HEAD GAMES IS is a tribute to the great rock and roll band Foreigner, who have so many hits that you really can’t fit any deep cuts into a normal set list no matter how hard you try.
In fact, turn on a rock radio station right now and there’s always about a 70 percent chance you’ll hear a Foreigner song playing.
Head Games knows this, and has made it their mission to spread the gospel of the band across the Southeast. In that sense, they really are jukebox heroes.
The jukebox was unplugged for a brief period, however, when the coronavirus pandemic caused the live music industry to effectively come to a complete stop.
While it’s mostly still on pause, some venues have begun to reopen and test the waters with socially distant shows. Coach’s Corner is one of those venues, and Head Games is ready to face the new normal.
“Like everybody, we had the rug pulled from underneath us, so the very last weekend of February was our last show. Our March jobs were dropped—you name it. We had festivals cancel on us,” guitarist/vocalist Gary Edwards tells Connect.
“The sad part is, it’s really impacted entertainers and music venues. Just like Coach’s Corner, so many of these venues and festivals rely on crowds to pay their bills.”
The upcoming Coach’s Corner gig, taking place on Sat., June 27, will be the band’s first since February. They’ve been together for quite a few years now, touring regularly up and down the East Coast playing the songs of Mick Jones and Lou Gramm.
“We’re all a little older, so we grew up with really the first big four [Foreigner] albums,” Edwards says. “1977, ‘78, and ‘79 were such big years for music. There was such a big stronghold for arena-type rock. We do a lot of that stuff—we do an entire two-hour show of stuff that people remember and love.”
Edwards and Head Games singer Downey Poteat played together in a band years ago, but got together with the idea of doing a classic rock tribute.
Having Foreigner in common as an influence, they started talking and were initially concerned they wouldn’t have enough well-known material for a two-hour performance. Those concerns were quickly put to rest.
“As we started pulling up their albums again and looking at their catalog, we went, ‘Oh my gosh! I forgot they had this many hit songs,’” the guitarist recalls. Since the wheels started turning and Head Games began, the band has headlined festivals and clubs everywhere from Virginia Beach to Ohio and of course all over the South.
Paying tribute to a band like Foreigner makes it easy to see just why they’ve been such a staple on rock radio for decades. Every song is an earworm, whether you like it or not, and it’s hard not to love at least a few of the hits.
That’s part of the Foreigner legacy, at least from Edwards’ perspective as a longtime fan and someone who plays the music for a living.
“Mick knew how to craft hooks, and when he found Lou Gramm, Lou’s voice fit what he was looking for,” he says.
“It’s the enduring strength of the writing, the recording, and the capacity of the songs.”