From Juke Box Heroes to classic rock legends, Eighties rockers Foreigner, Europe and FM hit Sheffield with not so much big hair as greyer and a little less hair in some cases – but you’d have never known it.
Not simply a bunch of ageing rockers going through the motions, but more a triple dose of older and bolder rockers showing that they are not slowing down as time goes by.
With an early start of about 7pm, City Hall was starting to fill as FM took to the stage for a set lasting about 45 minutes.
And they got the ball rolling with some great sounds starting with Tough Love and I Belong to the Night before working their way through tracks like Don’t Stop, Closer to Heaven and That Girl before closing the set with Crossttown Traffic and Burning My Heart Down.
All in all they gave us a great start to an evening.
After a short break, Europe hit the stage. Led by flamboyant frontman Joey Tempest, they hit the ground running with Riches To Rags and Firebox.
Coming hard on their heels were tracks like Let The Good Times Rock, No Stone Unturned and Carrie.
These guys had the City Hall rocking with great guitar work from John Norum, backed by John Levén, Ian Haighland and Mic Michaeli they showed why they are still filling venues across the World.
And with Tempest, who has a personality bigger than most auditoriums, it’s a recipe for success. They may be best known for a certain song to most people but they have an excellent back catalogue of material that is worth checking out.
Then they moved onto Cherokee and Rock The Night – including a tiny bit of Def Leppard’s Hysteria – before returning to finish with Last Look at Eden and, of course, Final Countdown.
Tempest had to interrupt a drink to make notice of Sheffield Half Marathon’s water shortage – advising that the venue did have enough supply – and rounding off by announcing that it’s official that Sheffield is better than Leeds. But we already knew that.
So then onto the headliners.
Formed in the mid 70s, Anglo-American band Foreigner took up the headlining role and didn’t fail to impress.
With two guitars backing Kelly Hansen’s vocals, they kicked off with classics like Double Vision, Head Games and Cold As Ice before slowing it down with Waiting for a Girl Like You after Kelly had picked out his favourite three couples in the hall, not sure if the two girls were actually a couple or just friends!
Then he introduced the guy who got the whole thing going nearly 40 years ago, Mick Jones.
On first impressions, in black shirt and white jeans and grey hair wrapped around the outer edges of a balding head, he looked more like an accountant from Surrey on holiday in the South of France.
But looks can be deceiving and at once he started to show that with some fine guitar work leaving no-one in doubt he could still rock with the best.
On then through the rest of the set with tracks like Feels Like The First Time, Dirty White Boy and Urgent, the band had the venue on its feet with Hansen matching Tempest for charisma, ability and stage presence throughout. The initial set finishing with an amazing rendition of Juke Box Hero.
After a short dash from the stage the band were back asking if we wanted more music – a daft question.
So on with Long, Long Way From Home before the band were joined by the Sheffield Girls High School Choir for I Want To Know What Love Is before the evening climaxed with Hot Blooded.
The hair may be thinning, bones getting more weary and jeans getting a bigger waste size, and that’s just the audience, but the memory of a great night’s classic rock will linger for more than just a little while among those who were there.