Shades of Gray

Kid Rock Review – Or The Best $20 I’ve Ever Spent

0 Comments 12 July 2013

Simply blown away. I can’t think of any other way to describe my first experience at a Kid Rock show. Having gone to my fair share of concerts I can say with certainty that there is no hyperbole in the title of one of his biggest hits – Kid Rock is very much an American Badass. Easily the best $20 I ever spent on a live music experience (actually Reins bought my ticket).

Sweat was running at a surplus due to the unrelenting humidity. I personally donated a healthy amount via my back and buttocks. Even with rain threatening the crowd in the parking lot was buzzing. Weathered black T-shirts adorned with Cinderella and Whitesnake logos were just as plentiful as white cut-offs on overweight women with raspy voices.

Everyone I encountered was downright jubilant. “What the fuck, go ahead take a picture. I probably won’t remember this shit tomorrow anyway” was said by a middle-aged woman while she sauntered by with her friends. One guy commented on how much he liked my shirt. Another was nice enough to offer me a sip of his bourbon concoction directly from the non descript 2 liter he was drinking from.  No pretension, no fucking around. You get drunk. You see Kid Rock. You get reminded what Rock and Roll is.

Prior to kickoff, Kid was nice enough to have a countdown on the Jumbo-tron so you could time your beer run. Smart. Pleasing the crowd was a theme throughout the set. The stage was covered with a massive (MASSIVE) flag fashioned after a dollar bill with a Guns N Roses type skeleton in the middle ready to blast your face off with a semi-automatic. As the ticker hit 3:00 the crowd was at full tilt.

At 0:00 the lights go out and Journey’s don’t stop believing comes on as  Kid stands in silhouette behind the skeleton. As if on cue as the line “born and raised in south Detroit” comes up the music cuts, the crowd finishes the lyric. Then, boom Devil Without a Cause smacked me in the face harder than a Monday after a Sunday Funday.

For the first 2-3 minutes I was in a state of shock. Hair on end, toes clenched with ice running through my veins. To give you a little context I’ve had a case of the weary dismals of late when it comes to my music collection. You know that feeling where you hate EVERYTHING on your ipod? That’s what I had. Which made this show all the more impactful. This show was like getting electro-shocked out of VH1 purgatory into the world of rock and roll.

After the intro song Kid took a second to be a little self deprecating. He talked about his bigger hits. You know the song about being free and hanging with Mitt Romney. And that other one with Sheryl Crow. Admittedly, those tunes made him a ton of cash. But his point was he’s a complex guy and does a ton of different crap, so don’t try to slap a label on him because he’ll tear it off and piss on it. Then he segued into You Never Met A Motherfucker Quite Like Me. Perfect set up. This song also kicked off this series of video vignettes that played intermittently throughout the performance. Some inspirational, some highlights of Evel Knievel, others were just pictures of tits. Always poignant and always crowd pleasing.

When he followed that up with American Badass I thought half the heads in the crowd were going to pop off their necks, mine included.. Did you know Kid played piano? Me either. But he rocked the intro to a slowed down version of Cowboy that was just as vicious as sour sip of milk I’ve ever had.

The consummate man of the people Kid ran up the aisle mid set to sing Forever about 10 feet in front of yours truly. The Mrs. swooned and I was totally geeked. He followed that by running up to a small stage in front of the lawn and ripped off a stellar version of Cocky.

I can’t even get into his impromptu scratching sesh while he was shooting Jim Beam, just know that it happened and that it was epic.

One of my favorite parts of the night was that he took time to thank his sponsors that helped him keep ticket prices (all tickets) to just $20. He wanted everyone to know that his sponsors were American companies. They included Chris’ Sandwich Shack, which I’ve never heard of but if they’re good enough for Kid, I’ll order a turkey and cheese with no mayo from them any day. Sponsors also included Jim Beam and finally Harley Davidson. This was the best part of his sponsors interlude because he was talking about how great of an American company Harley was and then he said “This shit just wouldn’t work if it was Kid Rock sponsored by Kia”. So true.

Oh yea, my other favorite part was ending the encore with Bawitdaba.

Was some of the Americana over the top? Maybe, I guess. But that only registered with me in hindsight. In the moment I was just thoroughly entertained. It definitely seemed that Kid was genuine with his fans. And he backed it up to. Tickets were $20, you could buy beers for $4. Anyone who goes to concerts knows that’s not usually the case. Not even close.

So fuck yea. If Kid Rock’s coming around and you have space in your car. Count me in.

- who has written 512 posts on The Shade.

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