“Juke Box Heroes” tour heads to the US, central Indiana summer 2020

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Their names are familiar, each band an icon of sorts with its own sets of crowd favorites: Foreigner, Kansas and Europe are headed across the US this summer. The aptly named “Juke Box Heroes” tour will stop in Nobelsville, Indiana July 25, 2020. Each band has had years of success on American airwaves, with Foreigner and Kansas perhaps being a little better known than Europe. Still, the hits are undeniable, and for rock fans, the tour brings together a group of artists that some might never have imagined playing together.

“Juke Box Heroes” tour: the sounds of Foreigner, Kansas and Europe

For people who have lived through it, it is difficult for them to imagine 1970s and 1980s radio without Foreigner. Or Kansas for that matter. Foreigner, with its mix of British and American members, brought its brand of in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll to wide audiences with the release of their self-titled album in 1977. From “Foreigner,” listeners discovered songs like “Feels Like The First Time,” “Cold As Ice,” and the narrative-driven, hard-riff filled “Long, Long Way From Home.” The hits continued into the 1980s, especially when the song “Juke Box Hero” was released from their 1981 album, “4.” The song tells the story of a young man inspired by the sounds of a sold out show to become a rock ‘n’ roll legend in his own right. Allegedly, that was the story of singer Lou Gramm unable to get in to see Jimi Hendrix in the late 1960s.

Like Foreigner, Kansas’ debut album was also self-titled. Released in 1974, the album didn’t always receive the best reviews, but because they were considered progressive rock, that might have made some critics biased against them. Still, by 1977, upon the release of “Point of Know Return” which contains the songs “Portrait (He Knew),” “Dust In the Wind,” and “Point of Know Return” (title track), for which the band is still known. The album reached as high as No. 4 on Billboard charts and was certified platinum four times in the US and once in Canada. It, along with the several other albums Kansas released between their debut and 1980, were certified either gold or platinum.

Europe, while the newest of the groups included on the tour, having formed in the late 1970s in Sweden, have a history of songs that stick with people, even people who are not necessarily rock fans. Their single “The Final Countdown” is as notable for its signaling keyboard riff as for the heavy guitar riffs that make the song seem to move. Songs such as “Rock the Night” and “Cherokee” from their May 1986 debut endeared Europe to the hearts of their fans, who came to appreciate singer Joey Tempest’s earnest and clear tenor.

“Juke Box Heroes” tour is almost guaranteed to have something for every kind of rock fan.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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