Kid Rock Kicks Off American Rock n Roll Tour With a Bang in Nashville
Fans at the Bridgestone Arena treated Kid Rock like po-dunk royalty on Friday night (Jan. 19). The 47-year-old crossover artist chose to launch his American Rock n Roll Tour in Nashville, and Music City gave the country-rock fueled show a warm welcome.
The crowd was already buzzing for opener A Thousand Horses; fans served the band loud cheers, lit up their cellphones and put their hands in the air on command, but when they finally got Kid Rock’s main course, they lost their minds for the next two hours.
Kid Rock toyed with fans even before coming onstage, posting a video of his "F—k Tank" on a projector screen, which slowly showed the meter moving from full to empty, while pumping the crowd up with songs from Black Sabbath, N.W.A., Journey and more. When Kid Rock finally took the stage, with the unforgiving rocker “Greatest Show on Earth,” the Nashville crowd erupted.
The opening song was more like a finale, with major pyrotechnics, streamers dropping from the ceiling and intense dancers — all hands were on deck. Kid Rock knew it was over the top and at the end of the song, he said, “Thank you, good night!”
However, he reappeared shortly after, giving a politically charged poetry session as a digital banner that read “Kid Rock for Senate ’18,” flashed behind him. He used his pre-song platform to lead into “You Never Met a Motherfu—er Quite Like Me” from 2001’s Cocky and then early millennium rocker “American Bad Ass” before easing into the heart of the show, which was more dialed down than his intro and outro.
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Rock’s latest album Sweet Southern Sugar wasn’t exactly a bedrock for this show, but the four songs he chose to perform — "Greatest Show on Earth," "Po-Dunk," "American Rock ’n Roll" and "Tennessee Mountain Top" — were definitive high points. Kid Rock strayed from the arrangement on these four original album cuts, purposely highlighting the lyrics with acoustic-driven versions on all but "Greatest Show on Earth." The three acoustic-fueled live renditions were refreshing takes, shifting some of the focus from the wild stage show and placing it back on the music.
However, the intensity of Kid Rock's overall show cannot be denied, whether it's an in-your-face cuss frenzy or the screeching note on an acoustic song — he sells it all with high emotional value. The show also shifts in multiple directions over its two hours, keeping fans engaged with drum and guitar solos from the band (Kid Rock also does both of these), costume changes, crowd-teasing callback sessions and sidewinders like Kid Rock's DJ set, in which he lights a cigar and pours a glass of Jim Beam, all while scratching records.
The show also bursts with American pride, with plenty of red, white and blue lights, American flag apparel and a video tribute for the military that leads to 2010's "Born Free," which was the band's final song of the set. Nashville fans also received a (most likely anticipated) four-song encore that featured "American Rock 'n Roll," "First Kiss," "Bawitdaba" and smash duet, "Picture," which Kid Rock originally sang with Sheryl Crow (Crow was not at the show).
The majority of fans stayed on their feet throughout the show right until the end, powering through Kid Rock's multi-genre, career-spanning setlist. Flowing with a special intensity that transcends the peaks and valleys of a two-hour set, the American Rock n Roll Tour is one of Kid Rock's best tours to date and perhaps one of the best live shows in music today.
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