Kid Rock RodeoHouston, Reliant Stadium February 29, 2012
Kid Rock is now ensconced as this generation's rap-soul-blues-rock-pimp for the next 40 years: Equal parts Rock N Roll Jesus, Bob Seger, Bocephus, and maybe all in that order. Whether he's attacking a pair of turntables with a glass of Jim Beam in one hand, cigar in the other, or mashing up the last 15 years of his musical career into one fireworks-laden, flame-throwing orgy, you can't help but feel somethingat a Kid Rock show. The level of big, dumb and loud is off the charts, and everyone has a smile on their mug.
If I can boil it down to one handy sound bite: It looks really fucking fun to be Kid Rock.
Kid Rock's second, and second consecutive, RodeoHouston appearance Wednesday night, probably cemented his annual status with the event. There would be no begrudging the man from returning each rodeo season, as long as he keeps up the live momentum he exhibited Wednesday.
And I am saying this as someone whose job by definition silently dictates that I should hate a Kid Rock show, but the man sells the bastard to the hilt to the point where I was clapping like a seal and giggling when his pyro finally went off about 45 minutes into the show.
I could feel the fire on my face, you guys.
Kid Rock folds songs into one another like a Vegas revue now, with older songs getting down-home reworkings, and with his Segeresque backing group (albeit with a DJ in tow) the whole thing wins. Flashes of Bruce Springsteen? Maybe, but I won't push that any further.
There was no political rhetoric last night -- he played his "Born Free" at a Mitt Romney rally recently -- but he could have easily stumped for someone, instead he chose to honor the military personnel in the house for Armed Forces Appreciation Day.
He's got plenty of Devil Without a Cause-era fans who will follow him anywhere, and there was even a a kid, maybe no older than 10, singing the praises of "Bawitdaba" on the jumbo screen a few minutes before Rock's stage time. He's been cultivating an audience of radio listeners with his surges into country and throwback rock, making him palatable for most everyone with a pulse.
For a generation raised on war, Run-DMC Metallica and pop-country, Rock is really the wave of the future when it comes to a rodeo act, at least in my opinion. Does that mean that Yelawolf and Buckcherry may close the rodeo in a decade or so?
I hope so.
Personal Bias: I think I became a Rock convert over the summer of 2000, when he released "American Bad Ass," after which I threw my hands into the air and joined the Twisted Brown Trucker Band, if only in my mind. It was probably the line "Punk rock / The Clash / Boy bands are trash" that made me turn to the Rock side.
The Crowd: Blondes.
Overheard In the Crowd: "All I wanna do is get stoned and drunk like he is all the time, and maybe do him," said a drunk woman on the rail going to the stadium. I don't think she was talking about Mr. Rock, either.
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Random Notebook Dump: Vocoder never doesn't make people cheer. People love robots.
KID ROCK SET LIST