There ain't no party like a Dee-troit party -- at least that's what the natives like to claim. But there's certainly no party like a Kid Rock show in his hometown -- especially when the guest list has
There ain't no party like a Dee-troit party -- at least that's what the natives like to claim. But there's certainly no party like a Kid Rock show in his hometown -- especially when the guest list has some special surprises.
Rock thrilled his two Detroit audiences over Super Bowl weekend when fellow home town rocker Bob Seger -- who Rock introduced as "the king of Detroit rock city" -- joined him each night for encore renditions of his 1977 hit "Rock and Roll Never Forgets."
Seger, who's rarely appeared live since his last tour in 1995, sounded strong and looked comfortable, warmly embracing Rock -- who inducted him into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 -- after each performance.
With Uncle Kracker in the mix to duet with Rock on Dobie Gray's "Drift Away," Boo-Yaa Tribe's Cobra attending to Rock as an onstage man-servant and Hank Williams Jr., making a brief appearance on Saturday night, two of Detroit's best Super Bowl XL parties were clearly thrown by the "Early Mornin' Stoned
But the truth is that even without the guests, Rock's show was a hot affair. It's not that he had much new to offer; his next album, "Live Trucker," is a concert set due out Feb. 28, and the set list was composed of familiar favorites that have long been part of his repertoire. The major change was a new guitarist, former Detroit Cobras member Kenny Tudrick, who ably handled the ball every time the arrangements tossed it his way.
But Rock and company have changed the way they present that music, which made for a cleaner and more fresh look that seemed to have a similar effect on the performance. The go-go dancers have been relocated to risers at the back wings of the stage, giving Rock free-roaming access across the stage front and to ramps on either side that took him closer to the crowd.
A rear-stage video screen was deftly deployed to do more than just show close-ups of the musicians but rather be an active player in its own right; when the late Joe C's rap in "Devil Without a Cause" was piped over the PA, the video footage of him was far more resonant than the giant scrim bearing his likeness that was previously a fixture in the shows.
Perceptibly energized by these changes, Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker played a stomping two-hour-plus show that kicked off with a bouncing "Where You at Rock" before charging into the high-octane boogie of "Son of Detroit." Rock briefly addressed the mild controversy over the Super Bowl XL halftime show -- where the Rolling Stones were selected rather than acts with Motor City ties -- by noting, "I don't care if you're the president of the United States. Before you come into my house, you're gonna take your shows off and show some respect."
He then earned those props for himself with a barrage that included "I Am the Bullgod," "American Bad Ass," a medley of "Somebody's Gotta Feel This" and "Fist of Rage" and a version of "Forever" in which he accented the song's punk rock/hip-hop/Southern rock mantra with snippets of hits by the Ramones and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
"I Gone One For Ya," a deep track from the "Devil Without a Cause" album, was a nice surprise, while "3 Sheets to the Wind (What's My Name)" featured a hot DJ segment by Rock as well as turns on guitar, keyboards, banjo and drums. "Picture," "Cowboy," "Only God Knows Why" and a pyrotechnic-laden "Bawitdaba" were reliable crowd-pleasers as usual -- and further confirmed Rock's status as a master raconteur and party host.