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Imitation Foreigner is ready for its verdict

Written by Scott Mervis on .

"So you're writing previews of Skyblast bands now?"

I got that sarcastic greeting from a friend last week after the story about Foreigner ran in Weekend magazine.

It was the first Skyblast preview we wrote this year, though the Zac Brown Band would have been a good contender. Foreigner seemed newsworthy since the band today is releasing its first new album in 15 years -- one that Foreigner fans certainly will like, and it's got that whole Walmart exclusive thing going for it too.

I even went to the game/show Saturday in the rain along with the paid attendance of over 36.500, although there were a good many open seats due to the weather. They game plodded along for three-plus hours and after the Pirates blew a 4-3 lead late in the game to go down 8-4, people near me were cheering the Pirates' outs so we could get to Foreigner.

I had never been to a Skyblast concert there before and couldn't imagine how they were going to transform the field immediately after the game. Then I saw the flatbed stage roll out with two more trailers for the speakers. What a concept.

The only thing they don't have is proper lighting, so Foreigner played virtually in the dark. The only way to really see them was to watch the Jumbotron. Just like the Pirates aren't really the Pirates at the moment, Foreigner isn't really Foreigner, as Mick Jones is the only real member. They're just guys wearing the uniform. Thing is, in the dark, they were a good enough imitation of Foreigner on the old hits: "Feels Like the First Time," "Urgent," "Cold As Ice," etc. And now they can freshen the set with a couple new ones like "Can't Slow Down."

The real verdict on the new Foreigner comes when we see next week how the new triple-CD set does on the charts.

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