Foreigner returned to non-distanced shows in June. The band’s tour, which began in earnest in late July, has more than 120 dates stretching into 2022 and includes shows in 16 countries. According to Bluestein, the audiences so far are eager for live music after the long COVID-19 drought.
“People are hungry,” he said. “If you take something away from people for a while, they want it bad. We’ve always had pretty enthusiastic crowds but I think it’s been up a notch. It’s been missing from people’s lives, and it’s so great to finally be able to deliver that again and give some people relief from this seclusion, social distancing and the alone time that was too much for most of us.”
When he’s not focused on Foreigner, Bluestein works with vocalist Tina Terry in the group Tina Blue and also composes music for television and film. With these outlets, he was able to stretch his creative muscles during the shutdowns. Like many musicians, he also explored the world of livestreaming.
“I really worked hard on getting my whole audio and video thing going from my home studio with the livestreams during the pandemic,” Bluestein said. “People were really hungry for that. A lot of bands showed up and were super appreciative about being able to have some musical connection. However limited, it did fill the void, somewhat. We made a lot of progress and we had some great performances. We did what I thought looked and sounded great but no matter how good it is, there’s this other dimension that isn’t there.
“You can’t replace that feeling of the energy of all these people, shoulder to shoulder, having the same experience in a room,” Bluestein continued. “They’re seeing and hearing the musicians feeding off each other’s energy and that feedback loop that happens between the performer and the audience isn’t going to happen on a live show on YouTube or Facebook. The comment section doesn’t provide that kind of energy.”
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HOW TO GO
Who: Foreigner with local openers Stranger and Eleventh Hour
Where: Fraze Pavilion, 695 Lincoln Park Blvd., Kettering
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17
Cost: $45-$65 in advance, $50-$70 day of show. VIP package is $250
More info: 937-296-3300 or www.fraze.com
Artist info: www.foreigneronline.com