Kid Rock turned forty this year, but there’s no stopping him just yet.
For nearly two hours Friday night before a roughly half-filled Air Canada Centre, the Michigan rap-rock-country artist attempted to meld all three genres with success on some occasions and other times not so much.
After a short snippet of Journey’s Don’t Stop Believing, a brief but very detailed video overview of all the musician’s accomplishments, sales and hits was shown. A rather odd choice considering most fans would probably know much of that info already.
It didn’t seem to matter to his fans however who had as much fun belting out hard rock numbers like You Never Met A Motherf----- Quite Like Me as they did swaying arm in arm to a country-laced, beer-raising ditty like F------ Forty which described the Rolling Stones as being almost dead.
Back by his longtime Twister Brown Trucker band, Rock came out wearing a sleeveless white fur vest as flames and fireballs shot out from the stage during American Bad Ass from 2000’s The History Of Rock album. The choice of wardrobe seemed to make as much sense as the stage design, resembling a saloon from the ‘60s western television show Gunsmoke only with green lasers, the occasional scantily clad pole dancers and pyrotechnics.
With a Canadian and American flag on either side of the stage – and with smaller flags emerging from Rock’s stage riser during Only God Knows Why – the singer seemed to get a lot of the rapping out of the way early on during Cowboy and a medley kicked off by Somebody’s Gotta Feel This. Although he still has the chops to deliver the rhymes with passion, Rock has found his new home in a mix of country rock and softer Southern ballads.
“Cheers my Canadian friends,” Rock said after plunking himself down in a lawn chair – beer in hand -- in the middle of the catwalk running into the audience. The laidback approach suited Rock easily as he nestled into a handful of fireball-less numbers such as Flyin’ High and the thoughtful Care, both from the new album Born Free.
Near the close Rock, two guitarists and two backing vocalists plied their wares quite nicely on the roots-y, inviting Purple Sky before Rock and one of the vocalists nailed the sweet Picture which was cut short a bit by a Beavis and Butthead video.
Bawitdaba capped off the main set as flames, lasers and fireworks only highlighted this brief theatre of the absurd. But judging by the loud fan reactions throughout, they lapped up everything regardless of what they saw or what genres they were hearing.
Opening for Kid Rock was East Coast act The Trews who played a solid 45-minute set of hard rock. Highlights included So She’s Leaving, the poignant Highway Of Heroes and Hold Me which included a healthy portion of Led Zeppelin’s When The Levee Breaks.
SOURCE: Jason Macneil / Toronto Sun