Images by Johnnie Crow
Words by Melissa Butterfly and Johnnie Crow
Foreigner’s Juke Box Hero Tour was an epic experience of hair-raising classics at the Mattress Firm Amphitheater in the San Diego town of Chula Vista, California on July 31, 2018. This show was opened by special guests Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening and David Coverdale’s Whitesnake.
Jason Bonham, son of Led Zeppelin drummer John Bonham, is a legendary drummer in his own right, leading numerous bands throughout the years. On this tour, he pays tribute to the monumental legacy laid down by his father, by playing the classic songs of Led Zeppelin. The spirit of the tunes was alive and inspiring, especially since few in the audience had the chance to experience these songs live. They closed with the epic ‘Stairway to Heaven’, as the crowd echoed the final words back to the band.
David Coverdale’s Whitesnake took the stage by storm, a strange brew that never stopped building in energy. From bluesy lows to shrieking highs, the outstanding band delivered hit after hit, all with a sly smile. Always a band with tons of sexual energy and double entendres, this iteration of Whitesnake continues the tradition of smoky blues erupting into bursts of excess. Mr. Coverdale still looks amazing, and has a grit to his voice that lends gravitas to his legendary lyrics. His band, led by Reb Beach of Winger, plays every song perfectly, all the while providing poster-worthy poses. They wrapped it up with an extended version of ‘Still of the Night’, one of the all-time greatest rock anthems.
Foreigner chose from a juke box with too many songs to play in one night, but everyone was sure to hear their favorite. Founder Mick Jones was a bit late, but joined in and provided a highlight by playing the early album track ‘Starrider’, complete with lasers. Outstanding vocalist Kelly Hansen appeared above the middle of the crowd on a raised platform for ‘Juke Box Hero’, another highlight of the night. They closed with a special appearance from the Carlsbad High School Choir assisting on ‘I Want To Know What Love Is’. Love was in the air and this show was truly a heartfelt event for the bands and audience alike.
Here are some comments from the audience:
Daniel from Imperial Beach – “It’s incredible as it is heartwarming to see all of the performers passion for music carry on through the years. From Jason Bonham’s will to keep his father’s legacy ever so strong to Whitesnake’s incredible unchanging energy as well as Foreigner’s commitment to spread the love and positive energy to everyone they meet. The three of them at the same venue is just a night one simply cannot miss!”
Jenn from San Diego – “I thought the Led Zeppelin Evening was awesome. Whitesnake’s lead singer is a legend. Foreigner is by far one of the best rock bands that I’ve seen live. I have their CD that I listen to all the time, and it sounds exactly the same – great sound, super entertaining, loved it.”
See below for a slideshow of photos of Foreigner, Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening.
Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening: