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Lakes Jam sets record weekend

Lakes Jam in Brainerd Minnesota, just hit a major milestone, with a record crowd on Saturday. Performers included, all girl AC/DC tribute group, ThundHerStruck, followed by Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, (Thomas formed a new Starship when the group broke up in the early nineties) and have been touring and making music ever since. Uncle Kracker would open for Poison frontman Bret Michaels who would then close out the night.

Lakes Jam Performers
Shannon Northbird

As it was for the past few days, Lakes Jam organizers continued to battle the rain and flooding and they made the most of it. You could hardly walk around without your shoes being soaked. In some places, the water wasn’t bad, in others you could easily put your entire shoe underwater. It would have been highly recommended that you bring some water proof boots, at least until you reached drier areas. But the flooding and rain didn’t’ stop the fans of Bret Michaels and Uncle Kracker from coming out. At one point in the general concert area, there were even a few mud wrestling competitions going on, It didn’t look like it was planned, just happened. VIP’s could safely watch from the other side should they choose to tune in.

Although it rained and lightly created some flooding in areas, the festival rolled on, and people came out to have a good time. Towards the afternoon the sun began to shine, everyone rocked with ThundHerStruck singing the words to just about every song, as the AC/DC endorsed group rocked the stage. The group is from California, so they are used to it being sunny, but probably not drenched with rain, unless it’s water coming from the surf. The group performed “We Salute You”, “Shook Me All Night Long,” and “Hells Bells.” Lead singer Dyna Shirasaki, who plays as former AC/DC frontman Bon Scott and mixes it up with current frontman Brian Johnson, had some amazing energy, along with Tina Wood, who was born and raised in England, as Angus Young. She hopped across the stage, and played some mean guitar riffs that were spot on with the original. Shirasaki has the facial expressions and mannerisms down perfectly. Her voice sounds just as raspy and she can let it out just like the boys.

Eighties sensation super group Starship would take the stage next. Although the band is not the original members, founding original member Mickey Thomas went out and formed a new Starship. The pairing of Thomas and Stephanie Calvert was absolutely brilliant. The chemistry and vocal blending was amazing. The energy that they both have, clearly make them standout in the group. Thomas who is a legend in his own right, still sounded incredible, his vocals were strong and clear. They performed hits like “Sara,” “We Built This City” and “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” which featured Calvert, who did an amazing job with Thomas.

Uncle Kracker would follow Starship, which by then a crowd was beginning to gather in the general area of the stage. Kracker, whose real name is Matthew Shafer, performed all his hits like “Smile,” “Drift Away,” which is a remake of the John Henry Kurtz song, later recorded by Dobie Gray, spanning a number one hit, years later Kracker and Gray would re-record the song, making it a hit for Kracker. He also performed “Follow Me,” and “In A Little While.”
Regional artist Chris Hawkey would take the stage next saluting the troops with an original song, while crews behind him, prepared the stage for Bret Michaels.

Michaels wasn’t the only star attraction of the festival that people were really anticipating on seeing, everyone seemed to be enjoying all the performances. The weather seemed to hold off, as the rain that was forecasted missed the area, which only made it another perfect night of music. Michaels began his show, pretty much running around and jumping up and down, raising his arms up and stirring up an already wild crowd. He opened the show with Poison’s “Talk Dirty To Me,” followed by “Look What The Cat Dragged In.”

Michaels had a spectacular tribute to the armed forces in attendance at the festival, inviting them all on stage and shook hands with each and every one of them. The crowd looked like a sea of ships with phones imitating the motion of the sea during “Every Rose Has Its Thorn.” Michaels’ set seemed to be rather short for a headliner, but nonetheless, he sure entertained this crowd and made it a festival to remember. Michaels said that he felt like was having the biggest party tonight, and added that we’re going to have to bring back Poison for next year. Whether that was something in the works, or just Michaels in the moment, we will have wait until next year to see.