by Jeff Niesel
Dubbed the “$20 Best Night Ever Tour” on account of the low ticket price (lawn seats were only $20) and cheap drinks (small beers were $4), Kid Rock’s concert last night at Blossom certainly lived up to the billing. While Rock benefited from the nu-metal movement (if you can call it that) of the 2000s, the guy started his career in the 1990s and gradually worked his way up to the point where he became the top-selling male solo act of the 2000s. He's a much better rapper than singer, but he’s a heck of a showman. Last night, he arrived on stage to the sound of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” and then dove into rap-rock classics like “Devil Without a Cause” and “American Bad Ass.”
For “Redneck Paradise,” a song he sang in the studio with country singer Hank Williams Jr., he played the video the two made and sang along to it. The tune came out just fine and certainly went over well with the heavily intoxicated working class crowd that filled both the pavilion and lawn. “We’ve got a lot of drunk fuckers down here in Cleveland,” Kid Rock enthused mid-set as he worked his way up through the pavilion and then to the base of the lawn for a short medley of tunes that included a few riffs from Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” and a cover of the Bob Seger classic “Old Time Rock & Roll.” Overall, the redneck rock fared better than the ballads (“Picture” just didn’t work well live) but Kid Rock deserves credit for finding a way to fill arenas at a time when arena rock acts are a dying breed.
Sharply dressed openers Kool & the Gang delivered a solid 45-minute that included hits such as “Ladies Night,” “Jungle Boogie” and the set closing “Celebration.” The only problem was that they didn’t have enough amplification. C’mon, Kid Rock. Given the guys some more juice!