It was hot, muggy, loud and boisterous, but more importantly the one hour that saw rock bad boy Kid Rock on the massive stage at Mosaic Stadium was an exercise in carefully crafted debauchery.
From the moment that the longhaired rock and roll icon met the Saskatchewan sunshine to the time he bowed out to a standing and appreciative audience, Rock definitively proved that he belongs on the stages of stadiums.
Following a pre-recorded intro of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'," the Detroit-born singer and his 10-piece Brown Trucker Band (which included two drummers) took the stage shortly after 7 p.m. and launched into the opening chords of "Rock 'N' Roll Jesus." Ironically, as he repeatedly sang about a "freight train rollin' packed tight full of rhythm of blues" the old CP Rail rail yard beside the stadium started rocking as a large freight train ran by.
For those not quite tuned into the fact that they were at a massive rock show, Rock hit them with both barrels smoking as his ripped into the notes of "You've Never Met a Motherf---er Quite Like Me," from his third album COCKY. The hard-rocking song showcased his band and demonstrated just how tight of an outfit they really were. Extremely good on recording, musically they were even better live.
When "All Summer Long" followed that up, even the most uninformed were able to sing along to last year's radio staple that tore up the airwaves of rock, pop and country stations. The energetic frontman tore around the catwalk that encircled the VIP crowd as the crowd grooved to the Lynryd Skynrd-based rhythms, dancing along to the most famous of guitar licks.
Taking a moment to address the crowd, Rock asked everyone nonchalantly "what was up?", to a chorus of screams. He welcomed the crowd to the show and stated that he wanted to share two things: That he truly appreciated that people spent their hard-earned money to come see him and Bon Jovi, and just as important all the music in the show is live.
"There's nothing pre-recorded," he noted. "This ain't no Jonas/Britney deal," he said to the applauding audience, taking a jab at his poppier peers. "Everyone here has been working their ass off in dingy vans and bars over the last 20 years to be here. This ain't no American Idol bullshit. This is American badass bullshit."
With the crowd mostly won over, Rock wearing a black T-shirt, blue jeans and a fedora, tore through "Rock 'N' Roll Pain Train" before playing a piano-based version of Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People" and a cover of country singer Jamey Johnson's amazing song "In Colour." The latter, described by Rock as "one of the best songs written in the past 10 years," also got the piano-only version as the talented artist manned the ivory keys.
Laughing and noting the crowd had some "real hillbillies" in attendance, Rock ran through "Cowboy," (which included a brief Dukes of Hazard theme break, and "So Hot," the 39-year old Rock showed his more sensitive side as played the Rock/Sheryl Crow hit "Picture." While Crow was nowhere to be found, one of his background singers filled in admirably as they sat on stools at the front of the stage.
During his interlude, Rock manned the DJ tables, guitar, and drums as he poured himself a Jim Beam as he ran through a George Thorogood guitar lick, a Peter Frampton vocal effect, and a rendition of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever." Regarding the last offering, Rock must have been well aware that a little "Cat Scratch Fever" always goes over well in the sticks.
Closing with "Bawitdaba," which kicked off with a shower of sparks, high flames firing off the stage, and a cannon blast that caused more than a few people to scream in surprise," Rock showed that a badass who raps, cusses, and grabs his crotch as much as the King of Pop can still win over the most straight-laced of crowds.
While Rock admittedly swore enough to make more than a few adults there with their parents smile awkwardly, the rock and roll enigma put on a show worth the money and more. An ultimate professional, his musical ability and knack for melody and decadence made the hour pass in what felt like minutes.
As he played the last few notes of his set rang out, Rock impishly asked the crowd "Are you opened enough for Bon Jovi?"
PHOTO CREDIT: Troy Fleece/Leader-Post
SOURCE: The Regina Leader-Post