Kid Rock performed at the Toyota Center last Saturday, but you won't get to read about it here. Last week, Rock's publicist informed the Press (and presumably other outlets) no media would be allowed to review the show.
It's uncertain how much of this is in response to the unfavorable feedback Rock received when he announced his serious/not serious Senate run last year and how much is market/outlet specific (media were present at his January 20 Nashville gig, for example). A search through our archives finds several favorable concert reviews, a single decade-old negative album write-up, and a tongue-in-cheek list of possible Senate campaign slogans (using Rock's own quotes). Compared to the abuse heaped here upon the likes of John Mayer and Toby Keith, Rock is practically a Press fave.
But *something* must have rubbed the former Bob Ritchie the wrong way, so all we can do is speculate as to just what occurred behind those big glass Toyota Center doors last Saturday night. Feel free to confirm/dissent in the comments if you were there.
He Made Sweet, Sweet Love to an American Flag
If one's patriotism be measured by how large their flag is (I believe it says that in the Constitution), then Kid Rock is the most loyal American alive. The stage at his shows are often festooned with an oversized flag, or he's clad in a red, white, and blue poncho (or fur coat), while Stars and Stripes board shorts and tube socks are awaiting your foot and taint sweat at the singer's official store. It's therefore not that big a stretch to say this familiar proximity prompted Rock to take the next logical step in expressing his affection for Old Glory.
He Unironically Praised The Military After Gleefully Posing With a Draft Dodger
At his show in Nashville last week, Kid Rock lauded the military as those who "don't see red or blue on a map." This adoration of the armed forces is something Rock shares with other right wing artists like Ted Nugent (conveniently, neither saw fit to serve), and was doubtless on display again Friday at the Toyota Center. However, this lip service towards bipartisanship is at odds with t-shirts referring to blue states as "Dumbfuckistan" and Rock throwing his support behind (and posing for a photo in the Oval Office with) Cadet Bone Spurs.
His Name is Apparently Still "Kid"
In fairness, the 47-year old Rock does poke fun at how he still prefaces "Bawitdaba" by bellowing "MY NAME IS KIIIID." This burgeoning self-awareness appears to stop short of not dressing like a high school dude desperately trying to piss off his middle class parents, however.
For reference, the above clip is almost 18 years old.
He Performed Alongside Holograms of Warren Zevon and Lynyrd Skynyrd
To paraphrase Shakespeare (or perhaps Shakes the Clown), some men are born great, some have greatness thrust upon them. Then you have Kid Rock, who appropriates whatever musical style is trending or — as he did with "All Summer Long" — poaches the entire melody line and chorus from other songs. Considering Justin Timberlake projected a 100-foot tall image of Prince while he mangled "I Would Die 4 U" at the Super Bowl Sunday night, it doesn't seem like too big a stretch to assume Rock would do the same in honor of the artists responsible for writing 99 percent of his most successful tune.
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Though in all honesty, not even a songwriter as gifted as Zevon would have the genius to rhyme "things" with ... "things."
He Mocked "Political Correctness" With a Straight Face
Kid Rock reportedly smoked a cigarette at the beginning of his show, an act in fearless defiance of Houston city ordinance. He did this to decry P.C. culture that has the audacity to assert a) smoking will kill you and b) maybe paying corporations like Philip Morris to hustle you into your grave is kind of stupid.
Rock also may or may not have interrupted his performance of "Born Free" to insult Colin Kapernick, presumably for "disrespecting" the national anthem and the principles it represents. This is the purest essence of Kid Rock and his ilk: mocking someone for exercising their rights to express themselves publicly while preventing others (the Press, in this case) from doing the same, all because someone hurt their feelings. To use the words of those Kid Rock himself has chosen to align with, what a snowflake.