Ides of March brings classic rock to the Devon scene | Music


DECATUR – The Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater’s second show for the 2021 season will have rock stars filling the stage.

The Ides of March starring Jim Peterik and their special Grand Funk Railroad frontman Mark Farner will perform on Friday, May 28 at the Nelson Park Outdoor Concert Hall.

Ides of March has a characteristic brassy sound in songs such as their 1970 classic “Vehicle”.

Mark Farner, leader of Grand Funk Railroad, will be on stage Friday May 28 at the Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater.


Devon will be one of the first post-COVID shows for Ides of March. The group, which also consists of band members Larry Millas on guitar, Bob Bergland on bass and Mike Borch on drums, have rehearsed weekly during the pandemic. “Just to prevent rust,” said Peterik. “We got together to make sure the chemistry was still there.”

The Friday night show is a starting point for the group.

“Devon will set the tone for everything else,” said Peterik.

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Peterik is also a former member of Survivor, co-writing several of their biggest hits, such as “The Search is Over”, “High on You” and “Eye of the Tiger”. He started the group in 1977, leaving it after 18 years. “We made great music,” he said of his time with the band.

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The musician defines his style as melodic rock, although one of his songs co-written with Sammy Hagar, “Heavy Metal”, showed its heavier side. “But it’s as heavy as we go,” said Peterik.

The Ides of March brass section easily relates to several of his songs, such as “Eye of the Tiger,” according to Peterik. “It brings down the house,” he said.

Peterik’s songwriting can also be heard in the music for .38 Special. Songs such as “Hold on Loosely” and “Caught up in You” have been successful for the southern rock band. “I’m like the sixth member of the .38 special,” he said. “The Ides have their own arrangements of these songs.”

Farner, guitarist of Grand Funk Railroad, will open for Ides of March. The two classic rock musicians pair well during live performances, according to Peterik. “The successes that we both bring to the party, our chemistry is phenomenal,” he said.

The return to the stage was a thrill for Farner. “We were biting,” he said. Farner has had few opportunities to perform since theaters reopened. “I don’t know if our feet have touched the stage yet,” he said of a recent show. “We were just edified by being able to play music again. “

The audience was also just as excited, according to Farner. “People were showing special appreciation,” he said.

Grand Funk is a classic rock band known for hits such as “We’re an American Band”, “Bad Time” and “I’m Your Captain”. Their remakes of “Locomotion” and “Some Kind of Wonderful” are favorites of many classic rock fans.

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Although Farner has been performing for around 50 years, he said he was always excited and nervous before every show. “And I think it’s healthy to stay in that frame of mind. Never get to the point where you’re not a little nervous in your stomach, ”he said. “I still have butterflies and I try to keep that energy and bring it to the fore.”

PHOTOS: Devon Lakeshore Amphitheater

Contact Donnette Beckett at (217) 421-6983. Follow her on Twitter: @donnettebHR

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