Classic rock filled the night Wednesday. But the only remaining original member of Foreigner sat out the Spokane County Interstate Fair.
The band may have been in-name-only without 74-year-old co-founder Mick Jones, but it didn’t matter to the lively crowd. Some rolled up in strollers, but a stronger number of them arrived pushing walkers. Grandmas holding beers danced in front of their chairs along with guys in ill-fitting 2009 “Foreigner” T-shirts.
But the concert couldn’t come early enough for the Haddocks. Mark and Elaine Haddock drove to Spokane Valley from Hamilton, Montana, after they both got their 15-year-old daughter, Peyton, hooked on 40-year-old music.
“My husband was watching a Foreigner concert on TV and found out they were going to be here,” 44-year-old Elaine Haddock said.
They told Peyton, and it was on.
“My parents introduced me to this music a few years ago. I started researching the music. Now I know more songs from that era than my parents,” she said. “I like the beat more. It’s easier to get behind.”
Mark Haddock, 56, returned after a beverage run to brag about his daughter’s love of ’80s rock.
“She made us drive to North Dakota to listen to Journey and Def Leppard,” Haddock said. “But hey, I don’t have to listen to (Justin) Bieber. I can go to a concert and enjoy music with my 15-year-old daughter. That’s rare.”
Current lead singer Kelly Hansen, who sounded like a dead ringer for original vocalist Lou Gramm, asked the near-capacity crowd to light up their cellphones (instead of cigarette lighters) to honor the fallen on the 18th anniversary of 9/11. Some in the crowd stomped on the metal bleachers and chanted “U-S-A.”
The crew turned the amplifiers up to 11, and the band rocked out “Dirty White Boy” as the crowd cheered. Mark and Peyton Haddock raised their phones and both took a video during the song.
The concert turned out to be kind of a pre-wedding party for Dean McIntosh and Lynette Freeman, both of Cheney. They plan to get married this weekend, but Foreigner came first.
“I was listening to them 40 years ago,” said McIntosh, who has also seen the band play in Seattle and at Northern Quest Resort and Casino. “I definitely wanted to see them again.”
McIntosh and Freeman both attended Omak High School and kept in touch all these years.
“I divorced and she divorced, and we just got together,” said McIntosh, who laughed when asked if he was going to stay for the band’s rendition of “I Want to Know What Love Is.”
For that hit, Foreigner was joined on stage by the East Valley High School choir, which won the chance to perform with the rockers in a regional contest.
Dave Tackett, 57, of Coeur d’Alene, wore a Sammy Hagar T-shirt to the concert.
“Their first album blew me away when I was 16,” Tackett said of Foreigner. “If I could only own one Foreigner album, it would be the first album. It would be cool if Lou Gramm was still playing. But these guys are good.”
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