Mark Farner headlines Blast Friday May 31.

CLEARWATER — Blast Friday featuring Mark Farner will be presented Friday, May 31, 5:30 p.m., in the Cleveland Street District in downtown Clearwater.

The event is free. VIP tickets are available. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com. Tampa Bay rock favorite Stormbringer will open the show.

Farner, a legendary all-American frontman and guitarist, returns to Clearwater for his Blast Friday debut. Farner commands the stage with the same intensity and outpouring of love as he did at 20 during the summer of ’69, and his fans are still flocking to the Captain. The rock patriot’s synergy and open heart come through in epic hits that defined a generation — “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home),” “We’re an American Band,” a recut of “The Loco-Motion,” and “Some Kind of Wonderful.”

In addition to being the lead singer and lead guitarist of Grand Funk Railroad, Farner wrote 90% of the band’s music catalog. He has always been known as the energetic driving force on stage, the engine that pulled the original Grand Funk Railroad to the top of the charts. From his soulful voice and power rock riffs, to fueling the Funk with his atomic stage presence.

His story and his imprint on music started in the mid-1960s when he played with Terry Knight and The Pack. A half century later, Farner is still touring as Mark Farner’s American Band. In concert, he shines a spotlight on his legendary contributions to rock and roll.

“I am who my songs say I am,” Farner said in a press release from TKO Booking.

Grand Funk Railroad formed in 1969. The band is named after the Grand Trunk & Western Railroad that runs through Farner’s hometown of Flint, Michigan.

The same year they formed – 1969 – the band further defied expectations by releasing two albums, via Capitol Records, in a four-month period. Farner wrote all but two songs from “On Time” and the platinum-selling “Grand Funk.” He said they wanted to take advantage of the meteoric rise that was building in terms of the band’s popularity.

“It wasn’t much pressure because the songs were coming fast,” Farner said. “I had nothing but time for songs.”

By 1970, Farner’s songs were pivotal to the band’s success. The epic composition “I’m Your Captain (Closer to Home)” became an anthem for Vietnam War veterans and audiences alike. Farner would later perform the iconic song at the Vietnam Memorial Wall on its 25th anniversary.

A limited number of SUPER VIP packages for all Blast Friday concerts, priced at $49, are available. The SUPER VIP packages includes a ticket with seats in the first three rows of reserved general admission seating directly in front of the Tampa Bay Times Stage, a meet-and-greet opportunity with band members and two complimentary beers or wine and access to super VIP tent, which includes snacks. Call 727-791-7400 or visit www.atthecap.com.