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GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Written By: Gary Crouthamel
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GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Grand Funk Railroad
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Grand Funk Railroad
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Grand Funk Railroad
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Bruce Kulick
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Bruce Kulick
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Don Brewer
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Don Brewer
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Max Carl
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Max Carl
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Mel Schacher
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Mel Schacher
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Tim Cashion
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD at FREEMAN
Tim Cashion
Grand Funk Railroad
50th Anniversary "We're an American Band Tour" 2023
Freeman Arts Pavilion  •  Saturday, June 24, 2023


On a very hot and humid evening, Grand Funk Railroad pulled into the Freeman Arts Pavilion on their 50th Anniversary "We're an American Band Tour 2023".  I have to say as I walked up to the box office to pick up my credentials, I don’t think I had ever seen a line of people that stretched that far down the street to get into the venue.  They told me that it was a sold-out show with 3600 people, the most the venue has ever sold.

There was no opening act so Grand Funk Railroad took the stage at 8:00 PM with original members Don Brewer on drums, Mel Schacher on Bass, and newest members frontman Max Carl, who has been with the band since 2000 and previously played with .38 Special, lead guitarist Bruce Kulick who previously played with KISS for 12 years, and Tim Cashion on keyboards.

They opened with "Rock & Roll Soul", "Footstompin' Music", and "Shinin' On."  They used this trio of songs to get warmed up before going into "Heartbreaker", a hit from their very first album On Time from 1969.  Now Carl addresses the crowd by saying, “I want everybody to get up out of your seats and sing along to this next song," which was "The Loco-Motion", a cover by Carole King.  After the song Carl now says, "You are sounding good, Delaware, and are we having a good time so far?"   To which the sold-out crowd answers with a rousing applause.  Next up was "Walk Like a Man", with Brewer singing and Kulick playing a killer guitar solo.  Next was "Sky High", and then "Second Chance", written by Max Carl and recorded with .38 Special in 1989 when it became their biggest hit.  Now Carl starts explaining the history of musical instruments before all members put down their instruments and each picks up some kind of drum.  The sound becomes deafening with Carl alternating between a bass drum and harmonica as they jam to the song "Percussion Circle / Lightning and Thunder".  Next up, Kulick takes over solo duties and plays "The Star Spangled Banner", a la Jimi Hendrix style, with the entire crowd coming to their feet as the song went into "Inside Looking Out", an Animals cover from their 1969 album Grand Funk.  Now after a quick band intro, Brewer walks center stage and leads into "Some Kind of Wonderful", recorded by "Soul Brothers Six" in 1967. He starts the vocals while banging two drumsticks together before Carl took the next verse,  then heads back to his drum kit.  Cushion next gets his moment to shine with a keyboard intro that led into "I'm Your Captain" (Closer to Home), with Carl now asking the crowd to sing with him.  The crowd would sing the lyrics "I'm getting closer to my home" and Carl would add ‘Delaware’ at the end. The final song of the night was the most recognizable song by Grand Funk Railroad: "We're an American Band", where Brewer comes to the front of the stage wearing an oversized Uncle Sam American Flag hat and says "God Bless America" as he went back to his drum kit with Kulick playing an American Flag guitar that ended the 80-minute concert. There was no encore but I think everyone at this show had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it as I did; I did not see a single person leaving until the show ended.  The tour  goes through December, so check out the website and see if you can catch them at a venue somewhere. You will not be disappointed   http://www.grandfunkrailroad.com

Gary Crouthamel, Concert Photojournalist
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