JULY 27th 2018
Review by: Metal Mom
Photos by: Char Tupper

PHOTO GALLERY: http://www.metaltitans.com/concertpics/juke-box-heroes-tour-2018/

This concert, I had been looking forward to since it was announced, sadly it didn't come up to Vancouver, but no way was I missing out on Foreigner, Whitesnake, and Jason Bonham Led Zeppelin Experience.  These legendary bands helped form rock music from the beginning, starting the path to a genre that brings people together with a common love, music.  Oh yeah, I listened to them growing up, but never had the chance to go catch a show. Onward to the White River Amphitheatre in Auburn, WA, where it was a pretty hot day for an outdoor concert, but I was prepared, and it would take quite a lot to stop me from going. You just have no idea how excited I was to see these guys play, all on one bill too, what a night in store for us all.  

First performance tonight is the mighty JASON BONHAM LED-ZEPPELIN'S EXPERIENCE who in case you weren’t aware, celebrates the life and music of his father, legendary Led Zeppelin drummer John Henry Bonham. Truly like taking a step back in time, unbelievable, I was singing right along with them. They played the classics like “Immigrant Song”, “Good Times Bad Times”, “Whole Lotta Love”. They even performed “Stairway to Heaven”, which Bonham even mentioned they haven’t played in a while, but due to popular demand, they closed out their set with this legendary track.  Amazing to see young and old fans there, proving that rock and metal has no boundaries when it comes to age, and I love that about this music. The one odd thing about watching them perform was not the band itself, but the fans, give or take it was a hot, sunny day, but it would have been nice to see more fans interacting, cheering, even standing in support, I stood, I had too, they played an excellent set, and my only complaint, just not long enough. Not too worry though, if you too felt this set wasn’t long enough, or missed your chance to see him, he will be returning this fall, and I will be there again. Nothing like listening to the music you loved as a kid and getting to do it all over again as a slightly older kid at heart.

The next band up tonight is a group you simply hear their name, and you know what’s coming. It is time for WHITESNAKE, let the crowds roar and the guitars squeal, here we go!  Each member, David (vocals) Reb Beach (guitar), Joel Hoekstra (guitar,), Michael Devin (bass), Tommy Aldridge (who has been playing drums since the 70's), performed with perfection, vocals were on point, guitars were magnificently electric, bass hit you hard, and the drums blew me away.  There is no mistaking their talent when you watch them play, it was fantastic to watch.  They played a multitude of songs we all knew, so truth be told, we could have sang the songs and Mr. Coverdale could have sat back and took the night off if he desired. The songs varied from "Bad Boys", "Love Ain't No Stranger", "Slide it In", and I think the one that got the most attention was of course, "Here I Go Again". In the heat, these guys still moved around the stage, giving everyone in the crowd a different view, but also a chance to see every member up close and getting to appreciate the individual talents. Sound was great, they obviously have a great crew behind them, constantly ensuring they have things working and on point all night, and they didn’t miss a beat. I was truly amazed, just in awe watching them. Truth be told, my eyes were drawn to the mighty “sex on two legs” himself (as David refers to him), Joel Hoekstra. When he performs, he is one photogenic guitarist, long, flowing hair, open leather vest, bedazzling smiles (for the ladies in the front), and constant action with his guitar, it is a photographer’s dream live performer for a subject. Plus, just watching David up there, I was totally enthralled, I usually look around the venue to see how people are reacting, but they had my full attention, and they kept it. First time experience, and this will last a lifetime. Thank you so much for that, I cannot wait for the next tour.

Now comes the headliner, FOREIGNER, a band that I still play their music while I work on MetalTitans, or even just cruising in my car. They play such upbeat, happy music that makes your day a whole lot better if it started on a negative note. Tonight, they made my night even better than I could have imagined. I missed them when they came through my own hometown, but my daughter caught their show, she photographed them, and said to me, “Mom, these guys are extraordinary live, you need to see them next time with me!” So here I am with my daughter like we spoke about a year ago, and let me tell you, they didn’t disappoint. I wondered, because I grew up with the other singer in the band, but wow, Kelly Hanson truly captures the tone and voice of the old vocals, but with a little bit more edge in his voice, it was great.  He is also very charismatic on stage, interacting with fans, running nonstop, and energetic, you can’t help being entertained by just Kelly, let alone the other talented musicians behind him. It was a nice surprise to also see Mick Jones perform along with the members, since my daughter told me last tour, he didn’t do the specific tour she saw, so that was an extra treat. Every single song was done to perfection, and I knew every single one of them, belting out the words to every song as loud as I could, it was a lot of fun to let loose and sing along. They performed various songs including, “Cold as Ice”, “Dirty White Boy”, “Feels Like the First Time”, “Urgent”, “Double Vision” and of course the one that probably got the most cheers, hands in the air, and sang to the most "Juke Box Hero". All our eyes were upfront, onstage, we could hear Kelly, but he wasn't on the stage. I looked behind, and low and behold, he was on a pedestal that rose up in the air above the crowd, with a spotlight. Wow, now that was entertaining to see. Now before I forget, what is really spectacular too is when Foreigner brings out a choir, one that is from a local school, Kentwood Choir (Covington, WA), who was on stage to sing "I Want To Know What Love Is", everyone had their eyes glued to the stage, lighters (or cell phones for today’s age, HA!) in the air, cheering on both the band, but the choir too. Pretty amazing they bring in local schools to do this, they did a phenomenal job. Each and every member of Foreigner performed their hearts out tonight, with smiles from ear to ear, bouncing around, having a genuinely fun time onstage, what a band !

I am not sure I really captured the night, and how well each of these bands played. I loved it, and I will be honest here, I have not been to a show, where I have enjoyed each band so much. Not true, I do enjoy, but not quite like this one, it felt like a true “flashback Friday”, when I can look back at when I was younger, then fast forward years later, getting to enjoy these kick ass bands that I grew up with, with my daughter. What an extraordinary night to remember. Thank you so much for being close enough to Vancouver, that I could make the trek down and witness one of the best concerts I have had the pleasure of reviewing and listening to this year so far.  For me it was an evening of unforgettable evening of rock n’ roll.