Grand Funk Railroad
Mohegan Sun Wolf Den
July 26, 2014
Grand Funk Railroad rocked the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun Saturday night. Yes, we all know it’s not the orginal band and the backstory leading up to this tour. Two original members left and other band members have come and gone. There will always be the Grand Funk then and the Grand Funk now. As someone who first saw Grand Funk Railroad for the first time in 1970 I came into tonight’s show with high expectations. Those expectations were met and frankly exceeded. I admit it’s not and never will be the same band we all reminisce about when they were selling out stadiums in the 1970’s and that Mark Farner energy and sound. Well Max Carl comes as close as I think anyone can.
All the current Grand Funk members have long pedigrees and fan followings of their own so they sounded right and engaged freely with the audience. The band has fine tuned the collection to give each member a small tribute to their roots, keep the mainstream “bread and butter” hits in the mix and still come in at a little under an hour and a half. With 45 years of history how do you pick a mix that can please everyone?
The night started out with Bottle Rocket, Rock & Roll Soul and Footstompin Music. Mid concert was Second Chance, a tribute to Max’s earlier days with .38 Special and then Don Brewer threw down about a 10 minute drum solo that he pulled off flawlessly and was a crowd pleaser. Mel Schacher and Tim Cashion with Inside Looking Out, then Bruce Kulick coaxed his guitar through the electric version of the Star Spangled Banner. Some Kind of Wonderful and “Everybody’s doing the brand new dance yeah” The Loco-Motion went over great and had fans up and dancing.
The Mohegan Sun Wolf Den is an intimate venue with only a couple hundred seats, therefore artists and audience interactions are easy. When Max Carl started with I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home) it quicky turned into a sing along. We all knew these songs, they are the soundtracks of our lives. The amazing thing is they are also the soundtacks to our kids lives. Truly engrained in America’s fabric.
The encore of We’re an American Band had most of the crowd on their feet and enjoying the moment. The memories everyone has of blasting down the road head banging the summer nights away, air guitaring the well know notes of our youth. All in all a very good night with a mix of old and new. A Grand Funk Railroad that is still great, just a little different. Looking around the crowd all I saw were happy smiling faces. Grand Funk Railroad ended the night with a smiling, happy crowd. Hey, isn’t that what we all came out for? “Feelin’ good, feelin’ right, it’s Saturday night”
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris