Grand Funk Helps Rocksino Party Down

January 21st, 2018

One of the biggest acts of the 1970s, Grand Funk Railroad played to a sold-out crowd at the Hard Rock Rocksino on Saturday night.  

 

Who said classic rock is dead?

 

Notably, this band was so popular in the early 1970s that they sold out Shea Stadium (55,000 tickets!) for a July, 1971 concert faster than the Beatles did in 1965.

Led by original member Don Brewer (drums/lead vocals), the rest of the current lineup is basically an all-star band consisting of Bruce Kulick (KISS) on lead guitar, Max Carl (.38 Special) on lead vocals, guitar and harmonica, Tim Cashion (Robert Palmer) on keyboard and filling in for original bassist Mel Schacher was Sterling Sheldon (Peter Frampton).

 

The band kicked off their eighty-minute set with the one-two punch of  “Rock and Roll Soul” and “Footstompin’ Music.” From that point on, they never slowed down.

 

Singer Max Carl was in fine form as he got everyone on their feet to do “The Loco-Motion.”  Carl then strapped on a Telecaster to play rhythm guitar as Don Brewer took over on vocals to belt out “Walk Like A Man,” which also showcased the fine fretwork of Bruce Kulick who was on fire all night.

 

In the middle of the set, Carl got to showcase not only his vocals but also his songwriting ability as they performed “Second Chance.” He co-wrote and sang on this Top Ten smash for .38 Special back in 1989 when he was a member of that group.

 

Not to be outdone, it was Brewer’s turn to take the spotlight for an impressive drum solo.  The sixty-nine year old is still nimble behind the kit proving that he is indeed one of the best drummers in the business.

 

After a percussion jam session where every member of the band played some kind of percussion instrument (bongos, bass drum, tambourine), it was Bruce Kulick’s time to shine as he shredded on “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

 

Brewer then took center stage to trade verses with Carl on “Some Kind Of Wonderful.” He then returned to the drums to continue the party with the sing-a-long “I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home.”

 

The show closed with a raucus version of “We’re An American Band.”

 

That song alone should put them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  

 

It’s amazing that a band that has six platinum and six gold albums to their name and was perhaps the biggest band in the early ‘70s isn’t already in the Rock Hall.

 

I know at least 2,200 fans in Cleveland that agree with me.

Review and Photos by Greg Drugan

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