Tag Archives: Lou gramm

Lou Gramm Offers Timeless Performance

Lou Gramm Review from RARA’s Farm

Lou Gramm Review Hard Rock Velvet Sessions Orlando
Lou Gramm in Concert at Hard Rock Hotel’s Velvet Sessions in Orlando
Lou Gramm Velvet Sessions Concert Review

The last time I saw Lou Gramm on stage was in the eighties, at Philadelphia’s Jam at JFK. With 100,000 raucous Foreigner fans packing the stadium, he commanded the huge crowd. Flash forward a few decades – on a balmy Orlando night, the setting was just a little more intimate, but the rock ‘n roll was timeless.

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Gramm and his new band headlined Velvet Sessions at Orlando’s Hard Rock hotel. The world’s greatest rock ‘n roll cocktail party is a different venue, one where the fans have a few drinks, grab some appetizers and catch rockers in a near-private setting. It’s always cool, but with Lou Gramm, the anticipation was clearly ratcheted up a notch. Most of the bands were once somewhat popular and had a few hits, but precious few had the hugely successful past that Gramm has.

The diminutive rocker clearly still has a passion for performing and on this night, he delivered a great show. I’ve been to a handful of Velvet Session shows in the past and it’s always a fun atmosphere, but on this night there was electricity in the air.  The show which was originally scheduled earlier in the year was rescheduled for July after Gramm experienced medical issues.

His voice might not have the same broad range it once possessed, and he definitely moves around the stage with a little less reckless abandon than the eighties model, but he still delivered a powerful engaging set to the packed crowd.

Over the course of the seventy-five minute set, Gramm played his solo hits, all of the classic Foreigner tunes and a few deeper cuts. He also threw in a handful of nice surprises that made the night memorable for the long time fans in attendance. (See the setlist below this review)

Gramm took the stage decked out in black, and Kicked the night off with the title track from Foreigner’s second album, “Double Vision,” After that, it was a non-stop journey through Gramm’s ample song-writing catalogue, and a set list that kept the fans engaged throughout. Early highlights included his solo hit “Ready Or Not” and an electric version of “Cold As Ice,” where the crowd sang along nicely.

Things ratcheted up a bunch when he invited out a ten piece choir to provide the background vocals for a beautiful version of “I Want To Know What Love Is.” He then invited sax player and Melbourne native, Carl Lewis to join him on stage, where the crowd was treated to the seldom played “Long, Long Way From Home” and its underrated sax pieces. Lewis tore it up, and then absolutely nailed one of rock music’s most iconic sax solos in a searing version of “Urgent.”

The highlight of the night was one of my personal favorites., “Jukebox Hero.” Gramm sounded great in a song that surprisingly translated well in the small setting. The band absolutely nailed it, but Gramm absolutely shined with lyrics that seemed as timely as ever: “Couldn’t get a ticket, it was a sold out show. Heard the roar of the crowd, he could picture the scene… Now he needs to keep rockin.’ He just can’t stop. Gotta keep on rockin’…”

Lou Gramm Review: Melbourne's Carl Lewis sax
Lou Gramm’s Band with Melbourne’s Carl Lewis on sax

The band sounded great throughout the show and offered non-stop energy. The highlight was the drumming. Lou’s brother, Ben is touring with the band, and it’s certainly not a charity act. Ben is an uber-talented jazz drummer and kept the band tight all evening. As great as he sounded, everyone was more excited when he stepped aside and let Dennis Elliott jump behind the skins.

Elliott, the original Foreigner drummer joined the band for their encore, a searing version of “Hot Blooded,” that sent the crowd into the warm night thoroughly satisfied.

The Velvet Sessions crowd was comprised primarily of 40 and 50-somethings, most of whom left thoroughly satisfied. I actually bumped into two separate couples from upstate New York, who saw Lou play with Rochester band Black Sheep in the early seventies before he teamed with Mick Jones to join Foreigner. Cool stuff.

Simply put, it was a special night for a small group of fans, who saw a rock ‘n roll legend up close and personal. If he’s in your town any time soon, this one is a can’t miss show.

If you were there, leave your thoughts on the show in our comments section.

Rock On!

Double Vision (Foreigner song)
Ready or Not
Feels Like The First Time (Foreigner song)
Just Between You and Me
Cold as Ice (Foreigner song)
That Was Yesterday(Foreigner song)
I Want to Know What Love Is(Foreigner song)
Long Way From Home (Foreigner song)
Urgent (Foreigner song)
Drum Solo
Blue Morning, Blue Day (Foreigner song)
Midnight Blue
Juke Box Hero (Foreigner song)

Hot Blooded (Dennis Elliott on drums)

July Central Florida Rock Concert Calendar

The dog days of summer for the Central Florida concert season. There are a few good shows, but they are few and far between. The Warped Tour coming through Orlando and Tampa is the highlight for sure.  The artists in bold are our recommended acts this month.

