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PICS: Foreigner at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre

Jukebox heroes: Classic-rock behemoths Foreigner brought the hits through Mattress Firm Amphitheatre on Tuesday, Aug. 29.

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Alex Matthews
The band originally formed in NYC in 1976. They are currently on their big 40th anniversary tour!
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A little backstory: Foreigner officially got its start when UK guitarist Mick Jones and ex-King Crimson multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald joined forces with American vocalist Lou Gramm.
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Although it's changed over the years, the group's current lineup include Jones (the only remaining founding member), Thom Gimbel (multi-instrumentalist; previously a touring member of Aerosmith), Jeff Pilson (bass; previously of Dokken), Kelly Hansen (vocals, pictured), Michael Bluestein (keyboards), Chris Frazier (drums; who previously played with Steve Vai, Whitesnake and Eddie Money), and Bruce Watson (guitar).
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Since 1976, they've sold more than 80 million records worldwide -- making them one of the world's best-selling bands of all time. (Watson pictured)
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Fun fact: Their original demo that the band sent out to record labels had their name listed as Trigger -- and was passed over by every company that received it. Through coincidence, Atlantic president Jerry Greenberg was eventually convinced that at least one of the demo songs had potential. However, the Trigger band name was already in use by another act at the time. (Hansen pictured)
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Jones (pictured) then came up with a new name for the band and settled on Foreigner -- as he, McDonald and Dennis Elliott (original drummer) were British, while Gramm, original keyboardist Al Greenwood and Ed Gagliardi (original bassist) were American.
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Six months later, the band started recording their debut album. When that self-titled effort was released in 1977, it would go on to sell more than 4 million copies and spawned at least three huge single: "Feels Like the First Time," "Cold As Ice," and "Long, Long Way From Home." Guess Atlantic's Greenberg was right about the band having potential, eh? (Frazier pictured)
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They followed up the massive success of their debut with 1978's "Double Vision," which featured "Hot Blooded," the album's title track, and "Blue Morning, Blue Day." It'd even go on to top their debut's sales numbers! (Gimbel pictured)
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After some lineup changes in the '80s, the band released their fourth studio album, appropriately titled "4," in 1981, which featured hit songs like "Urgent," "Waiting For a Girl Like You," "Juke Box Hero," and "Break It Up." When 1984's "Agent Provocateur" album dropped, its leadoff single, "I Want to Know What Love Is," became the band's first and only No. 1 hit. (Hansen, left, and Jones, pictured right)
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Fun fact: In the '80s, Jones (pictured) also became heavily sought after as a record producer -- having worked on Van Halen's "5150," Bad Company's "Fame and Fortune," and Billy Joel's "Storm Front."
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In 1990, Gramm decided to leave Foreigner. He would rejoin the group in 1992. In 1997, he'd undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor, and even though it was successful, it'd take more than a decade for Gramm to feel comfortable again onstage. (Pilson pictured)
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In 2005, Hansen (pictured) came onboard as the group's lead vocalist, after sending the band an audition tape. Previously, he had sung in the rock group Hurricane.
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Earlier this year on July 20, the current Foreigner lineup was joined for their encore by original members Gramm, McDonald and Greenwood to help celebrate the band's 40th anniversary. (Pilson pictured)
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For their Aug. 29 show, Foreigner performed a set list that included the songs "Double Vision," "Head Games," "Cold As Ice," "Waiting for a Girl Like You," "Feels Like the First Time," and "Juke Box Hero" -- as well as a two-song encore featuring "I Want to Know What Love Is" and "Hot Blooded."
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