Kid Rock's Party Might Have Interrupted Air Traffic Last Night

Kid Rock, Foreigner
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
July 22, 2015

He is name is Kid, Kid Rock. Some call him Cowboy, he calls himself an American Badass, but the man known to his parents as Bob Ritchie strolled into the Woodlands Pavilion Wednesday night and simply tore it down. 

Whatever he is known as, Kid will always be an entertainer. He always has been, from the first time he was exposed on Total Request Live with Carson Daly in the late 1990s, where he ran around singing, rapping, spinning, drumming, playing the guitar dancing and leaving the host nearly speechless.

Screams and excitement fought with Kid Rock’s intro music through the thick humid air Wednesday, as his silhouette appeared in the middle of a redesigned $20 bill that acted as a curtain at the edge of the stage. The curtain dropped and exposed the singer’s trademarked fashion – white leather Adidas sneakers, fedora, sunglasses and wispy dirty-blond hair. 

For 90 minutes the crowd was pummeled nearly nonstop with singalongs, pyro, confetti, dancing, rapping and more. If there were any reports of lasers lighting up the cockpits of commercial airlines last night, it was surely coming from Rock’s stage — most likely the disco ball positioned just below the very large Chevy logo.

The most entertaining piece of the night happened when self-described “Bipolar Rock n' Roller” gave a 15-minute overview of how we all got there with him that night and how his styles of music have changed over the years. He wanted to start from the present and work his way back. The 44-year old grandfather essentially became a singer-songwriter as he performed snippets of many recognizable songs and provided the accompanying tales that went along with them.

Rock is a great showman that panders to the crowd and doesn’t take himself too seriously (except for his extremely restrictive photo releases). Take for instance the part of the show when a massive Texas flag was to be unfurled as a backdrop, but got stuck and only came part of the way down. Kid’s response after the song was, "Did you see the big ol' miscue on the flag drop? Yeah, it wasn't supposed to happen that way."

The early mornin’ stoned pimp, the Detroit rocker, the Southern son. Regardless of what persona Kid Rock takes on, you can guarantee that he will be entertaining.  

How Were the Openers?: One of the smartest things that Kid Rock did on his “Cheap Date” tour was inviting Foreigner as an opener. The band has so many recognizable hits that it doesn’t matter that original member Lou Gramm has called this lineup false advertising. Mick Jones is the only member remaining from the group’s heyday, but unlike the report from the previous night’s concert of Sublime with Rome, this lineup worked to perfection to hype up the crowd for the main act.

As the Pavilion started to fill, a large majority of the fans were on their feet, swaying and singing along to “Juke Box Hero” as lead singer Kelly Hansen somehow snuck out into the middle of the crowd and onto a platform that raised about 20 feet in the air for one of his many total rock-star moves. Towards the end of the set, the choir students from the John Cooper School in The Woodlands were escorted onto the drum riser where they got the assist with singing “I Want to Know What Love Is” just like the original video from the ’80s.  

Special shout-out to the drunken mom doing a goofy chicken-like dance to "Urgent" simply trying to embarrass her daughter (begin ‘slow clap’ here) — congratulations, you succeeded with flying colors.

Personal Bias: R.I.P. Joe C.

The Crowd: A lot of couples out on double dates. And as expected, only a smattering of Rebel flags or people wearing shirts with the symbol that had slogans such as, “It's not racist, it's Southern” or “Heritage Not Hate”. 

Overheard In the Crowd: "When you feel breath on you and the lights go out at the Walmart. Now that's paranoia."

First Kiss
Good Times, Cheap Wines
Never Met a Motherfucker Like Me
American Badass
Devil Without a Cause
Wastin’ Time
Johnny Cash
Fist of Rage
Rosary and Blue Jeans
So Hott
Jesus and Bocephus
Somebody’s Gotta Feel This
Midnight Train to Memphis
All Summer
3 Sheets to the Wind
Cat Scratch Fever
Rock and Roll Jesus
Only God Knows Why
Born Free

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Jackson is a freelance photographer and writer covering a variety of music and sporting events in the Houston area. He has contributed to the Houston Press since 2013.
Contact: Jack Gorman