Heath McCoy, Calgary Herald
Published: Sunday, July 13, 2008
Kid Rock performed Saturday at Pengrowth Saddledome.
A spinning disco ball hovered over the stage as police sirens wailed.
A gang of slick but hardened characters dubbed the Twisted Brown Trucker Band began to bang out the gospel-tinged southern rock of a tune called Rock 'n' Roll Jesus as their leader appeared at the mike in a white, pimped-out suit and tie preaching his own gospel -- the virtues of sex, drugs and rock and roll.
Of course, that was Detroit-bred country-rock/rapper Kid Rock who performed at the Saddledome Saturday night as part of the Calgary Stampede.
Rock followed up this look at the country-tinged side of his persona with a heaping scoop of his proudly trashy rap-metal side with high-energy runs through Cocky, American Bad Ass and You Never Met A Motherf****r Quite Like Me.
Then there was a nod to AC/DC-ish hard rock on Lowlife (Livin' the High Life) and a tasty stab at the Kid's latest hit, All Summer Long which mashes up the piano riff from Warren Zevon's Werewolves of London with the guitar lick from Lynyrd Skynyrd's Sweet Home Alabama. A winning formula indeed.
Through it all, Kid Rock had the party-hearty 'Dome crowd of around 9,000 in the palm of his guitar-pickin', record-scratchin' hand.
Rock, 37, is an old school rock star. A rock-pig happily rolling in the mud. A bad-ass brat who revels in the raunchy, even though it's no longer cool to do so, some might say. In my books that's a welcome thing. So many of today's rockers are just too precious for their own good and, frankly, no damn fun.
A Kid Rock show is fun.
Yeah, for all the spinning of obscenely large tires there was a flash over substance issue at certain points in the show, but for the most part, Kid Rock offered his share of solid musical moments. That's one in the face of his many detractors.
Further highlights of the show included the straight-up, ham-fisted honky tonk of Half Your Age, Rock's kiss off to his former honey Pamela Anderson, and Amen, a soulful bit of libertarian gospel-rock from The Kid.
Also excellent was an old-school hip-hop set which had plenty of credence thanks to special guest Rev Run of Run DMC, one of Kid Rock's early heroes.
In this segment Rock and his mentor ran through a very cool medley of classic Run DMC cuts including It's Tricky, You Be Illin' and the Aerosmith cover Walk This Way.
At press time Rock was back in country mode, with a fine version of Picture, a song he originally took to the top of the charts with Sheryl Crow.
Opening up for Kid Rock was Nova Scotia lad Matt Mays and his band El Torpedo who played a grimy set of rootsy hard rock that was both heartland ambitious and gritty under the fingernails. Mays wasn't quite as appreciated by the crowd as he might have been, but he did a commendable job of setting the night's greasy rock and roll tone.
The Calgary Herald 2008