COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: Rockin' Fall Break
This past weekend I went up to Northern Lights Casino in Walker, MN for their “Rockin’ Fall Break.”
The “Rockin’ Fall Break took place over two nights and featured, Great White, Nelson and Dokken. I am a huge fan of all three bands and I could not wait to see them all in concert.
Friday night Great White was the headliner. I have been a fan of Great White since their huge hit “Once Bitten Twice Shy” came out in 1989. They have been recording albums and touring for 30 years now. They have also gone through some line-up changes over the years, but I think that they have the best group of musicians right now.
Mark Kendall is Great White’s lead guitar player and one of the original members of Great White since 1977 when the band formed. Michael Lardie plays rhythm guitar, keyboards, and harmonica and background vocals. Terry llouse is the lead singer for Great White. Audie Desbrow plays the drums and percussions. Scott Snyder plays bass.
Before Great White’s concert I got the opportunity to do a quick interview with them. I would have to say that they are one of the friendliest groups of guys that I have met. They were very nice and joked around a lot.
They just released a new album called, “Elation” and it was produced and co-produced by Michael Lardie and Mark Kendall. Great White recorded “Elation” in 37 days and I asked them questions about it. It is such a great album. It’s fresh and sounds amazing.
At 8pm Great White hit the stage and for over one hour they rocked the crowd and made everyone go crazy. There were a ton of people at the show and everyone was on their feet as soon as “Great White” opened with “Desert.” They played all of their hits and even played some new songs off of “Elation.”
I really like the distinct bluesy sound of Great White. I also think that Terry llouse has an amazing voice. It is so powerful. All of the band members are so energetic and it’s fun to watch them interact with each other and the crowd.
Then after their show, all of the band members of Great White came out and signed autographs and took pictures with fans. I thought that this was great, because not many bands do this.
Great White is one of those bands that every time they come to Minnesota, I have to go see them.
They are very entertaining and I just love their music.
On Saturday at 5pm Nelson played at Northern Lights Casino. If you are not familiar with Nelson they are the twin sons of musician Ricky and actress Kristen Nelson. Matthew Nelson plays bass and lead vocals and Gunnar plays guitar and lead vocals.
Back in the 90’s I really liked Nelson. My first Nelson cassette was “After the Rain.” I must have listened to that a million times.
I thought that Nelson was great to see in concert. They played for over an hour and the guitar playing was amazing. Nelson is another band that has an outstanding group of talented musicians.
Two of the musicians did solos and when Neil who is one of the guitar players did his, he just blew everyone away. He is a very talented guitar player and I just loved his solo. There were a bunch of people that ran up to the stage to get pictures and to get a better view. It was amazing.
Also when the drummer did his drum solo, he came down on to the stage and did some cool break dancing moves. The crowd loved it and cheered him on.
I really enjoyed seeing Nelson in concert. It was the first time I had seen them and I would defiantly go see them again when they come back to Minnesota.
At 8 p.m., Dokken took stage and Northern Lights Casino was packed. When Don Dokken got on stage and sang the first few lines of “Just Got Lucky,” the whole entire venue jumped to their feet, started fist pumping and singing along.
Dokken played everything from metal to ballads. It was such a great show. The music was fast, loud and powerful.
For me, the thing that made Dokken’s show great was that in between songs, Don would tell a story about the song he was about to sing. This was the first time I had heard these stories so for me it was very entertaining and interesting.
At the beginning of the show, Don said that he was sorry, but he had some laryngitis. That didn’t seem to affect his singing and he still sounded amazing.
Don also said that Northern Lights Casino in Walker was one of the last stops on their tour and that they were going to play a longer set. He kept his promise and Dokken played or well over an hour and a half. It was a great show.
I really enjoyed Northern Lights Casino’s “Rockin’ Fall Break” in Walker, MN. It was two great nights of seeing three great bands. I had so much fun seeing Great White, Nelson and Dokken. I hope that Northern Lights Casino does another concert like this again.
Aaron Chalich is a columnist for KSTP.com blogging about latest entertainment news.