TVD Live Shots: Foreigner, Whitesnake, and Jason Bonham’s
Led Zeppelin Evening
at Mattress Firm Amphitheater, 7/31

1977 was undoubtedly a very important year in rock ‘n’ roll history. The Billboard charts were packed with hits from well-established artists such as the Eagles, Kansas, and The Steve Miller Band, while newcomers such as Cheap Trick, Eddie Money, and The Clash were just beginning to emerge onto what was already an incredible musical landscape.

It was also March of that same year that Foreigner exploded onto the scene with their self-titled debut, Foreigner. It became an instant classic and has withstood the test of time as one of the most iconic and best-selling debut albums ever.

On Saturday, July 31st, Foreigner teamed up with Whitesnake along with Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening (or JBLZE) for their highly-anticipated Juke Box Heroes Tour in beautiful Chula Vista, CA. For those who have never attended a Foreigner show, it truly is a “bucket-list” type of experience not to be missed. Fans from all over the country travel thousands of miles to be part of magic, and Tuesday’s performance was no exception.

As the sun began to set over the foothills surrounding the Mattress Firm Amphitheater, Jason Bonham took center stage and launched into a killer set of Zeppelin classics including “The Immigrant Song,” “Rock and Roll,” and one of the most iconic rock songs of all time, “Stairway to Heaven.” Throughout the performance, one could only imagine what it would have been like to Zeppelin in their prime.

Lucky for us, JBLZE was able to bring that altered reality to life in a way that very few (if any bands) could. Overall, each song was masterfully performed and left no doubt with fans in attendance why JBLZE is considered the preeminent tribute to Led Zeppelin. John Bonham would be proud.

Next up was one of my all-time favorite bands, Whitesnake. Although the band was formed in 1978 (I was only 8 at the time), I didn’t get a chance to really dig into these guys until I bought their self-titled album, Whitesnake, back in 1987. From that point on I was hooked and never looked back. Tuesday night’s performance showcased eleven Whitesnake standards spanning their incredible 40+ year career. A highlight of the set for me was the entire crowd singing along to fan-favorite, “Here I go Again”—simply incredible. Frontman extraordinaire David Coverdale along with bandmates Tommy Aldridge, Reb Beach, Joel Hoekstra, Michael Devin, and Michele Luppi put on a rock ‘n’ roll clinic Tuesday night and don’t show any signs of slowing down soon.

And now for the main attraction, Foreigner. It was my first time seeing this band live and I can honestly say I was blown away from start to finish on Tuesday night. Foreigner’s setlist was jam-packed with 12 classics that satisfied even the most die-hard fan. From “Long, Long Way From Home” to “Hot Blooded” (and everything in-between), there were zero breaks in the energy and that rarely happens with live shows in the modern era. And just when you thought it could not get any better, Foreigner invited members of the Carlsbad High School Choir to join them on stage during the encore for an incredible version of 1984’s “I Want to Know What Love Is.” In my opinion, a perfect way to end an incredible night of classic rock under the stars and one I’ll be remembering for some time to come.




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