KID Rock is growing up, but he's still as cocky as ever.
The Detroit performer, born Robert James Ritchie, started off as a red jumpsuit-wearing rap-rocker, but has evolved into a more substantial musician over the years, experimenting with everything from country to alt-metal to soulful gospel in the past two decades.
His latest album, Born Free, is a slice of Bob Seger-inspired heartland rock that features some of his most serious material to date, along with nostalgic anthems like Flyin' High that make some of his music the perfect summer soundtrack.
No matter what Kid Rock persona you enjoy, if you were one of the 6,000 fans at the MTS Centre Tuesday for his third local show since 2008, there was a chance you saw it.
He has mellowed slightly on Born Free but came out on stage like he had something to prove, kicking things off with the self-mythologizing American Bad Ass, a hip-hop track that samples Metallica's Sad But True, then pulled a quick 180 for the second song of the night, the John Mellencamp-esque rocker God Bless Saturday.
He got back into some more boasting with the southern-fried rock of Never Met a Motherfer Quite Like Me; served up some hick-hop with Cowboy as two scantily clad females danced around stripper poles flanking the drummer; and showed off his sensitive side on the next song, the piano-based ballad Care, which gave a large segment of the crowd the chance to grab some more beers.
Not even the pole dancers stuck around for that one.
There was a healthy amount of pyro and lasers serving as the visual spectacle around Kid Rock and his talented 10-member Brown Trucker Band.
He veered between the extremes throughout the nearly two-hour set, offering up a dirty ditty about turning 40 and getting people to shout his name one minute, then pulling out the acoustic guitar for ballads like Purple Sky and Picture -- which had the crowd singing along -- the next.
He waited for the encore to unleash his biggest hit, All Summer Long, a mash up of Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London and Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama.
Hard working East Coast rock group the Trews are always dependable and last night's 45-minute set was another solid one for the Antigonish, N.S., natives.
SOURCE: Rob Williams / Winnipeg Free Press