“The American Band” is coming to Missouri on Friday, July 22, as Grand Funk Railroad travels to Lampe to play the Black Oak Amphitheater.
With 19 charted singles, eight Top 40 hits and two No. 1 singles, Grand Funk Railroad has accumulated 13 gold and 10 platinum records, with record sales in excess of 25 million copies sold worldwide.
Grand Funk Railroad Drummer and Founding Member Don Brewer shared some insight as to what audiences can expect at their show later this month.
“It’s really a high energy rock ’n’ roll show based on Grand Funk Railroad music. We focus on the hits,” Brewer said. “We know that the people want to hear the hit songs, so they’re going to hear ‘Some Kind of Wonderful,’ ‘I’m Your Captain Closer to Home,’ ‘Inside Looking Out,’ ‘We’re an American Band,’ ‘The Loco-Motion,’ as well as a few other things. It’s a great show, it really is.”
Alongside Brewer, the band features the talents of Mel Schacher, Max Carl, Tim Cashion and Bruce Kulick. As for coming to Lampe to play at the Black Oak Amp, Brewer expressed the group’s love for playing at amphitheaters.
“We’ve done quite a few this year. We’ve been working some shows with Kid Rock and doing a lot of outdoor amphitheaters. It’s been awesome,” Brewer said. “It gets a little weather intense sometimes as you have rain and wind and all that and storms going on, other than that it’s gravy. If you’ve got a beautiful night, it couldn’t be better for rock ’n’ roll. It really is.”
While he’s certain the band has played in southwest Missouri at some point during the group’s career, Brewer said it has been a while.
“Over the course of 50 years, we’ve been through the Missouri area many, many times,” Brewer said. “We really focus on playing a lot of places that are not really on the coast, you know. We do a lot of stuff that’s in the heart of the country and that kind of stuff and we always have. Even back in our heyday in the early ‘70s. We were probably one of the first bands to get out there and play in rodeo arenas and that kind of stuff. It’s always been that kind of a thing for us.”
Compared to many bands who live on a tour bus and travel from gig to gig, Brewer shared they began doing things a little different a couple of decades ago.
“We’ve been touring with this particular band for 22 years and we go out and we do 40 to 45 shows a year, which keeps us all very busy. We all live in different parts of the country, so we don’t get on a bus and go night after night after night across the country,” Brewer said. “We do about 40 or 45 shows, but it’s mostly weekends. We’ll go out on Friday and come back on Sunday. We’re home most of the time. We’re all family guys and we like touring this way. We’ve been doing this now for 22 years this way. It works pretty well.”
Brewer shared the band is always working on new music, but at this time they’re not working to release any singles or albums.
“Over the course of the history of this band we’re always working on music and we work it into the show,” Brewer said. “Sometimes we’ll go into the studio to record stuff and we don’t have any immediate plans to put out any new product. But we’re always working on new stuff.”
Now on the heels of the pandemic, Brewer shared, the band is grateful for the opportunity to once again be touring.
“I’ve got to say during that time period, the year to year and a half that everybody had to stay home, we were kind of shaking in our shoes wondering if we’re ever going to get back to some kind of normal life where we can tour again,” Brewer said, “When we were able to get back out last July, it’s been about a year now. It was really a blessing. We really were wondering if we would ever get to get back on stage again.”
As to what the members of Grand Funk Railroad missed the most during the pandemic, Brewer said the people.
“The audiences are always first for us, you know,” Brewer said. “We love to get out on stage and watch an audience light up and recognize the songs and have a good time with us for an hour and a half. That’s really what it’s all about.”
Over the years the members of the band have changed, but Brewer said the heart behind their music remains the same.
“I’ve been the drummer ever since the inception. To me it’s really still a high energy Grand Funk Railroad rock ’n’ roll show. What we did back in the early ‘70s was based on what was going on at that time. It was wild and crazy times back then and we were young. We were 20 to 25 years old,” Brewer said. “Now here we are in our ‘70s and that’s different. But really the show and the music lives on I think, which is why we’re able to still do it. I just think that the music that was created all those many years ago is still very honest rock ’n’ roll and people still appreciate it.”
Speaking directly to those thinking about coming out to the show on July 22, Brewer issued a special invitation.
“I’d love to see everybody come on out and have a good time. We’re really looking forward to it,” Brewer said. “We’re doing Lampe and then we’re going up to St. Louis and doing a show the following day and so it’s going to be a nice trip to Missouri for us.”
Joining Grand Funk Railroad that night at the Black Oak Amp will be Foghat with Shawn Campbell and The Band Rescue. The concert will run from 7 to 11 p.m. The courtyard at the venue will open at 4:30 p.m. and the doors into the amphitheater itself will open at 5:30 p.m.
The Black Oak Amphitheater is located at 1728 State Highway H in Lampe.
For additional information or to reserve tickets email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit blackoakamp.com.