Orlando Concerts

The 07/03/14 American Authors – Red Hot and Boom, Altamonte. Talented Indie rockers are the headline band in a line-up the also includes Echosmith, A Great Big World and Ingrid Michaleson.  It’s free, too.
Thu 07/03/14 The Menzingers – The Social

Tue 07/08/14 Moe – Plaza Live Orlando

Thu 07/10/14 Gold Panda – The Social
The 07/10/14 The Bunny The Bear – Bombshells Tavern

Fri 07/11/14 Trapt – House Of Blues
Fri 07/11/14 The Supervillains – The Social
Fri 07/11/14 Chad Sugg / Rookie Of The Year – Bombshells Tavern

Sat 07/12/14 The Supervillains – The Social

Mon 07/14/14 The Dear Hunter – The Beacham

Thu 07/17/14 BobaFlex – Revival (Clermont)

Sat 07/19/14 Thomas Wynn & The Believers – The Social
Sat 07/19/14 The Lovin’ Spoonful

Sun 07/20/14 Dead Rabbits – Backbooth

Wed 07/23/14 The Fray – Hard Rock Live

Sun 07/27/14 The Vans Warped Tour – Central Florida Fairgrounds
Yellowcard, Mayday Parade, Sleeper Agent, Of Mice & Men, Anberlin, Saves The Day, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Maine, and many many more!

Tue 07/29/14 Gavin DeGraw and Matt Nathanson – House Of Blues

Thu 07/31/14 Dirty Heads – The Beacham. Excellent ska reggae band perfect for summer, and their opening act Pepper is just as good. Great double-booking.
Thu 07/31/14 Lou Gramm – Hard Rock Hotel. The former lead singer of Foreigner at this month’s Velvet Sessions.

Cheap concert tickets

Jacksonville Concerts

Mon 07/05/14 The Supervillains – Freebird Live

Sun 07/13/14 The Dear Hunter – Jax Underbelly

Tue 07/15/14 Dave Matthews Band – Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena

Sat 07/19/14 – Dead Rabbits – 1904

Sun 07/20/14 – American Idol Live – St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Sun 07/20/14 – Thomas Wynn & The Believers – Jax Underbelly

Fri 07/25/14 – John Legend – St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Sun 07/27/14 – Fall Out Boy / New Politics – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – It’s the Jagermeister Ultimate Summer Of Music

Wed 07/30/14 – Michael Franti, with Trevor Hall – St. Augustine Amphitheatre – Soulshine Music & Yoga Tour

Thu 07/31/14 – Gavin DeGraw – St. Augustine Amphitheatre

Cheap concert tickets

Tampa Area Concerts

Wed 07/02/14 – The Menzingers – Orpheum

Fri 07/04/14 Damon Fowler Group – Skipper’s Smokehouse

Sat 07/05/14 Stephen Pearcy (Ratt) – England Brothers Park (Pinellas Park). It’s “Hairpalooza” where we offer a tribute to Hair Metal, with Pearcy, Winger, Great White and Slaughter
Sat 07/05/14 Moe – Jannus Live (St. Petersburg)
Sat 07/05/14 Go-Go’s – Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater). The “Replay America” tour offers us another fun 80’s flashback. Joining the Go-Go’s are Patty Smyth, Martha Davis and The Motels, Cutting Crew and Naked Eyes

Wed 07/09/14 Gold Panda – The Crowbar

Sat 07/12/14 Joan Jett – Tropicana Field (St. Petersburg). The timeless Queen of Punk Rock, plays after the Tampa Bay Rays game.
Sat 07/12/14 Trapt – State Theatre (St. Petersburg)

Wed 07/16/14 Dave Matthews Band – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Fri 07/18/14 The Black Cadillacs with Thomas Wynn & The Believers – The Crowbar

Mon 07/21/14 The Fray – Ruth Eckerd Hall (Clearwater)

Wed 07/23/14 KISS and Def Leppard – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre

Fri 07/25/14 The Vans Warped Tour – Vinoy Waterfront Park (st. Petersburg)
Yellowcard, Mayday Parade, Sleeper Agent, Of Mice & Men, Anberlin, Saves The Day, Teenage Bottlerocket, The Maine, and many many more!
Fri 07/25/14 Damon Fowler Group – Skipper’s Smokehouse

Sat 07/26/14 Fall Out Boy, Paramore, New Politics – MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. Nice triple bill.