When talking about Foreigner circa 2008, it's tempting to refer to the group with air quotes around its name: Lead guitarist Mick Jones — who shouldn't be confused with the Clash guitarist of the same name — is the only original member still playing in the band. But like other classic-rock icons traveling around sheds and arenas with nonoriginal singers (cough... Journey), new vocalist Kelly Hansen does an admirable job aping the histrionics of curly haired crooner Lou Gramm. But everyone knows that Gramm was the best singer Foreigner ever had. He co-penned a long string of hit records during his tenure with the band, many of which are still FM-radio staples. Whether it's balls-out rock ("Hot Blooded," "Double Vision"), Bic-flicking balladry ("Waiting for a Girl Like You," "I Want to Know What Love Is"), or synth-based apprehension ("Urgent"), they're all songs showing that Gramm had a knack for songwriting success. This week, he comes to the Hard Rock not to do any of his solo material but rather to sing songs from the Beatles classic 1968 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. That might seem a bit strange, but he and a cast of other strong vocalists will perform the album in its entirety to celebrate the 40th anniversary of its release.
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