By Cassandra Kyle, TheStarPhoenix.com
Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008
SASKATOON - He's a cowboy, a preacher and a self-professed lowlife - and Saskatoon is a devout follower.
Kid Rock, AKA Robert Richie of Detroit, Mich., delivered a hip-hop homily at Credit Union Centre tonight, offering his southern rock sermon with a country and western confession or two along the way.
Difficult as it may be for Kid to stick to a single genre of music (country-rap-rock-gospel-bluesafunk is a bit of a mouthful), it wasn't hard for the 4,500-strong congregation to follow along with his message of sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. Kid's Rock'n'Roll Jesus persona transformed the arena into a rumbling house of worship - with whiskey and weed (smuggled in by more than a few fans) added for good measure.
Kid hit the stage in an all-white suit, starting the show off with Rock'n'Roll Jesus, also the title of his latest album, before changing into a sequined jumpsuit and moving on to hits such as, You Never Met a Mother****** Quite Like Me, All Summer Long, Cowboy, and Only God Knows Why.
The preacher, standing on a cross-shaped stage, had little trouble keeping the audience's attention on the pulpit. With a good mix of songs from all his albums - even revisiting his "classics" like Devil Without a Cause and Bawitdaba, Kid easily pleased the crowd that had gathered for a night of sweaty, greasy, 18-plus fun.
Crowd pleasers included a true-blue country tune about, ahem, "visiting " your ex one last time, before breaking into Half Your Age - a dig at ex-wife Pamela Anderson - and battling it out with drummer Stephanie about the benefits of new significant others - ones that are polite, carefree and well-endowed.
Of course, there wasn't a moment quite like the one when Rev. Run of RUN DMC fame took to the stage to perform a medley of hits from way back in the 1980s. Kid and Rev. happily brought urban mainstays It's Like That, It's Tricky, and Walk This Way to Saskatoon. Even the cowboys and cowgirls in the crowd couldn't help but smile at the rap legend's white-sneakered and gold-chained presence.
Sadly, opening act Matt Mays and El Torpedo of Halifax, NS, couldn't quite make a connection with the audience. They're a good band - strong lyrics, great guitar work - but it just didn't go as well as it should have.
Kid Rock, on the other hand, worked to keep the party going, well, all summer long. Love him or hate him, there's no question his rock'n'roll revival rang out loud and clear in Saskatoon.
photo by: Gord Waldner/The StarPhoenix