Foreigner has been a household name on the rock scene since the 1970s, but this will be keyboardist Michael Bluestein’s first time playing in Halifax.
With hits like Hot Blooded, Cold As Ice and Feels Like the First Time, the band has endured for decades.
They released their last album in 2009 – produced by Foreigner guitarist Mick Jones’ stepson Mark Ronson – but have been capitalizing on their back-catalogue for a long time.
Now, they’ll rock Scotiabank Centre March 17.
“I’d feel better if we were there in June or July, but I’m still stoked on the crowd. The sight is going to be amazing,” he said.
Bluestein joined the band in 2012, after an audition that took him in a new direction.
“At the time, I ran into the guy who was playing keyboard for Foreigner. He was a temporary fix, and it was great timing for me,” he said.
“I was with Enrique Iglesias’s band at the time, but I was a huge Foreigner fan, and I wanted this to happen.”
With Bluestein in the band since 2012, they’ve enjoyed touring, and are now on the 2019 Cold As Ice tour. They’ll be Juke Box Heroes for the night, spinning audiences’ favourite Foreigner jams of the last 40 years.
“This was just musically and stylistically so different than what I was doing. It was stuff I connected to more, and was more in my wheelhouse,” he said.
With The Pink Floyd Experience, this will be a throwback concert through and through. Part of that is because Foreigner remains steadfast in their choice to not release new albums.
Bassist Jeff Pilson said in July 2018 that they have no plans to release another studio album.
“We sometimes add the additional song or two to a compilation, but we’ve slowed on new music,” said Bluestein.
“There’s such a love for our catalogue, and we have so many hits we have to play in concert anyway. It’s a good problem to have.”
While the Scotiabank Centre, with a capacity of just over 11,000, is a huge show for the enduring band, Bluestein says more intimate settings are his preference.
“Obviously I love playing regardless of the size of the venue, but the smaller shows give you more connection to those who paid to see you. It’s more one-on-one,” he said.
“There’s a big rush with a stadium show, but you aren’t as connected physically to the audience. I certainly would never complain about playing an arena, but I’d play a club over anything else.”
He can’t wait to get up on stage March 17, and give Halifax his best.
“There’s always amazing feedback with the audience, and it’s so exciting hearing your songs sung back at you. It’s such a symbiotic thing,” he said. “We go to a lot of places, and I’ve never been to Halifax. I’m really excited.”
He hopes eventgoers will keep going strong, enjoy the show, and “keep on rocking in the free world.”
“When it comes to our catalogue, we have so many well-loved songs and ones stamped in people’s memories,” he said. “Many had great experiences with our music, and we want them to relive those when they hear us.”