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Concert Reviews:
Kid Rock Has A Winter Blast At Joe Louis Arena
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

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DETROIT -- Forget about what was going on over at Campus Martius Park on Friday night (Feb. 8). Detroit's real Winter Blast was at Joe Louis Arena, where Kid Rock, his Twisted Brown Trucker Band and their special guests turned up the heat for an epic night of rock 'n' roll.

With a near sell-out crowd in exuberant form for the first of two home town shows on his Rock N Roll Revival tour, the Clarkston-based Rock and company kept the fuse lit for more than three hours (including a 15-minute intermission) with a revue-style outing that incorporated performances by the J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf, former Allman Brothers Band guitarist Dickie Betts and Run-DMC's Rev. Run. There were also plenty of special Motor City touches, including a run-through of Geils' "Detroit Breakdown" and a rendition of "Son of Detroit" that allowed Rock to introduce the 10 Twisted Brown Trucker members.

And, of course, there are few other places where a lyric like, "I'm a Michigan boy can you feel that?" has the same kind of resonance.

Eschewing the pyrotechnics, dancers and other visual trappings of previous Kid Rock shows, Friday's concert was a music-focused affair that was also distinguished as the only time all three of the Revival guests have shared the stage. Wolf came on early to sing "Love Stinks" as he tossed roses into the crowd, while 10 songs later Betts joined Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker for the Allmans' hit "Ramblin' Man." Wolf then finished the first half of the show with a set that began with "Detroit Breakdown" and brought Rock back for the Temptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and the Geils favorites "Musta Got Lost" -- preceded by Wolf's well-known "Woofah Goofah" introduction -- and "Centerfold."

And after the second half opened with "Devil Without a Cause," Rev. Run and Rock had the Joe Louis crowd jumping and waving their arms in the air (like they just didn't care) for a medley of Run-DMC gems such as "Rock Box," "It's Like That," "Tricky," "King of Rock" and the rap group's hit cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way."

Betts sat out the encores, but Wolf, who finishes his tenure this weekend, and Run returned for Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and the spiritual "This Little Light of Mine" before Rock and his crew pounded through a show-closing "Bawitdaba."

Despite the high-profile cameos, however, it was still unquestionably a Kid Rock show, its cocky swagger backed up by a partisan audience that has long embraced Rock as the heir apparent to his mentor, Bob Seger, as Detroit's king of rowdy, rocking concert experiences. And he didn't disappoint with a his own slate of hits ("American Bad Ass," "Cowboy," "Only God Knows Why," "Picture") and well-received songs from 2007's "Rock N Roll Jesus" -- particularly the classic rock-quoting "All Summer Long," the soulful "Roll On," the buoyant "Amen" and the pounding "So Hott."

In the Olympia Room after the show, a ski-capped Rock puffed on a celebratory cigar and accepted compliments for the night shows. Justifiably awed by what he's designed, he remarked that, "I don't know what else I could do."

More of the same would be just fine.

Kid Rock and the Twisted Brown Trucker Band, with special guests Rev. Run, Peter Wolf and Dickey Betts, perform again at 8 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 9) at Joe Louis Arena, 600 Civic Center Drive. Tickets are $45, $38.50 and $26.50. Call (313) 471-6606 or visit www.olympiaentertainment.com.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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