By: Tracy McGinnis
October, Friday the 13th. Bad luck seemed to bypass the audience at Golden Nugget Casino in Lake Charles, La. In fact, I am quite sure everyone that attended the Grand Funk Railroad concert there that night would agree, that luck “as far a the music went”, was on their side.
Grand Funk originally formed in Flint Michigan in 1969. They started as a “trio” comprised of drummer and vocalist Don Brewer, bassist “God of Thunder” Mel Schacher and guitarist/vocalist Mark Farner. Farner left the band in the late 70’s but not before the band had cemented themselves as rock radio legend status.
Grand Funk are best known for their hits, “We’re an American Band”, “I’m your captain”, “The Locomotion” and “Some kind of Wonderful”, all of which were played this night, along with deeper cuts for the die hard fans in the house.
With 2/3 of the original band still in the fold, that is a pretty high percentage compared to most classic rock bands passing themselves off as “the real deal” on the touring circuit these days. If having Brewer and Schacher live onstage Friday night was not impressive enough, Rounding out the band were rock veterans lead guitarist Bruce Kulick (formerly of KISS) and vocalist/ guitarist Max Carl (formerly of 38 Special) and keyboard, backup vocals Tim Cashion (formerly of Bob Seger, Robert Palmer, Gloria Estefan and Jon Secada).
Not sure exactly what it takes be officially qualified for “supergroup” status? But, if this band does not fit that tag, then no other band should either.
The room was full and the band were tight. Vocal Harmonies were on point, guitar solos and some dueling guitar solo’s, drum solo’s, whole band drum session, Bruce Kulick’s soaring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner was everything that one could ever wish for in a rock concert.
They even played the “Top 10” 38 Special hit “Second Chance” written and originally sung by Max Carl himself. Grand Funk Railroad did not disappoint. These guys have not missed a beat in almost 5 decades, in fact…Don Brewer still hit’s the skins so hard, that he OWNS the beat!
When these guys make their return to the Lake Area, be sure to be in attendance. Those who do not attend, will be the TRULY unlucky.