Kid Rock's predictable show still stirs up crowd
Monday, May 19, 2008 12:52 AM
BY CURTIS SCHIEBER
FOR THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Kid Rock had a big challenge ahead when he took the stage to close the "Rock On The Range" festival in Crew Stadium last night. The temperature had dropped to a surprisingly chilly mid-50s, he was topping two long days of music and the crowd had begun to thin because of the weather and exhaustion.
Plus, Stone Temple Pilots had set the bar high with a flashy reunion gig just 24 hours earlier.
So Kid did what he knows best. He threw a party fueled by nonstop buffoonery and a songlist that sounded like a jukebox veering between Nashville, Compton and Detroit.
That he created considerable heat for the audience in the cool clear night is less a tribute to talent than to his need to let it all hang out. Though he concentrated on the rap-rock that made him famous, he also managed to indulge his new persona as bad-boy country singer with some success, finding common ground in his rewrite of Sweet Home Alabama as All Summer Long.
On his own, he made fun out of his frothy bragging.
With guest singer Peter Wolf perhaps down on his luck since his hit-making days with J Geils Band more than 20 years ago he created a Lothario club of sorts for Love Stinks and Centerfold.
With guest Rev. Run on Run DMC hits, he celebrated the roots of his hip-hop inspiration. It was fun even if it wasnt at all fresh.
Papa Roach handled its transition over the new decade from rap-rock to 80s-style metal pop remarkably well, mixing enough of the old school to light a fire but not enough to be tiring and stale.
Still, watching muscle-bound, tattooed young men aggressively chatter obscenities before singing in power-ballad mode, "Tear my heart open/Ill sew myself shut," was one of the more amusing treats of the afternoon.
3 Doors Down did one better, managing to range from banal country to aggressive rock and fist-pumping patriotism without dropping the sing-along for a phrase.