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Concert Reviews:
Kid Rock ends record-setting DTE run on triumphant note
 

By GARY GRAFF
Digital First Media, @GraffonMusic

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INDEPENDENCE TOWNSHIP -- About halfway through is record-setting show Saturday night, Aug. 22, at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Kid Rock told the packed house that, "When I was younger I thought maybe I could play here, sell it out. Maybe.

"But 10 shows? Man, are you kidding?!"

Saturday was, in fact, the finale of Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band's 10-night stand at the amphitheater that his ex-wife Pamela Anderson once dubbed "Pine Bob" because of his many guest appearances there. It set new records for both the most shows by one act during one summer (breaking good buddy Bob Seger's eight nights, which Rock tied in 2013) and for playing to the most fans in a single season (an estimated 145,000).

A clearly moved Rock made several mentions of the 10 nights during the hour-and-45-minute show -- calling the stand "the best, craziest three weeks of my life" -- but he low-keyed the record, mentioning neither it nor Seger (Palace Sports & Entertainment did present him with a gift and a plaque to commemorate he occasion backstage before the show). Mostly he and the 11-piece TBT, following opening sets by Foreigner and the Packway Handle Band, rocked through another rowdy and energetic set, touching on all or part of 23 songs from Rock's catalog -- heavy, of course on 1998's multi-platinum "Devil Without a Cause" and dressed up with pyrotechnics, laser effects and an extensive video production on a large screen behind the stage.

Ted Nugent, meanwhile, made his fourth appearance of the stand, joining Rock and company for his "Cat Scratch Fever," while Ricky Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd -- who's married to TBT backup singer Stacy Michelle and will be playing DTE on Aug. 29 -- made a walk-on cameo during "All Summer Long." "I know -- he should have a guitar in his hands," Rock cracked. But there was no Seger, who many in the crowd hoped would come out as he did in 2013.

Rock was in much stronger voice than when he began the run on Aug. 7, screaming like banshee though a bit of rasp-- evident particularly on his ballad "Picture" -- indicated he's not completely recovered from an upper respiratory infection that forced him to postpone a couple of shows earlier in the tour. He also defended the fact that the DTE sets were largely the same from night to night, explaining that, "We worked our asses off to do the very best show we cant. It wouldn't work for grandpa here to go to sound check and sing for an hour and a half on my day off." But, he added, "Nobody's asked for a refund."

And there were certainly no complaints from Saturday's crowd, which included Detroit Pistons chief Stan Van Gundy, retired Detroit Lions center Dominic Raiola, Andrew Dost of the band fun., WDIV sportscaster Bernie Smilovitz, Christopher Ilitch and former Detroit Tigers pitcher Dave Rozema.

Rock had nothing but gratitude what had transpired during the past couple of weeks, pausing before the encore of "Bawitdaba" to note, "There's nothing else to say except thank you, Michigan." And when he told the crowd that he "can't wait to see you again" at the end of the show, the 15,000 made it clear that time can't come too soon.



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