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Concert Reviews:
Kid Rock flashes back to club days in Flint
 

By GARY GRAFF
of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK



FLINT -- The flashbacks Kid Rock experienced on Saturday night (April 16) were not residual effects from the bacchanalia of his recent Chillin' The Most cruise.

They were a little more personal than that

"I remember these club days," the Clarkston-based Rock, who's been playing mostly arenas, amphitheaters and stadiums for the past 12 years or so, told a crowd of about 500, including Detroit Lions offensive guard Stephen Peterman, gathered at the Machine Shop for private show. "They're coming back to me. I remember those 12 years of doing club (gigs). It's fun being back in the club -- for one night."

And for one special night at that. Besides the exclusive nature of the event -- part of the Jim Beam Live Music Series (Rock endorses and is sponsored by the spirit maker's Red Stag brand) -- it was a rare opportunity to see Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band in such closer quarters; after all, his other Michigan shows this year have been at larger venues for his 40th birthday bash at Detroit's Ford Field and arena shows in Saginaw and Grand Rapids.

But the troupe didn't seem to have any trouble getting small on Saturday, playing a one-hour, 13-song set with an in-your-face energy that suited the setting and showing that Rock and company could still deliver even without the pyrotechnics and more opulent staging of its usual concerts.

Introduced, as always, by production manager Eric "Shakes" Gryzbowski, Rock -- sporting a fedora and a fringed seude vest -- tore into the hard-rocking "Rock N Roll Jesus" and a swinging "God Bless Saturday" (a club natural) to kick off a set split between new material from 2010's "Born Free" album and older favorites, including a rarely played "Wasting Time" and a loose rendition of "Cowboy." Though the 11-piece group had to backtrack after a botched segue between "You Never Met a Motherf***er Quite Like Me" and "Slow My Roll," it still sounded tightly honed from its recent tour and the boat cruise, deftly executing the ballad "Rock On" and a stripped-down, acoustic version of "Purple Sky" -- no small feat in a sweat, rowdy rock club -- as well as a bluesy take on "So Hott."

And after a romp through the gospel standard "This Little Light of Mine," Rock dedicated "Born Free" to two U.S. servicemen in attendance who were headed to Afghanistan the next day.

Though the show was not open to the public, Jim Beam will be posting 45 minutes of video from the show on its web site this week. A selection of tracks, meanwhile, will be made available for download via a special code for those who buy Jim Beam products.

Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker have a couple of weeks off before hitting the road again in early May, including a performance at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and a run through Canada. A summer tour with Sheryl Crow begins July 2 in Cincinnati; Rock has not announced a Detroit area appearance for the summer but did say he's planning "something special" for his home town.

The full set list for Kid Rock's Machine Shop show in Flint included:

Rock N Roll Jesus

God Bless Saturday

"You Never Met a Motherf***er Quite Lke Me"

Slow My Roll

Wasting Time

Cowboy

Rock On

All Summer Long

So Hott

Forty

Purple Sky

This Little Light of Mine

Born Free

Web Site: www.jimbeam.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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