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Homecrowd rocks with Uncle Kracker



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Uncle Kracker took the stage after the sun went down during the Under the Sun tour stop at DTE. (click for larger version)
July 16, 2014 - Uncle Kracker made himself at home at DTE Energy Music Theater during the Under the Sun Tour, July 11.

"You plan and prepare for the show, but when you get here, it's Pine Knob, you lose yourself," said Kracker, who grew up as Matthew Shafer in Mount Clemens. "Everything comes into play, remembering sitting up there on the hill when I was 15 years old, waiting in line for the bath room. It's so cool."

The rocker remembers skiing at Pine Knob, as well as sitting in the lawn section for concerts by the Steve Miller Band, Hank Williams Jr, Charlie Daniels Band, and other regulars of the '80s and 90s.

"Even Eddie Money," he said during a phone interview, July 10. "So many great memories, going to summer shows. It's kind of an out-of-body experience."

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The tour, which also features Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, and Blues Traveler, is like a high school reunion, Kracker said.

"They're good buddies from years ago," he said. "My first record hit when their records were coming out. We'd go to the same festivals and shows a long time ago. It's fun to be back with them."

He added the tour is going great, a fun, loose bill, with no set order, headliner, or set list.

"That makes it fun in itself, not playing the same thing again and again. It would suck to always be playing when the sun is out," he said.

As the hometown hero – he spent lots of time in Clarkston as a kid – he went on last, singing "Follow me," "Smile," and his other hits, as did his tour mates.

"Nothing new to promote, not on this tour," he said.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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