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Kid Rock Keeps Fans Standing, Even The Last Row

August 21, 2011

Imagine 8:30 pm on a Tuesday night in Northeast Ohio, motorcycles in the parking lot as far as you can see, and through the haze you’re stepping over people who have already enjoyed the evening a little too much! Where would that be? A Kid Rock concert would be a good guess!  There was no end to the people watching opportunities, but as soon as Kid Rock hit the stage, all eyes and ears were on him. His powerful voice, confident style, unpredictable behavior (although you can predict that it will be unpredictable) and quite physical stage presence on a fire-breathing stage kept people on the lawn of Blossom Music Center standing for his entire two hour performance. Frankly, where else can you vocalize strings of profanity with 10,000 of your closest new friends without repercussion? Kid Rock peppered in newer songs from his Platinum-selling Born Free album, but it was clear by audience  participation that the fan favorites were his more raucous and often raunchy earlier songs.

I met a very young Kid Rock many years ago at a small gathering of music distribution employees who didn’t know anything about him yet, and were afraid to find out! He still gives off that hard core vibe, only now it’s louder and backed up by his ability to satisfy and grow his fan base. Say what you want about Kid Rock, based on what most people see as his public persona, he has a lot of talent in that slim, well-toned stage presence of his. During the evening he played guitar, drums, keyboard, sang and threw in some DJ turntable scratching. He ran the gamut of rock, (southern and otherwise) country, hip-hop and even a couple of ballads, singing songs about partying or bashing responsibility, very relatable to his fans. He jumped through the air like a 20 year-old, and sang an entertaining song about turning 40, making himself feel better by contrasting his age to Springsteen at 60 and The Rolling Stones nearly dead, lighting up the crowd once more. His duets with Sheryl Crow, who shared the stage with him, were enhanced by their chemistry. She even threw in a humorous ending to “Picture” where she sings of selling his picture on ebay for only $3, which clearly entertained Kid Rock.

I’m still wondering about the out-of-place, “dressed up”, middle-aged guys in golf shirts and khakis on the Blossom Music Center lawn. Did they just wander in thinking the Cleveland Orchestra was performing that night? If that was the case, I would love to interview them! I bet now they are new Kid Rock fans!


		
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