SUGAR RAY & DON FELDER
August 1, 2022 by M.B. Edwards
Where do bicyclists and the dreamers of dreams meet? It is Iowa of course, Mason City to be exact where the convergence of mind, body and soul takes place.
It is where the cycling world and the music scene become one during a stop for the great race, the cycling behemoth known as RAGBAI!
How to describe the event?… One word: EPIC! Make that EPIMC (you have to add in the ‘M’ to make it Epic Mason City), at least that’s what Day Peace, comedian and official event MC said.
Mason City, Iowa was the stop to be on the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI) route. This is the 48th year that RAGBAI has taken place and has been deemed the longest multi-day recreational touring event in the world. It’s also known for bringing in renowned musicians and entertainers like co-headliners Don Felder and Sugar Ray.
After an impressive 105-mile trek, riders from all over the U.S. flowed into downtown where they met up with Don Felder admirers, Sugar Ray fans, and locals to celebrate the “Ride of the Century.” The blocked off streets were filled with vendors galore selling all types of food, drinks, and merchandise.
Tired or not, these cyclists and locals were ready to rock! And rock they did thanks to Don Felder, former lead guitarist for the Eagles.
With a wink and a smile Felder came out strong with the hit “Already Gone.”
As the sun started to lower, the buzz in the crowd was all about this icon in their midst. In 1998, Felder was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Eagles and in 2016, he was welcomed into the Musicians Hall of Fame. And for good reason; this renowned musician really knows his way around the strings. His band is on point and his voice is as strong as ever. The nickname Fingers is definitely warranted after you see how they blaze across the guitar.
Fans, young and not young were able to hear some of their favorite songs including “Pride and Joy,” “Victim of Love,” “Witchy Woman,” and “Hotel California.” During the mega hit “The Long Run,” concertgoers formed an impressive conga line and snaked their way through the crowd. Felder ensured he spilled the secret of how VOL was etched into side B of the original “Hotel California” record and dedicated “Tequila Sunrise” to Glenn Fry.
As the music gods would have it, Felder took the stage first. Good thing because something wicked was brewing in the distant sky. It wasn’t the “Witchy Woman” from Felder’s set; during the interlude, it was the ominous clouds that reigned over Mason City. Then it happened, distant lightning came closer and closer and it caused a longer break than expected. This gave every one more time to get to know one another and enjoy the experience.
By this time, the crowd was ready for more music. They started to chant “Sugar Ray! Sugar Ray!”
Newport Beach’s own Sugar Ray has been delighting fans since the early ‘90s. All around the world statues crumbled for lead singer Mark McGrath; and their fans continue to love their music. In 2022, the band is a little older, a little wiser, and yes… they dance a little stranger as their sonic message continues to make us smile all over again.
Thankfully, the light rain didn’t last long, the lightning ended, and Sugar Ray took the stage belting out their take on the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight,” which turned heads for sure.
While the crowd screamed and hollered, McGrath welcomed everyone back to the ‘90s! After “Words to Me,” the mega-hit “Every Morning” was up, which had plenty of sing-alongs from the crowd. When Sugar Ray started singing “Into Yesterday,” everyone started to dance, and they danced until the show ended. It was a very nostalgic scene and many were taken back to their high school days.
Even though this was a free concert, attendees got to rock out to the full sonic experience that is Sugar Ray with the band’s hit parade. Fans were treated to era defining songs, “Fly,” “When It’s Over,” “Someday,” and “Mean Machine.”
In between each song, McGrath made jokes, especially about his frosted tips, which went over well with the crowd. He also took time to thank all the volunteers and workers, and called out his music aficionados for their dedication and support. He recognized all the amazingly talented artists he’s been fortunate to share a stage with over the years and was very humble and engaging on stage.
The crowd was also surprised and excited with McGrath’s cover of The Commodore’s “Brick House.
In the end, it was a great night for music in Mason City. Sugar Ray and Don Felder were remarkable artists and a great addition to the RAGBRAI experience. Can’t wait to see what they do next year!
Now it is your time to see Sugar Ray in SoCal! Flannel Nation is less than two weeks away and they will be joined by Everclear, Soul Asylum, Filter, Fastball, Sponge, Cracker, and Candlebox. The inaugural Flannel Nation invades the Port of Los Angeles on August 13th. Get your tickets now!
RAGBAI PHOTO GALLERY
by Brad Horn Photography