Shooting Star with Mark Farner, Pat Travers & Black Oak Arkansas

Shooting Star with Mark Farner, Pat Travers and Black Oak Arkansas
Cricket Wireless Amphitheater
Bonner Springs, Kansas
August 4, 2012

Shooting Star Setlist:
Tonight | Higher | Are You on My Side | Flesh and Blood | You’ve Got What I Need | Push It Away | Voodoo in Your Hoodoo | Touch Me Tonight | Hollywood | Breakout | Hang on for Your Life | Last Chance

Bring It On

Mark Farner Setlist:
Are You Ready | Rock & Roll Soul | Footstompin’ Music | Aimless Lady | Paranoid | Bad Time | The Loco-Motion | Some Kind of Wonderful | I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)

Pat Travers Setlist
Rock ‘N’ Roll Susie | Crash and Burn | Heat in the Street | I’ve Got News for You | Black Betty | Josephine | Red House | Snortin’ Whiskey | Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights)

Black Oak Arkansas Set List
Plugged In and Wired | Hot Rod | Uncle Lijah | Post Toastee | Happy Hooker | Hot and Nasty | Lord Have Mercy on My Soul | Jim Dandy

Kansas City’s hometown rock and roll heroes, Shooting Star, headlined a stellar evening of music that included performances by Jim Dandy’s Black Oak Arkansas, Pat Travers and Grand Funk Railroad founding member Mark Farner on a beautiful evening in Bonner Springs, Kansas. The summer drought and heat wave took an evening off for the music and the result was a crowd as hungry for the music as they were for the cooler temperatures.

The show began with local band Racy Grace who, after a short set, gave center stage to the wild-eyed, scrub board playing redneck, Jim Dandy and Black Oak Arkansas. Dandy put on the same type of show he has put on for years, keeping rhythm on his old fashioned laundry implement and hopping around the stage. His gruff voice fits the tunes “Hot Rod” and “Uncle Lijah” like a glove. Tommy Bolin’s brother, Johnnie, is a member of the band so “Post Toastee” was performed in his honor. The short set closed with the classic “Jim Dandy.”

Next up was Pat Travers, one of the most underrated guitarists and rock and roll songwriters in the history of the genre. While he only got nine songs, Travers and band made them most of them, as the crowd rocked out to each note. Travers used the festival atmosphere, and the short set, to have some fun and perform some remakes, including “Black Betty” by Ram Jam, “I’ve Got News for You” by Ray Charles and Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House.” As fun as those tunes were, the highlights were “Rock ‘N’ Susie,” “Crash and Burn” and “Heat in the Street.” Of course, the crowd really came to life during Travers’ biggest hits, “Snortin’ Whiskey” and “Boom Boom (Out Go the Lights).”

Travers proved his creativity is still very much intact as he preformed a newer tune, “Josephine” from his latest album, Fidelis. At the end of the day, Travers remains a true champion of rock and roll guitar, delivering his music with the type of funky, bluesy rock sounds that only he can pump out.

Next up was Mark Farner, most famous for being the main songwriter in Grand Funk Railroad. Farner wasted no time getting the crowd dancing in the isles as he opened with two boogie rock classics, “Are You Ready” and “Rock & Roll Soul.” Once the on switch was flicked there was no stopping him, as he blasted out “Foostompin’ Music,” “Paranoid” and “Bad Time” amazing the crowd with his pentatonic scale guitar solos and his spot on vocals. Farner sounded good – damn good – as he put 100% of himself into his performance.

While the crowd enjoyed dancing to “The Loco-Motion” it was the final song of the set, “I’m Your Captain” that was the best song performed of the evening. This classic tune sprung to life, not a speck of dust gathered on its 42 year old groove. The song built up as it went along and Farner pushed himself to the limits, triumphantly leaving the stage at the end of the classic tune.

The last band of the night, despite selling fewer records than those who opened for them, was Shooting Star. A Kansas City classic who still pack the house with their fans, lovingly called The Maniacs, Shooting Star are the winners of the Should Have Made It contest. Tonight’s performance welcomed back vocalist Keith Mitchell into the band and when he stepped up to the microphone and sang the first words to “Tonight” from the band’s self-titled debut, the audience went crazy.

Shooting Star opened with four of their most popular songs, “Tonight,” “Higher,” “Flesh and Blood,” which featured amazing violin by Janet Jameson, and the rockin’ “You’ve Got What I Need.” The crowd of Maniacs were on their feet, singing along with every word. Suddenly, however, Mitchell left the stage while three horn players and three background vocalists took the stage.

Shooting Star founder, Van McLain has a fabulous solo album out titled New Blue that shows the talented guitarist and vocalist’s love of the blues. The band performed two songs, “Push It Away” and “Voodoo in Your Hoodoo.” The bluesy rock tunes were a huge hit with the crowd with “Voodoo in Your Hoodoo” being so damn good people were dancing around like it was an old song they were hearing for the 1000th time.

After the solo tunes, Mitchell returned to the stage and keyboardist Dennis Lafoon struck the opening notes to one of Shooting Star’s most well known songs, “Touch Me Tonight.” After the hit, the rest of the main set focused on the band’s first two albums as they performed “Hollywood,” “Breakout,” “Hang On For Your Life” and the massive hit “Last Chance.”

After “Last Chance” a true rock and roll anthem that features drum solos, bass runs on the keyboard, organ solos and plenty of hard rocking guitars, the band left the stage. Their Maniacs made sure they came back out and played one last tune, however. Shooting Star returned and played “Bring It On” from their first album.

The entire evening, from the weather to the rock and roll, was a huge hit as Shooting Star, and every other act on the bill, brought it on and kept flying the flag for real music that matters. Hopefully, 2013 will see another headlining concert from the Kansas City Superstars featuring more great supporting acts.

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