What can go wrong when Foreigner's "Feels like the First Time" is on the radio? Turning onto Route 28, screaming past the Hickory, breathe in the cheesy keyboards, the strutty guitar, the horndog chorus. Life-affirming, yes? Turns out that that tune was not written about...well, you know. Mick Jones, the 65-year-old frontman of the band - which comes to play the Ulster Performing Arts Center (UPAC) in Kingston on Sunday, February 21 - was actually in an existential rut and decided to forget about a day job and roll the dice writing songs and playing the guitar for cash and prizes. So that tune was akin to writing something of substance for the very first time. I know: bummer.
It was back in 1977 that the group released its first album, a self-titled platter that sold an astonishing 4 million copies and featured the beforementioned chart-topper. A year later they sold 5 million copies of Double Vision, spawning the single "Hot-Blooded." The streak continued in 1979 with Head Games. Then in 1981 came the blockbuster 4, which contained "Waiting for a Girl like You," "Urgent" and "Jukebox Hero." The album sold an unbelievable 10 million copies - and it is still selling today.
Not content to live life looking in the rearview mirror, the band has a new record, Can't Slow Down, and - despite the lack of longtime Jones cohort Lou Gramm, who left in 2003 - a revived band. Expect some new tunes and a celebration of past glories including "Cold as Ice," "I Don't Want to Live without You," "Dirty White Boy" and "I Want to Know What Love Is."
Tickets for Foreigner at UPAC in Kingston on Sunday, February 21 at 7 p.m. are $150 for limited-availability Golden Circle seats that include a pre-show meet-and-greet with Foreigner and a CD, $75 for regular Golden Circle seating, $60 general admission, $55 for Bardavon members and $45 for the rear balcony. Purchase tickets through the Bardavon box office at 35 Market Street in Poughkeepsie, (845) 473-2072; the UPAC box office at 601 Broadway in Kingston, (845) 339-6088; or through TicketMaster at (845) 454-3388 or www.ticketmaster.com.