GRAND FUNK RAILROADThe American Band
Reviews from West Palm Beach
December 2, 2000
"BEACH BEATS" December 2000 by Geoff Livingston...
The concert year 2000 came to a close with memorable surprises at MARS, the Carefree Theatre and all of the festivals, and Clear Channel Broadcasting ended the concert season with a new beginning the premiere performance of the new line-up of Grand Funk Railroad.
Headlining the evening was the "new" Grand Funk Railroad, different in the absence of guitarist/vocalist Mark Farner, who chose not to participate in order to do his solo career. That did not slow down the real backbone of the band, Jupiters own Don Brewer on drums and vocals and Mel Schacher chugging away on bass. They were so tight and inspired during their performance, your eyes could not wander. Add to them Max Carl on vocals and guitar, formerly of 38 Special. His vocals on the Grand Funk tunes were as excellent as the songs he is known for singing, as in their version of Second Chance. On lead guitar is Bruce Kulick from KISS, who shredded the strings and played to the audience. No one missed all the skipping around.
Tim Cashion adds keyboards to the mix and forms a new direction to the sound of the band. All of the hits were played, Were An American Band, Closer To Home, Some Kind of Wonderful, and everyone was enthralled.
The band was not supposed to start performing as this new lineup for another few months, and were in the early stages of rehearsal in Detroit when they got the call from Clear Channel Program Director Dave Denver. This new lineup has reinvigorated the band, and judging from their debut performance in West Palm Beach, this is no oldies tour, but a solid rock & roll band with new material and a positive outlook. Their new take on old songs, the solid drum circle interlude and new material made all in attendance lucky to be at the debut and also a splendid end to the year 2000 concert season.
Andy Preston, Music Director of WKGR-FM, West Palm Beach, FL...
"FROM "THE NAME OF THIS SONG IS ROCK AND ROLL SOUL" TO THE RINGING ECHOES OF THE CHUCK BERRY ENCORE SOMETHING SPECIAL EMERGED ON STAGE IN WEST PALM BEACH. THE NEW 5 PIECE LINE-UP FOR GRAND FUNK RAILROAD SERVED NOTICE THAT THEYRE BACK AND READY TO KEEP THE ROCK ROLLING."
"...GOT HOT SHOT FREE AGENTS BRUCE KULICK, TIM CASHION, AND MAX CARL TO BE THE NEW GRAND FUNK RAILROAD FOR 2001."
"THE RESULT WAS A NIGHT OF TUNES THAT WOULD SATISFY ANY GRAND FUNK FAN FROM ANY ERA. ALL THE RADIO HITS WERE THERE..."
"DON AND MEL KNOW WHAT THEYRE DOING AND WHAT THEY WANT. THEY GOT PROVEN TALENT WITH EXPERIENCE IN EXACTLY THIS KIND OF SITUATION AND ITS GELLED. NOW ITS READY TO BE UNLEASHED ON A TOWN NEAR YOU THIS SPRING AND SUMMER. THIS WILL BE A SHOW YOU WONT DARE MISS. HEY, ITS THE YEAR 2001, THE BOYS HAVE RAISED THE STAKES, BIGGER BAND, MORE MUSIC, MORE FUN. CATCH AHOLD OF IT. "
Wanda from Mississippi...
"A new beginning for GFR, and believe me it didn't take long for me to figure out that we have a winner. What an amazing combination of talents those guys are."
"As we were sitting at sound check and I heard those first few notes being played, I was immediately covered with goose bumps."
"The show was packed with energy from the minute the guys stepped on stage. I enjoyed every minute of the performance and was just worn out from the jumping, screaming, clapping and everything."
"The guys were all having fun on stage, you could just see it, and watch out for Mel,
he's got leather pants and he's been turned loose, what a show. Max has one of the most beautiful voices I've ever heard and added his own special touches to the music. You are gonna love this guy. Tim did a very impressive performance on the keyboard, and the guy is so nice he's like the boy next door. Bruce just absolutely rocked on guitar."
"GFR is reborn! Come on and ride the railroad one more time!"
Ralph from Mississippi...
"The sound has all the feel of old with each of the new members adding something of their own personality and talent to them..."
"Mel was unleashed and he is an animal."
"The crowd was completely into the show. The energy was there. As I looked back really hard on my memories of it I have to say this show was closer to the energy and feel of the Live album than Bosnia. The drum solo absolutely kicked ass!!!!! Its something out of this world."
Shock from Delaware...
