American Bada$$

Here’s another music post, so if you aren’t interested, there’s nothing to see here.

Well, thanks to Ticketmaster, we scored some good seats to see Kid Rock down in Nashville last night. I had mentioned in the last entry that I was thinking about convincing Goddess to go. But tix were around $43 and I’m not that big of a fan. Well, Wednesday night Ticketmaster announced that they were intent on filling the arena, so for 12-hours on Thursday seats would go on sale. And sale they did. We scored just off stage left, about 60 feet away and 30 feet above the stage, for $17.50 each. Now that’s a price I like.

FULL DISCLOSURE: Number of Kid Rock CD’s that I own = Zero. I haven’t bought any because, as a whole I find the lyrics to be quite vulgar and juvenile. That says a lot coming from this vulgar and juvenile guy. But I can only stomach so much, so I don’t bother buying the CDs (and no, I don’t download any music. Period). But there were two things that I knew to be true for this concert – 1). Kid Rock is an entertainer. Plain and simple. So I knew it would be a good show, much along the lines that Marilyn Manson puts on a great concert; MM’s a great entertainer too (it amazes me that folks take him seriously as a “threat” to whatever they deem him a threat too), and 2) Lyrics aside, I do like the music immensely. I learned as a teenager that most lyrics are inane and actually detract from a song, so I listen to the tune, preferring good hooks and grooves as well as technical mastery of the instrument. I love all kinds of music, from classical to bluegrass to hip-hop to punk; so does Kid Rock. The difference is that he can make great music tying those influences together. I cannot. So I knew that he’d play some good music. And he didn’t disappoint on both parts. The third reason that I was hoping for in this concert was that perhaps there would be an unannounced visitor, namely Hank Williams, Jr., since he owns a house here in Nashville. Unfortunately, Hank didn’t show.

Anyway, the crowd was much different than the Linkin Park crowd of just three nights before. But the women weren’t dressed much differently (short, short skirts and plunging necklines). Goddess and I found our seats and were quite pleased, especially since we were much, much closer than the seats way back up top that folks paid $43 for!. There was one hanging amp that blocked the view of front center stage just a bit, but no big deal, since Kid rarely stood there. And when he did, we just couldn’t see his head. And since he’s not much to look at, we took that as just a minor inconvenience.

The show started off with a salute to the military. Very nice. The Nashville US Marine Corp Recruiting Squadron appeared as the honor guard and stood at attention on stage as the National Anthem was played. Very nice to see at a concert.

After a bit of pre-show pump by someone who’s name I didn’t catch (there was no warm-up act), Kid and everyone took the stage about 30 minutes late, dressed in a white leisure suit, complete with matching cowboy hat. Straight into Rock and Roll Jesus, his controversial new song. The first several songs were his more “relaxed” style, mixing rock, bluegrass, country and blues. The big surprise of the night came when Kid announced a special guest, who turned out to be the one and only Peter Wolf of The J. Geils Band fame. Peter rolled right into “Love Stinks“, which had the crowd rolling. Kid joined him on “Centerfold” (link goes to video, complete with Martha Quinn goodness), then Peter left the stage.

Here’s a small clip from his song “Cowboy“, which gives you an idea of the view we had (although it looks much further away than it really was):

A few more Kid Rock songs and then he announced his first guest of the night, Dickey Betts, guitarist for the Allman Brother’s Band. They played a few Allman Brothers classics, including “Ramblin’ Man” and threw in a few riffs from “Sweet Home Alabama” just to get the crowd really riled up.

And what has to be a first for any of the gazillion rock concerts I’ve been to, Kid Rock announced a 15-minute intermission. They had already played 12 or 13 songs and it was time for a break. The house lights came on and I looked at my watch. It was a full 90 minutes after the show started! Hell, we already got our $17.50 worth!

The second part of the show started and Kid came out in Adidas, jeans and a tank top. Now was time for the harder stuff. A few songs into the set, he announced his second guest, who I was really, really, really jonesin’ to see. It was Rev. Run of Run DMC fame. I was grinning from ear to ear the entire time they performed together. It really took me back. Way back.

Back to when the album “Run DMC” was released in 1984. We were jamming to “Rock Box” and “It’s Like That” long before MTV “discovered” them. Good memories of high school cross country camp up at Big Bear Lake, CA, with the giant boom box thumpin’ out their rhymes. Also good memories of being 16 and running at altitude (6700′-7000′), including the loop around the entire lake, 17 miles of lung- and quad-busting goodness (click on the link and select “display elevation”. Whoever loaded this loop runs it the opposite direction that we did, so check out that descent between miles 7-8, which would have been a climb between 13-14 for us). Anyway, by the time MTV “discovered” them, thanks to “Walk this Way”, I’d been a fan for a while. The rhymes and rhythms have always resonated with me and the CD’s still go with us on road trips to this day.

Here’s a 5:30-minute clip of Run and Kid jamming through a Run DMC medley:

It was tough to hold the camera steady and jam to the music at the same time.

Many more songs and he ended with “Bawitdaba“, a full three hours after he started. I didn’t keep track of songs, but I saw a song list from another show that listed 31 songs. Again, well worth the $17.50 per seat for Goddess and I to enjoy a very entertaining show.

A few interesting vignettes:

  • Billed as a “Rock and Roll Revival”, the main stage had an extension shaped like a cross.
  • During one break between songs, Kid thanked everyone who spent money to see them play, considering how tight money is these days.
  • At another point, he stopped the show and, just like a good preacher would, asked everyone to turn around and meet the folks around them; that was pretty cool.
  • Probably the most interesting moment was right after he blasted through “You Never Met a Motherfxcker Like Me“, he led the crowd in singing “This Little Light of Mine“, an old Sunday school song.
  • The funniest thing we saw, which you can see in the “Cowboy” video, is the woman holding up the sign “I want to sit on your face and spin twice”. Real classy!

Well worth the money. If you’re a huge fan, I’d recommend paying more. A neighbor rode down with us and she bought a significantly more expensive ticket, but she ended up right next to the stage and loved every minute of it.

Tomorrow night – WILCO. Then the week of concerts is over. Darnit.

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