Posted by Adam Graham on Wed, Feb 6, 2008 at 10:32 AM
If you live in Detroit, you've seen Kid Rock at least a dozen times. You've seen Kid Rock live as many times as you've watched Huel Perkins anchor a TV news broadcast.
But you've never seen Kid Rock quite like this before.
Rock's "Rock and Roll Revival" tour, touching down at Joe Louis Arena Friday and Saturday, is a full-scale rock and roll revue, with Rock and special guests Peter Wolf and Rev. Run tearing through rock, metal, hip-hop, country, soul and whatever else they feel like in the two-and-a-half hour show. It's a big, bad waltz through 40 years of American music, and it features Rock and his genre-mashing best.
I checked out the show Tuesday night at Saginaw's Dow Event Center, where the crowd was partying like it was still Super Bowl Sunday (don't those people have to go to work today?). The show was a warm-up of sorts for this weekend's shows, which will also feature Dickey Betts from the Allman Brothers.
Here are the top five can't-miss moments from the show. Time your bathroom breaks accordingly (or just wait for the show's built-in 12-minute intermission).
5. Peter Wolf's rant. The former J. Geils Band frontman may not be in the best shape of his life -- few 61-year-olds can pull off the leather pants look, and even fewer when pairing them with New Balance tennis shoes -- but the unkempt wildman, taking tugs of Jim Beam straight out of the bottle, has got a great rant in the middle of the show that leads into the J. Geils Band's "Must of Got Lost."
4. "Cowboy" and "Bawitdaba." Sure, you've heard them a million times before, but with Rock's expanded, 10-piece Twisted Brown Trucker band providing the muscle, the songs have rarely sounded this bombastic.
3. The new stuff. "Rock N Roll Jesus," "Amen" and "All Summer Long" already feel like Kid Rock staples, and "Lowlife (Living the Highlife)" fits in well with the likes of "Welcome 2 the Party." (I'm still not sure about the roller-coaster-as-metaphor-for-life "Roll On," which is a bit of a snooze.) Of course, I once felt like "Rock 'n' Roll Pain Train" was a grower, but it -- like everything else from Kid Rock's self-titled 2003 album -- has been excised from the setlist altogether, so who knows which songs will survive the cut the next go-round.
2. The closing number. No spoilers here, but don't miss the pre-encore show-closer when Rock is joined on-stage by his special guests for a surprise cover.
1. Rock and Run's set. For all his genre mixing and matching, Kid Rock is a hip-hop kid at heart, and his set with Run DMC's Rev. Run is not only the highlight of the show, it feels like it's what Rock should have been doing for years. He obligingly plays the hype man and lets Run take the show, and it's an arm-waving delight to watch the pair tear through Run DMC classics like "You Be Illin'" and "It's Tricky," not to mention a riff-tastic "Walk This Way." For everyone who has griped about Rock's lack of rapping on his last few records, this is what you've been waiting for.
And here's one to skip:
"Half Your Age." Kid Rock's kiss-off to Pamela Anderson is about half as clever as he thinks it is, and performing the song only makes him seem petty in his breakup with Pammy. The song is saved, last minute, by an assist from drummer Stefanie Eulinberg, but can still safely be axed from the setlist and no one would be bothered.