Foreigner, Styx and John Waite Show Cleveland the Best Of Times

Concert Review
John Waite
Wednesday June 12, 2024
Blossom Music Center
Cuyahoga Falls, OH
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

One of the hottest summer tour packages for 2024 made it through the land of the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Wednesday evening. The Blossom Music Center just outside of Cleveland was the place to be and it was packed from the covered seats under the roof all the way to the large encompassing lawn. The Renegades & Juke Box Heroes tour featured the final Foreigner tour with co-headliner Styx and special guest opener the incomparable John Waite. This particular show had Foreigner closing out the evening as they will be alternating who closes nightly.

Foreigner is now in the final run of what they are calling their farewell performances. It was announced that they would be conducting a final run of shows in 2023 and 24 last year. After the shed run they have some select dates scheduled before another Las Vegas residency to put a cap on it all.

These days Foreigner live is comprised of vocalist Kelly Hansen, bassist Jeff Pilson who are currently the longest ranking members. Joining them were keyboardist Michael Bluestein, drummer Chris Frazier as well as guitarists Bruce Watson and Luis Maldonado. With founder, leader Mick Jones unable to be on the road he is still in charge of making sure he has competent musicians and he has assembled quite a crew.

The one thing Foreigner has done very well is bringing the songs to life and performing them to perfection. The credit there goes to the tremendous vocal ability of Hansen. While the set has been much shorter as far as number of songs is concerned, each one is rendered magnificently. The only downside with it being a farewell show it would have been nice to see a few golden gems included such as “That Was Yesterday”, “Break It Up” or even “Starrider” perhaps as a tribute segment to Jones.

The band brought the New Philadelphia High School choir out to perform the number one smash “I Want To Know What Love Is”. Closing out the set was the Foreigner long-serving classic “Hot Blooded”. It was a solid set but could have been so much more. We will see what the Rock Hall induction ceremony brings in October.

Styx wasted no time during their 85-minute set as they crammed in thirteen songs much to the delight of the many Styx fans in the crowd. They began with “The Grand Illusion” mixed in a wide variety of favorites and even managed to push the title cut of its latest album “Crash of the Crown” into the mix. These guys never seem to let up as they have been putting on high calibre shows ever since the band has carried on regularly since 99’s Brave New World tour. This band rarely takes time off as they have done on average near 100 shows a year.

Styx is a much larger touring band these days. Led by the guitar team of The Godfather James “JY” Young and Tommy Shaw, the band seems to have grown over the years. Joining them were drummer Todd Sucherman who came aboard in 1995, as well as keyboardist/vocalist Lawrence Gowan. Will Evankovich became a full-time member of the band in 2021 and the latest addition to the lineup is bassist Terry Gowan who took over for Ricky Phillips. Of course do not forget about bassist Chuck Panozzo who comes out regularly and plays on a handful of songs each night he performs.

Perhaps the highlight of the night was hearing “The Best Of Times” back in the set after a number of years of being exiled. Who else besides Styx can pull out a song that charted in the top-5 and simply add it into the set without missing a beat? It was amazing seeing fans singing along to it and simply enjoying the moment. The band actually has another song bigger than that and I won’t mention it by name, however it would have to get very cold for that one to ever be played. But stranger things have happened after all, “Mr. Roboto” was shelved for decades and now serves as the first encore. To quote a song Shaw wrote in 1979 never say never.

John Waite, the rock veteran got things started as he dug up a set heavy on his Baby’s catalog kicking into gear with “Midnight Rendezvous”. Waite of course has a pair of number one hits in “Missing You” from his solo band and Bad English’s “When I See You Smile”. To close out his all too brief set of 40 minutes he chose the Led Zeppelin cover of “Whole Lotta Love”. Backing up Waite were longtime bassist Tim Hogan, drummer Alan Childs and guitarist Brent Woods. It has been a while that Waite appeared on a big shed package so it was well deserving to see him get the prestigious spot on the bill.

Overall just a solid rock show from top to bottom that featured nothing but hit after hit. This show is clearly one of the highlights of another heavy concert season put on by Live Nation.

Foreigner Photos

Styx Photos

John Waite Photos

Set Lists


Double Vision
Head Games
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
Dirty White Boy
Feels Like the First Time
Drum Solo
Juke Box Hero

I Want to Know What Love Is
Hot Blooded


The Grand Illusion
Too Much Time on My Hands
Crash of the Crown
Miss America
Rockin’ the Paradise
Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)
The Best of Times
Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)
Come Sail Away

Mr. Roboto

John Waite

Midnight Rendezvous (Baby’s Cover)
When I See You Smile (Bad English Cover)
Missing You
Every Time I Think of You (Baby’s Cover)
Head First (Baby’s Cover)
Back on My Feet Again (Baby’s Cover)
Whole Lotta Love / Let Me Love You Baby

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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