The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Wednesday September 2, 2015
I went to my first two concerts when I was in 7th grade. It was at a free Rib Fest (of all things) in 1997 or so. The first night: Foreigner (with Lou Gramm) and Kansas (with Steve Walsh and other original members). The second: Loverboy. Funny how bands like this were having trouble finding work at this time and are now playing arenas again.
Below are some songs and memories from the shows.
Foreigner – Starrider
from the 1977 LP Foreigner
“Starrider” was the song that stuck out to me the most. I remember Lou Gramm saying that it sounded better if the sun was setting. I’m sure it would have but the strong album cut from their first album still came off well. The brain child of Foreigner co-founder and former King Crimson member Mick Jones, he brings the otherworldly quality of his former band to the track.
Cheyenne Anthem – Kansas
from the 1976 LP Leftoverture
Unlike “Starrider,” “Cheyenne Anthem” was performed as the sun went down. The emotional multi-part ode to American Indians was even more stunning for it. It comes from their quintessential Leftoverture (the album with “Carry On Wayward Son”).
The Kid is Hot Tonite
from the 1981 LP Loverboy
My distaste for them turned around completely when, the night after the Foreigner/Kansas show, I saw them at the same Rib Fest. Mike Reno was a big guy at the time but had the charisma of his ‘80s heyday. Every song was a hit, every song rocked, and I finally understood that you can’t have a hook that’s too catchy. At least in ‘80s pop.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He was also Lead Staff Writer for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.