The Concert Slut Scores Twice in One Morning!

The concert portfolio for 2013 begins to materialize as ticket sales for artist tours gets seriously underway. There are two hot May Rock concerts happening the same week in Connecticut. Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band on Saturday May 4th at Mohegan Sun Casino Arena and ZZ Top at Oakdale Theatre in Wallingford on Wednesday May 8th.

My close friends know how much of a concert slut I am ūüėČ I have attended on average the past 11 years 20+ concerts a year. I am getting close to the 400 concerts milestone with 44 years of live performances attended.¬†I added these two concerts to that illustrious list of live shows.

1) ZZ Top – La Futura Tour

Its hard to believe that after 40 years we have never seen ZZ Top Live in concert. I knew I had to fix that. That Lil Ol Band From Texas that I first heard and played on college FM radio has a special place in the music of our heart. In 1973 even though we were a college radio station we had a playlist we had to choose and play music from every time we were on the air. I never argued about playing ZZ Top’s¬†Tres Hombres from that list.

Be it “Beer Drinkers & Hell Raisers” or “La Grange” or “Jesus Just Left Chicago” those songs just snap, crackled and popped. I love a power trio group. First there was the super group Cream, followed by the American band Grand Funk Railroad, then ZZ Top. Three musicians creating a crescendo of sound.

They have released 15 studio albums, 8 compilation albums, and 42 singles.  ZZ Top has sold over 25 million albums in the US with additional sales internationally. I thought they had sold more product than that but 25 million is very respectable.

I will have to buy some earplugs because we are dead center in the eight row, psyche!

2) Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band

I am a stone cold Seger fan. I have loved the Bob Seger sound ever since Ramblin Gamblin in 1968.

We have seen Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band several times in concert in 17 years. He is tops in our books. The last Connecticut concert date was our first Bob Seger concert, the Hartford Civic Center in 1996. We next saw Bob Seger in 2007 at Madison Square Garden. The last time we caught Bob Seger and company was in Atlantic City, NJ in April of 2011. The Mohegan Sun Show in May will be our 4th Seger concert, that’s how much we love him and his music.

What can you say about one of the best singer/songwriters of our generation. He is Motor City Rock and Roll and so much more.

Now about that new studio album Bob? I’m sure we’ll love it when its time for you to release it.

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Grand Funk Railroad – An American Supergroup

English: Grand Funk Railroad in their heyday!!
Image via Wikipedia

Looking back to the year 1969 there was a lot of great music happening.¬†Grand Funk Railroad¬†began their career on vinyl that year with the recording,¬†On Time¬†released the same month as Woodstock. It didn’t get a lot of first attention on the radio, I know I never heard it. The first single they released was, “Time Machine” in July of 1969. It barely broke through the Billboard Top 50 singles chart. But a bigger future was brewing for Grand Funk Railroad.

Grand Funk (album)
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Grand Funk Railroad started to percolate with their second album,¬†Grand Funk,¬†released at the end of 1969. They were perfectly situated to ride the¬†tsunami wave of the Age of Aquarius 1970 which was a paramount year for music. The red album caught on like wildfire. Everybody I knew was raving about Grand Funk. I wasn’t sold on Grand Funk at all. I thought they were crap to be quite honest with you. I would get into some heated debates with my friends about their sound.

It turned out I was wrong about Grand Funk Railroad (although many music critics agreed with me…). They continued to accelerate on the charts, the radio and with fans. Their third album, Closer to Home broke the band into super group level (it is double platinum). “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” proved to be a major classic hit on progressive FM radio where they would play the entire 10 minute track (it was a 5:31 length single).

Closer to Home
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The three members Don Brewer, Mel¬†Schacher, and Mark Farner featured prominently on the cover of Closer to Home. I bought this album in 1970 as my opinion began to change about Grand Funk Railroad. I regret not ever seeing them live as an original power trio. They hold the record in 1971 of breaking¬†The Beatles’¬†Shea Stadium¬†attendance record by selling out in just 72 hours.

I did get to see Grand Funk Railroad later in my life. I first caught Mark Farner in 2001 at the Milford Oyster Festival for free. That was a cool outside show on Fowler Field.

Then we saw Grand Funk Railroad with Don and Mel at Mohegan Sun‘s Wolf Den. Don took his drum stick and threw it in the air and it landed right at my feet. I have it in my memorabilia collection now. It’s the only drum stick I have ever gotten at a live concert (close to 500 concerts in 42+ years).

I have seen Don Brewer playing drums for Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet Band twice as well.