The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

Foreigner to close Homecoming Week with State Farm Center concert

Photo courtesy of Stefan Brending/Wikimedia Commons
Rock band Foreigner perform on Aug. 6, 2016 as a part of their “40” album tour. The band will be performing at the State Farm Center on Oct. 22.

Rock band Foreigner will visit Champaign-Urbana on the final day of Homecoming Week as a stop on its Historic Farewell Tour. The performance, which will feature Champaign County choirs, will take place at State Farm Center on Oct. 22.

The tour comes following Foreigner’s canceled Juke Box Heroes tour in 2020, which did not happen because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Historic Farewell Tour will be the group’s last worldwide tour. Foreigner will take the stage with fellow ’80s rock band Loverboy to bring crowds back with two hours of nonstop hits.

Guitarist Mick Jones said to Live Nation Entertainment in November 2022 that the group will present a show that he knows will have the same enthusiasm as the band’s very first appearances.

“While I’m sure our fans will have mixed feelings about the end of the road for the band, I know our shows are going to delight audiences everywhere,” Jones said.

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    A unique feature of the tour is the addition of a local choir to the night’s performance with the band. 

    High school choirs from Urbana, Champaign Centennial, Mahomet-Seymour, Danville, Monticello and others have entered a competition to perform on stage with the band. A full list of high school choirs in the running can be found here.

    The winning choir will be presented onstage on Oct. 22 performing “I Want to Know What Love Is” with the band. The winner will also receive a $500 donation to their school’s music program.

    The British-American group has been active since its conception in 1976, releasing its first album in 1977. The self-titled debut ended up with top ten spots on the U.S., Canadian and Australian album charts.

    The band originally consisted of drummer Dennis Elliott, bassist Ed Gagliardi, vocalist Lou Gramm, keyboardist Al Greenwood, Jones and multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald — a mix of exactly three Americans and three British members.

    The mix of nationalities is what led Jones to come up with the band’s name, Gramm explained in a 1997 interview. Jones had realized that no matter where the band performed, at least half of the group would be foreigners.

    Jones is the only original member still active in the group. However, due to the guitarist’s age and ongoing health issues, he does not attend or perform at every show with the group, according to a 2022 Billboard article.

    The group’s current lead vocalist, Kelly Hansen, told Billboard “Mick does all the shows he can do with us as his health allows, and we’re cognizant of that.” 

    It is unclear whether Jones will be present for the State Farm Center performance.

    Jones said in the same interview that he wants to “go out while the band is still at the top of its game.”

    The Historic Farewell Tour will conclude in early April of 2024 with six nights in Las Vegas. Several of the remaining performances of the tour have already been sold out, although there are still available seats for the upcoming C-U show.

    The performance will take place from 7:30-9:30 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase at with prices ranging from $39.50 to $149.50.


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    About the Contributor
    Maaike Niekerk, buzz Editor
    My name is Maaike Niekerk, and I am a sophomore majoring in English with minors in music and journalism. I began working with The Daily Illini during the fall semester of my freshman year as a buzz staff writer, and joined the editorial team last summer. I love bringing live event coverage to you from Champaign-Urbana’s vibrant music scene and sharing stories of local artists and musicians. Outside of The Daily Illini, you’ll find me performing at every football game with the Marching Illini or cycling with the 2024 Illini 4000 bike America team.
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