"The remodeled Grand Funk Railroad arrived at the West Palm Beach Station Saturday night and if ya didn't feel it....you missed a chance to capture a special moment."
Daryll from Florida...
"This ain't your old Grand Funk anymore."
"...the biggest thing that hit me with the opening number was that the energy, power and attitude were back."
"leaner, meaner, louder, faster."
"...Bruce kicked into what would turn into a wicked, sleazy version of Inside Looking Out."
"All and all, a rousing, up-lifting show..."
Jimmy from New Jersey...
"From the opening notes I was impressed with how fresh and clean the band sounded. I have never, never, never seen Mel enjoy himself so much...moving, smiling, jamming with the others...it was really refreshing. All the sounds sounded great and Bruce is one hell of a guitar player....his solo on Inside Looking Out was totally awesome."
"WAAB was totally up front and in your face....the best I've heard it done."
"I think everybody was wondering what the new GFR would sound like, well....we found out...they sound friggin' great....all I can say is, go see them, you will not be disappointed."
Bill from Ohio...
"It may not be our old Grand Funk. But, this new incarnation will certainly carry the tradition into a new era. That famous GFR bottom was still there. But, there was also a new, sharp edge to the music that everybody seemed to enjoy. A different sound, certainly. But, one that had a newer feeling to it."
"...Don, Mel, Max, Bruce, and Tim certainly bring back the memories as well as giving a little extra -- something new, exciting, and modern."
"There's a lot of musical talent and experience on stage."
Tom from Florida...
"On Dec. 2, 2000 several thousand fortunate visitors and residents of West Palm Beach witnessed the triumphant return of Grand Funk Railroad..."
"The newly re-tooled and refitted GFR received an overwhelming response and extinguished any doubts in the minds of the people attending whether the renovated band deserves to continue on as Grand Funk Railroad."
"There is magic at a Grand Funk concert that I have never experienced watching any other band and the magic returned to West Palm Beach."
"We didn't have to say anything. We just knew we were experiencing something exceptional. This was raw and powerful stuff."
"After the third song Max asked the crowd how the band was doing and he received a thunderous roar of approval."
"There was a freshness evident in the band and they obviously respect and enjoy each others company."
"Mel, the world's greatest bass player, is turning into a madman on stage and apparently enjoying it immensely."
"Don is of course an amazing drummer and consummate entertainer. The new drum thing is
"...it was apparent that the mighty Grand Funk Railroad is alive and well."
Stan and Tia from Virginia...
"Sound check was our first inkling that something special was about to happen...yes Virginia, Grand Funk Railroad was back!!!!! A few more tunes and a preview of "the drum thing" further convinced us that a group of professional musicians was going to perform later that day. This was going to be good. Really good."
"If you closed your eyes and simply listened, the avalanche of sound pouring out of the new line-up was a combination of two things: 1) vintage Grand Funk and 2) a new and different Grand Funk. But, it was still Grand Funk Railroad."
"The band has obviously worked very hard at replicating the essence of Grand Funk's signature sound. Maybe it's the fact that the "anchors", Mel and Don, are there, and they are making certain that the delivered product is true to form. Maybe the fact that Max, Bruce and Tim are also working to give GFR's fans what they expect to hear is part of the answer. Whatever the reasons, the average GFR fan will, in our opinion, be extremely pleased by what they hear. Was the vintage GFR sound there? Oh yeah, in spades!"
"What was new and different in the sound? Almost unbelievably, the band that just about broke the mold after creating their signature power trio, arena-filling sound, has picked up an "edge" with an attitude."
"Bruce brings his many years of experience to the stage with a typical heavy metal player's attitude - "if you think you're as good as me, put your amp next to mine and we'll find out, dude"."
"...Mel has been "unleashed", both physically and musically. Having him physically out front adds tremendously to the overall visual performance. But, having him pull that overdrive box out of his closet and cranking his bass tone back into high gear matches perfectly with Bruce's aggressive tone. Welcome back, Mel."
"The bottom line is that Grand Funk Railroad is touring again. While the names and faces have changed, the sound has not. In fact, the sound may be even better than what we've all come to expect. What's better is an overall sound that has picked up a sharper "edge", a stage that has the three front musicians having a blast playing to the crowd, and, finally, a new set list."
"Grand Funk Railroad kicked some major butts in West Palm Beach, and we were glad to say we were there. If you've been waiting patiently for GFR to return from a two year break, wait no more. This is one serious-sounding rock and roll band with members who are very happy to be where they are. Don't miss them if they "come to your town", they *will* "help you party it down"!!!"
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