Lakes Jam – Brainerd International Raceway – Brainerd MN – June 23rd – 26th 2021

Lakes Jam comes back after a year off because of reasons we all know too well. To say that we were all excited to get back to live entertainment is an understatement.

June 23rd РThe festival kicked off with a pre party of tribute bands on Wednesday night.  The Crown Jewel opened the fest and got us all ready for the weekend. They sounded excellent and each member did their part to sound  like Queen. The Fool Fighters were playing the side tent to fill in the gaps between sets and close out the night late in to the evening. Hairball headlined Wednesday night and brought their whole bombastic stage. Since I last saw them last them they have changed the line up. Freaky and Randy have moved on and Brian is on Bass and Dave has come in to fill on vocals. They added Cinderella РQuiet Riot РLoverboy and a few more since I last saw them. Dave came over from AC/DC tribute band Thunderstruck so the AC/DC portion was excellent. Also for a special surprise Stephen Pearcy of Ratt came up and sang Lay it Down and Round and Round. He sounded great, which answered some questions I had. Just wondered how he would sound after so much time off. He ripped it up. They have stepped up their game within the last few year. They are almost like the original bands. Go see them if they are by your area. Click HERE for more info on Hairball.

June 24th – Second day was the rock day. I was very excited for the rock day. Autograph started Thursday with their classic 80’s rock sound and ended it with Turn Up the Radio their biggest hit. Kip Winger did an hour acoustic. It was good and he did all the hits but it would have fit better with the full band. All the girl were up front of course for Kip. He even said next time I’ll bring my whole band. Slaughter came out and ripped through all their songs with Mark sounding great. The band has so much energy it is great to see them still rocking. Lita Ford has always been a favorite of mine. She sounded and looked great. Her band has been together for a while and always rock. Bobby Rock is on drums and is funny to think that all of Vinnie Vincent’s Invasion was there but Vinnie. For us KISS fans out there. Ratt headlined to night and no one knew who was gonna be in the band. Well it was Stephen and Juan from the 80’s fame and Pete Holmes on drums, Jordan Ziff on guitar and introducing Frankie Lidia on guitars. He is most know of playing with David Lee Roth in 2020 on a few shows. They sounded awesome. Stephen may have been a little tired at the end but I have seen him at his worse and tonight was fantastic. They did a greatest hits set which fit the crowd perfectly. They played Nobody Rides For Free from the Point Blank soundtrack. That was a surprise. Check them out they have more dates this summer.

June 25th – The next two days were country music. First day started with Ben Johnson stepping in for Sailor Jerri who was out due to illness. He had everyone jamming and Minnesota’s own The Plott Hounds were next. There is a lot of different country music going on right now and just like all other music some are good and some are bad. The Hounds are good. A little folk rock, country and Minnesota in it gives them an original smooth sound. Runaway June came out and just had a good time. They were all smiles up there and so was the crowd. Right off the bat the crowd was packed and dancing. This was one of funnest bands of the weekend. Along with all their originals and even threw in covers from Sheryl Crow – Tom Petty and Cyndi Lauper. They had a good time and so did the crowd. Tracy Lawrence had it packed from beginning to end and brought all his hits. He also was smiles the whole time. Headliners Big & Rich were stepping in for Jon Pardi who was out for vocal rest. They were nothing but astounding. Rich had a bit of a monitor problem in the beginning but worked right through it as a pro would and rocked the house all night. The band is fantastic and seems like no one was even off for a year. So during their set they bring a vet up to salute him with a shot and have him sit on the stage for a few songs. They also had everyone light up the sky with thier cell phones. They even gave us full access to the stage so we could capture the whole thing. Another surprise during the show was bringing Tracy Lawrence up for a song before the tribute. They all seemed to be having a great time. The place also turned into even a bigger party for Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy for the closing number.

June 26th – Last day of a festival always has mixed feelings. Sad it is ending but excited for the day, tired from the previous days. All sort of feelings going on. So I got there early to take some pictures of the drifting going on in the parking lot. Check out the photos it was super cool to shoot. They also had watercross going on in the camping. If you do not know what that is, it is snowmobiles racing across the water. I did not get there to take pics, next year. So today was Eric Chesser – Larry Fleet – Matt Stell – Carly Pearce – Brothers Osbourne. As I have never heard of many of the artists but Brother Osbourne I was looking forward to enjoying the day taking in all the vendors and listening to the bands. I spent most of the day as the bands in the back ground just relaxing. I wish I could give you a break down of each band. I was enjoying the gathering of humans at a festival to enjoy friends, family, drinks, events, food, music and just being out and trying to feel normal again. It felt normal. It felt good. It sounded good. It was just normal. Everyone I talked to just kept saying it seems so normal and smiles all around. As I was there I did meet up with friends all day and had such a good time catching up. RIght after Carly they had fireworks to celebrate our freedom. Brothers Osbourne closed out the festival with a great set. They sounded like they had been on tour for a year. I did discover these guys about a month ago when I knew I was going the jam and decided to check them out. Loved these guys right away. They were made to headline festivals like this.The brothers are a southern rock outlaw country sound. That is probably why they appeal to me. I dig the heavy sound they create. Rockers and country ballads and made the whole crowd happy. They closed with their biggest hit Ain’t My Fault. Listen to it, very catchy. In February TJ came out as gay. He told his story exclusively to Time. I have not read it yet but looking forward to reading his story.

Lakes jam is a great experience. It has so much to see over the weekend. Also if you are into music and racing and crazy sports this place is for you. Please click HERE for more on LAKES JAME 2022

June 23rd 2021 Gallery

June 24th 2021 Gallery

June 25th 2021 Gallery

June 26th 2021 Gallery