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Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC



By Spotlight Central, photos by Love Imagery

originally published: 07/08/2024

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

At the BergenPAC Auditorium in Englewood, New Jersey, fervent Foreigner fans eagerly await a concert by the group’s original lead singer, Lou Gramm, along with his band The Lou Gramm All Stars this Saturday evening, June 29, 2024.

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

After a brief video review 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 performs and the audience responds with cheers and applause.

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

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

The song’s chorus, “Feels like the first time/Feels like the very first time,” is delivered in four-part harmony 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!” replies 74-year-old Gramm, announcing, “Tonight we’re playing songs from Foreigner’s albums and also from my solo albums.” Here Gramm starts singing Foreigner’s 1978 hit “Double Vision” and sings, “Fill my eyes with that double vision/No disguise for that double vision.”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

After Gramm reveals, “We’re going to play the first song Mick Jones and I ever wrote together,” drummer Ben Gramm kicks off with the rocking “Long, Long Way From Home,” an arrangement that features multi-instrumentalist Scott Gilman on tenor saxophone.

The crowd chants “Lou!” and Gramm and Co. follow up with the driving “Just Between You and Me,” a song that features Alex Garcia playing an electric guitar solo while being accompanied by Gramm and the band.

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

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Concertgoers dance in their seats as Scott Gilman wails on tenor, Gramm plays the cowbell, and Tony Franklin belts out a powerful bass line on this funky minor-key rock song.

“It’s time to go to the ice cream section!” declares Gramm as he and the group break into Foreigner’s 1977 hit “Cold as Ice.” Lou holds out his microphone so music lovers can sing along to the song’s chorus, “You’re as cold as ice/You’re willing to sacrifice our love.” Lou sets the pace on the tambourine as Alex Garcia plays an electrifying guitar solo and Jeff Jacobs contributes a swirling and funky keyboard solo before the crowd responds with a standing ovation.

“Thank you so much! Are you guys having fun yet?” asks Gramm before announcing: “My brother Ben is going to play for you – you’re going to love it!” At this point, Lou and the band leave the stage, leaving Ben to play a powerful and rousing drum solo.

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

After Ben has captivated the audience with his speed, agility and precision, Lou and the musicians return and start with “Midnight Blue.” Concertgoers clap their hands to the beat of this rocking 1987 solo number by Lou Gramm, and the crowd stands and cheers.

After Lou’s dynamic and emotional lead vocals on the power ballad “That Was Yesterday,” Gramm declares, “We’re going to play some head games with you tonight!” as he and the All Stars Foreigners perform the 1979 hit “Head Games.” Accompanied by his brother Ben’s booming drums, Tony Franklin’s thumping bass, and Jeff Jacobs’ percussive keyboard, Lou gets the crowd’s heads bobbing with this power rocker.

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

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

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Concertgoers react enthusiastically as Gramm reveals, “The New Jersey Mass Choir has made a beautiful song more than beautiful!” on Foreigner’s number one hit, “I Want to Know What Love Is.” Gramm invites the crowd to take the choir’s place and sing along to the song’s ever-present chorus, “I Want to Know What Love Is/I Want You To Show Me.” At the end, the crowd jumps to its feet and cheers, and Gramm responds by shouting, “Thank you, Englewood! We appreciate you so much!” as he and the All Stars exit the stage.

The crowd chants “Lou! Lou!” and the cheers grow louder as he returns with the band to play an encore of Foreigner’s cinematic rock song “Jukebox Hero.” Gramm delivers a powerful and dynamic performance under strobe lights as music lovers dance and clap along to this classic rock song with driving drums, thumping bass and howling guitars.

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

The audience happily sings the catchy chorus “He’s a juke box hero/Got stars in his eyes” while pointing in rhythm to the rousing beat of the melody.

The 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 his microphone out to the crowd so they can sing along to the chorus of the power anthem, “Well, I’m hot blooded/Check it and see,” before ending the number with an extended coda, leaving the crowd on their feet, cheering happily.

Gramm concludes by saying, “We had a blast up here tonight! Hopefully you did too! Goodnight and God bless you!” as he and the All Stars rightly bow.

As music lovers leave the BergenPAC auditorium, several comment on tonight’s performance by Lou Gramm. Frank from Woodbridge explains, “I’m a former musician, so I know music, and Lou is amazing – he’s incredible!” Fern from Brooklyn agrees, adding, “He put on a good show that brought back a lot of memories.”

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Rich from Monroe Township comments, “Lou Gramm’s performance tonight showed me that if this is his last tour, he’s finishing on a high note. He plays the Foreigner hits like they’re his own and it will always be that way.” Carol from Freehold exclaims, “Lou was incredible! He sounded great and there couldn’t have been a better setlist than his. He definitely deserves to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

Vinnie from New York notes: “Lou Gramm is an incredible singer and songwriter. At 74 years old, he hit all the notes he needed to hit, the background vocals were perfect for him, his guitar player was great, his bass player was great and his brother did a great job on drums too!”

Frank from Westchester County, NY, emphasizes, “I thought the show tonight was great! The band was great and Lou Gramm’s vocals were really good, especially considering his age. Overall, it was just great – I really enjoyed it!” Frank’s friend Anthony from Westchester agrees and comments, “Ditto!” His other friend Kurt from Westchester admits, “I’ve been a Foreigner fan since 1977 and I thought the show tonight was great. Lou was just great!” before concluding, “How could anyone not Do you love Lou Gramm?”

Lou Gramm LIVE! at BergenPAC

For more information on Lou Gramm, visit lougrammofficial.com. For information on upcoming shows at BergenPAC – including the Beach Boys on September 29, Diana Ross on October 27 and Dionne Warwick on November 7 – visit bergenpac.org.

Photos by Love Imagery

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