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Kid Rock plans may benefit concert with DSO
Kid Rock has never attended a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert. But he still wants to help the venerable institution.
Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band plan to raise $1 million for the DSO by performing a special concert with the orchestra on May 12 at Detroit's Fox Theatre. Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 3, priced $100-$1,500 with VIP packages -- including meet-and-greets, dinners and other perks -- starting at $750.
The Clarkston-based artist says he committed to the concert during early 2011, when the DSO and its musicians were reaching a settlement in their labor dispute. "As a musician, a cultural institution like that in Detroit is important, and I thought I could do it," Rock (real name Bob Ritchie) explains. "I thought it would be something different to play with an orchestra and to do something great -- even though the ticket prices are going to be way over what I'm used to charging the fans. But it's got to be that way to get to the ($1 million) number they need."
Rock says he was recruited for the benefit by Quicken Loans chief Dan Gilbert, who partnered on Rock's 2011 Care tour, which raised about $400,000 for local charities in the cities it played. Ilitch Holdings, Olympia Entertainment, the DSO and Rock's Made In Detroit and Kid Rock Foundation are sponsoring the May show, with more expected to join in the near future.
"We've all kind of pulled together on this one," Rock says. "It's fortunate we've got such good people in such a struggling city."
Rock says he and the DSO are "in the early stages" of determining the concert's repertoire, using an outside arranger to come up with the orchestra's parts. He expects to play for about 90 minutes and cover everything from quiet ballads such as "Picture" to anthems like "Born Free" and even hard rock favorites like "Bawitdaba." He's not planning to have any guests at the show but says that "if something great, locally, popped up, it's a possibility."
"I want to do stuff that does fit and I want to do stuff that absolutely doesn't fit and...just do stuff that's different," explains Rock, who says a he'll consider adding a second date if the May 12 show sells out quickly. "I just want it to work for everybody. I want it to be a great thing for the city. I want it to be a great piece for the DSO. I want to be on top of my game and perform good and put together the right set list.
"I want to make it something people aren't only proud of but have them walk away going, 'Wow, that was worth that high-dollar ticket price.' It's not going to be a show people have seen before at all, in any regard. All I can guarantee is it'll be interesting."
It will also be Rock's first full-fledged symphonic concert, and he notes that "I spend more time on this than I do putting stadium shows together. The amount of work this takes has been...unbelievable."
The Fox performance will be Rock's first home town area appearance since his Aug. 12-13 stand at Comerica Park. He says it will also be his only local performance in what's going to be a light year of touring. "I'm thinking about going to a few shows...and being a fan this year," Rock notes.
Rock is also preparing for his annual Chillin' The Most Cruise from April 26-30 out of Miami. In March, meanwhile, he plans to start recording his next album at "a private location" in the metro area, working with Twisted Brown Trucker and a group of songs he's already written. "It's kind of a greatest hits type of thing -- with new songs," Rock says. "There's poignant songs like 'Born Free,' some very fun stuff like 'Devil Without a Cause,' there's a few heavy things, there's a very, very dark ballad...
"We're going to set up and try to pound these songs out live and try to do it very organic like the last record (2010's 'Born Free') -- actually even more organic. I'm really excited."
Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker are also featured in the latest edition of PBS' "Live From the Artists Den," which was filmed Nov. 28 at Elvis Presley's Graceland home in Memphis and premieres locally at 10 p.m. Monday, Feb. 27, on WTVS (Channel 56 in Detroit).
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