Kid Rock had seven tough acts to follow at Friday night's (June 12) CMA Music Festival show at Nashville's LP Field, but he quickly had the tired crowd on its feet and screaming for more as midnight approached.
The country-tinged rock 'n' roller was originally intended to be a surprise guest. However, his appearance was announced the night before, and the word had spread well before Friday's concert started.
Propelled by a band that included a saxophonist and two female backup singers, Kid Rock roared on with "Son of Detroit," a crowd-pleaser that tips its hat to such country icons as Hank Williams Jr., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard.
Then, after romping through the vivid imagery of "Cowboy," he abandoned his frenetic pacing to sit on a stool and croon his sad and world-weary "Picture." A verse into the song, he paused and brought out Martina McBride to sing with him.
It was a glorious pairing as the two proceeded to squeeze out every forlorn emotion the lyrics suggested -- and it drew the loudest, most sustained applause of the evening.
Kid Rock wrapped up his set with "All Summer Long," which he interrupted by acknowledging that America is going through tough economic times and thanking the fans "for spending your hard-earned money to see us play for you."