Forty-five years after Foreigner formed for the first time, the legendary rock group will trek for the very last time. The band has announced a farewell tour that will occur in 2023.
The band, formed during 1976 by British guitarist Mick Jones, will launch its Historic Farewell Tour next July 6 in Alpharetta, Georgia. There will be 32 U.S dates that run through September 3 in Holmdel, New Jersey. Loverboy will be opening. More legs, both domestic and overseas, are on tap through the end of 2024.
“Foreigner is a completely revitalized band with a whole new energy that has won the hearts of our fans all over the world, and I want to go out while the band is still at the top of its game,” said Jones, according to Billboard. “I had the idea that was to become Foreigner back in 1974, and I was 30 years old at the time. By the end of our farewell tour, over 50 years will have passed, and that’s a long time to be on the road.”
Kelly Hansen, Foreigner’s frontman since 2005, says he and Jones had been discussing the move for a while. “It’s a very difficult decision to come to,” he noted, adding that maintaining the caliber of the band’s performance, and his in particular, was a driving factor in the decision to end touring.
“This catalog of songs, it’s extremely challenging for a rock tenor vocalist like myself to sing,” explains Hansen, 61. “I never would have thought in a million years I’d be singing these songs in the keys at this age, and I don’t know how much longer I can do that at the level I need do. You can drop keys and do this and do that, but I’m more of an old school person. If I’m not doing it for real then I shouldn’t be doing it."
Foreigner has released nine studio albums and sold more than 50 million records worldwide. It’s also notched nine top 10 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, including rock radio staples “Feels Like the First Time,” “Hot Blooded,” “Double Vision,” “Urgent” and the power ballad “I Want to Know What Love Is.” More than two dozen members have been part of the band's roster over the years, and members of the first two lineups made a series of guest appearances with the current lineup during 2017 and 2018.
Mick Jones, the last original member still active with Foreigner, has become something of a special guest at the band’s concerts, not attending every show due to health reasons and playing during the latter portion of the set. “Mick does all the shows he can do with us as his health allows, and we’re cognizant of that,” Hansen says. “I can’t say that doesn’t have an effect” on the farewell tour decision, “but that’s also a reality of life and time, so you take what you’re given and you make your decisions based on that.”
Foreigner has a number of concerts scheduled this month and also in the spring, prior to the farewell tour launch — including March and April residencies at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Hansen adds that while Foreigner is pulling the plug on touring, it may not go away entirely - possibly releasing more music in the future, too. “I’m sure there might be the odd or occasional things we do,” the frontman says. “You can never say never about things. But for me this (tour) is it. It’s not like one of these, like we’ve seen, ploys to get people out to shows.”
Tickets for The Historic Farewell Tour go on sale November 18 via livenation.com. The group is once again working with the Grammy Museum Foundation to recruit local choirs at each stop to perform with the band for “I Want to Know What Love Is” via foreignerchoirs.com. More information and updates will be posted to foreigneronline.com.
See Foreigner's Farewell Tour Announcement below.
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