Wow! What a day this turned out to be! Being at Mick's induction to the Wall of Fame earlier that day only helped to raise the excitement and anticipation even further!
Babs and I couldn't have been located in a better place - front row left in front of Mick and Bruce. Although Jeff had a seat further back, he wasn't going to let that hold him back and managed to join us at the front for the main event of the evening! Also joining us were my daughter, Katherine and her boyfriend, James (he's a new fan now), Claudia, Helmut and several of my Pompey friends scattered around the audience.
It was most definitely a sold out show with a large number of Mick's family also in the audience. The hall was buzzing with anticipation - this was going to be a very special night. There had been a lot of local publicity about Mick's Portsmouth connections which seemed to heighten the excitement. The show here, at Portsmouth Guildhall, had been on my own personal wishlist for a long time.
FM kicked off the evening ten minutes early and wowed the audience with some great music. I was only familiar with a little of their work but definitely want to hear more. Europe were great too. Joey with his mic stand swinging and enthusiasm were infectious and their set included Carrie and The Final Countdown. At this point, Babs and I tested out the security and left our seats to rock out - all good, no sign of them!
If only that had been the whole story! Jeff and the others came to join us in the front row, then security did appear and they were ushered back to their seats. That didn't last long - once everyone was on their feet the others made their way to the front of the aisles with no more trouble from the bouncers.
Then came the time we had all been waiting for - that very familiar introduction followed by the boys and Kelly bouncing on to the stage in his own unique way. The set started with DV, followed by HG and CAI. Tommy took to the keys for WFAGLY and then Kelly introduced 'the leader and founder of Foreigner - Mr Mick Jones', at which point the roof was lifted off the building. With Mick at the helm, looking really well, the band followed on with FLTFT, TWY, DWB and then, the moment we had hoped and waited for, Mick sang Starrider. So good to hear him sing this again and he was on great form. Then Jeff's favourite, Urgent, with Tommy performing his outstanding solo once again. Mick took time during proceedings to talk about being back 'home' and we were left in no doubt that this was a special time for him.
Urgent was followed by Michael and Chris' solos and finally JBH. Of course, that wasn't the end, as the band returned to the stage for LLWFH, IWTKWLI and HB. The encore seemed to last and last and the band were joined on stage for IWTK by the Portsmouth High School choir who looked to be loving every minute.
I know that it has been said before, but Foreigner are a incredible group of guys and musicians and you can't fail to have a fantastic time. Special mention to Bruce who seamlessly fits in with Mick and Kelly who's energy has no boundaries. He did spend time amongst the audience balancing very precariously on the Guildhall's ageing seating and almost ending up in somebody's lap several times.
The time flew past but I can say without doubt that it was the most fantastic day , spent with very special people and giving me some very treasured memories to last a lifetime.