Friday June 18, 2021
By: Joseph Suto
It had been fifteen months since my last concert. I was finally able to see a show Friday night at the Batavia Downs. Former Grand Funk Railroad singer/lead guitarist Mark Farner and his American Band performed. Farner was a last minute replacement for Vince Neil, the singer from Motley Crue who was originally scheduled but had to bow out due to vocal issues.
Farner of course was with Grand Funk Railroad during their prime and featured many of their classic hits and a few rarities as well. Farner saved the crowd pleasers for the end opting to close with “The Loco-Motion” and “Some Kind Of Wonderful”.
He saved the gem of the band’s catalog for last as he should have. I’m Your Captain (Closer To Home), although reaching only #22 in 1970, was still quite a feat at the time considering that it clocked in a shade over ten minutes. It is still considered one of the greatest songs ever recorded. Another song that really stood out was the CSN&Y cover of “Ohio”. Simply one of the best covers I’ve ever heard.
Backing Farner was a very capable group led by bassist Paul Randolph, keyboardist Bernie Powell and drummer Hubert Crawford. These cats could play and complimented Farner quite well.
The lone downside was the attendance. Obviously due to the short notice and Covid-19 protocols just starting to loosen, those played a big factor with the low turn out along with the threat of rain. Luckily the rain stayed away and those who did attend were treated to a great show that is only the start to what should be a very memorable summer out at the Batavia Downs this year.
Are You Ready
Rock & Roll Soul
We’re An American Band
Sin’s A Good Man’s Brother
Drum and Percussion solo
Some Kind Of Wonderful
I’m Your Captain (Closer To Home)