem’s “Well, I’m hot blooded/Check it and see” chorus before ending the number with an extended coda and leaving audience members happily cheering on their feet.

Concludes Gramm, “We had a ball up here tonight! Hope you did, too! Good night and God bless you!” as he and the All Stars take a well-deserved bow.

As music lovers make their way out of the BergenPAC auditorium, several comment on tonight’s performance by Lou Gramm. Declares Frank from Woodbridge, “I’m a former musician so I know about music, and Lou is awesome — he’s amazing!” Fern from Brooklyn agrees, adding, “He put on a good show which brought back a lot of memories.”



 
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Comments Rich from Monroe Township, “Lou Gramm’s performance tonight showed me that if this is his final tour, he goes out at a high level. He plays the Foreigner hits like they were his own, as they will always be.” Carol from Freehold exclaims, “Lou was amazing! He sounded great, and you couldn’t have had a better setlist than his. He surely deserves to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Remarks Vinnie from New York, “Lou Gramm is an incredible singer and songwriter. At age 74, he hit all the notes he needed to hit, the backup vocals were right there for him, his guitarist was smokin’ hot, his bass player was terrific, and his brother did a great job on drums, too!”

Insists Frank from Westchester County, NY, “I thought tonight’s show was terrific! The band was great, and Lou Gramm’s vocals were really good, especially given his age. Overall, it was just awesome — I really enjoyed it!” Whereas Frank’s friend, Anthony from Westchester, concurs, commenting, “Ditto!” his other friend, Kurt from Westchester, acknowledges, “I’ve been a Foreigner fan since 1977 and I loved tonight’s show. Lou was just awesome!” prior to concluding, “How could anyone not love Lou Gramm?”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

To learn more about Lou Gramm, please go to lougrammofficial.com. For info on upcoming shows at BergenPAC — including The Beach Boys on September 29, Diana Ross on October 27, and Dionne Warwick on November 7 — please click on bergenpac.org.

Photos by Love Imagery

Spotlight Central. Your source for Jersey entertainment news and reviews

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