Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad concert – Shellabration 2010 Pictures!

A few days have passed since I saw Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad live in concert for the first time. And my ears have finally stopped ringing. Over five hours of live music packed a whole lot of value into the price of admission. Although I got my tickets for free, this show would have been well worth actually buying tickets for. Each year Fort Dodge, IA hosts a “Shellabration” where they bring a few acts to town for one awesome night of concerts, and those bands this year were Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad, with the opener Hell or High Water.

Gates opened at 5 PM and we arrived to the Fort Dodge Soccer fields around that time and got amazing seats, right in front of the stage! Kicking the night off, Hell or High Water took the stage around 5:30 and played some of their original songs as well as some classic covers originally done by Johnny Cash and Jim Morrison. Based out of Fort Dodge itself, the opening act actually sounded really good. They were a bit goofy and “out there”, but there’s nothing wrong with that! Not only are they a solid Iowa band, they are on a mission: “Saving the world one beer at a time.” I would definitely recommend checking out their website for photos and sound clips, along with lots of other cool features.

The second performance of the night was what made me go to “Shellabration 2010” in the first place. Night Ranger.

80s Glam Rock Band, Night Ranger

“Night Ranger” officially began in 1982 after changing it’s original name (Ranger, formed in 1979) due to the country band “The Rangers” claimed copyright infringement. The early 80s lineup of Jack Blades, Kelly Keagy, Brad Gillis, Alan Fitzgerald, and Jeff Watson proved to be the most successful time for the band with three platinum records – Dawn Patrol (’82), Midnight Madness (’83), and Seven Wishes (’85). Night Ranger’s 8 most prominent hits came from these albums – “Don’t Tell Me You Love Me,” “Sing Me Away,” “(You Can Still) Rock In America,” “Sister Christian,” “When You Close Your Eyes,” “Sentimental Street,” “Four In The Morning,” and “Goodbye.” (I recommend checking these songs out on youtube!)

I think that’s enough background info on Night Ranger. How about starting with my Night Ranger concert experience. They took the stage around 7:00 opening with a song I wasn’t and still am not familiar with, but quickly started playing nearly all of the hits listed above as well as several others including “Secret of My Success” and “Eddie’s Coming Out Tonight.” They also performed a few Damn Yankee songs (Jack Blades was one of the Damn Yankee members in 1990 along with Tommy Shaw of Styx, Ted Nugent and Michael Cartellone) “Coming of Age” and “High Enough.”

Click this picture to see all of my 180+ Night Ranger concert pictures

The current lineup of Blades on bass/lead vocals, Keagy on drums/lead vocals, Gillis on guitar, Joel Hoekstra on guitar, and Christian Cullen on keyboards played for a good two hours and proved that they indeed still can rock in America, especially on the night before our great country’s Independence Day!

"The American Band" Grand Funk Railroad

Finally, the headliner of the show, Grand Funk Railroad, took the stage around 9 and performed right up until 11 with their biggest hits “The Locomotion,” “Some Kind Of Wonderful,” and their closing song, “We’re An American Band,” along with many other great songs.

Led by their drummer and founding member Don Brewer, the rest of the GFR lineup included Max Carl on lead vocals, Bruce Kulick on guitar, Tim Cashion on keyboards, and Mel Schacher on bass guitar. Although Brewer and Schacher are the only two remaining original members, Grand Funk still sounded great with amazing harmonies, phenominal guitar and drum solos, and everything else that makes a rock band truly rock.

Click the picture for all of my GFR pictures

All in all, July 3, 2010 was a great night full of rockin’ and rollin’ and I’ve now got just over a month to prepare for my next concert, REO Speedwagon and Pat Benatar (August 17 at the Iowa State Fair). I had a blast seeing Night Ranger and Grand Funk Railroad, but REO Speedwagon is what I’m really excited for. Until next time, Keep. Rocking. In America!

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