Feb 13, 2008 @ 08:01 PM
By CHRIS MITCHELL
For The Herald-Dispatch
HUNTINGTON -- Looking for the perfect Valentine's Day gift for your rocker pal? This year, ditch the fatty chocolates and expensive roses, and toast the holiday with a few rounds of rock 'n' roll sleaze and hip-hop machismo. Good thing Kid Rock's in town tonight to deliver the raucous goods.
Yes, the lanky, long-haired rebel-rouser is back: with his tilted, black fedora and long, filler cigar jutting from his cocky grin, riding high on brainpan-searing guitar riffs provided by his Twisted Brown Trucker Band.
Sound like your idea of a good time? Enter the three-hour "Rock 'n' Roll Revival Tour" starring sleepy Romeo, Michigan's biggest concert-maker and Huntington's hard-partying surrogate son.
Rock and cohorts make their fourth tour stop in eight years at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena tonight. Each visit has coincided with the release of a new studio album. Tonight's stop supports his latest long-player "Rock 'n' Roll Jesus." Tickets are $45 general admission floor and $39.50 reserved seating.
Along for the bacchanalian ride are a couple famous friends. The Allman Brothers Band's legendary co-founder Dickey Betts will swap southern rock leads with Twisted guitarist Marlon Young, and the straight-laced (formerly no-laced) Rev. Run of the Adidas-wearin', hip-hop rhyme-snarin' Run-D.M.C. brings a healthy dose of Hollis, Queens to our river city.
Billed as a "true revue," there will be no opening acts. Every guest is integrated seamlessly into the mix, playing off the energy of Rock's expanded, 11-piece backing band.
On the tour's first of two hometown stops this past weekend, the Detroit Free Press praised Rock's "successful experiment in shaking up the mix," while the Oakland Press called it "an epic night of rock 'n' roll."
"We want to give people the greatest night of their life -- the best party, the best music, the best show. And this show does all that and more," Rock, who is 37, said in a statement issued by his Atlantic Records publicist.
Rock released his sixth album for Atlantic Records in October 2007. "Rock 'n' Roll Jesus" features the lead single "So Hott."
The album was recently certified gold, behind a maelstrom of publicity engagements, including two performances on "MTV's New Years Eve Spectacular," once featuring a tour preview of his performance with Rev. Run on "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live."
Rock's latest single "Amen" is an acoustic open letter to listeners about America's ills and the need to "open up your mind and start to live." It rests at number-14 this week on Billboard's Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart and is poised to crossover to the country music format with continued video spins on CMT and CMT.com.
For an artist whose appeal is still felt in rock, hip hop, and country music circles, the genre-hopping success of "Amen" will join some of Rock's previous hits like 2001's "Picture," a country-influenced duet with Sheryl Crow and country outlaw Shelby Lynne on the studio and live versions respectively, and darker fare like 2003's "Rock 'n' Roll Pain Train" and "Jackson, Mississippi."