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Concerts

Kid Rock - Seminole Hard Rock Live, Hollywood - December 30

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The set featured plenty of Rock's CMT approved pseudo-country, all of which blended together to make for one big, kind-of-sort-of twangy song, punctuated by the words "redneck" and Rock's trademark "ha!" calls. The biggest moments of the night were, of course, the big hits, including an early appearance of "Devil Without a Cause" and the audience losing control for the harmonica introduction of "Cowboy." Every one in the room was suddenly transformed into a head-bobbing hype-man for "American Badass," and it appeared they had brushed up on the lyrics of Rock's duet with Sheryl Crow, "Picture," which had Crow's parts performed by backing singer/guitarist Shannon Curfman.

The other big moments of the evening came by way of other people's music, sprinkled in throughout the show for good measure. Aside from the previously mentioned Metallica riff lifted for "American Badass", a nod at the Motor City Madman Ted Nugent came during a solo feature that Rock crafted for himself towards the end of the set. He played some electric guitar, put on a ball cap, and did some scratching on DJ Paradime's tables, played the drums while singing "Cat Scratch Fever," sang "let's get shitfaced" through a Peter Frampton style guitar talk-box, and basically did everything possible to attempt to show just how multi-faceted the talents of Kid Rock truly are. He even rapped over Freddie King's "Going Down."

From the moment the show began (to a pre-recorded introduction of "Don't Stop Believin'") to Rock's mid-set costume change, to Richard Petty's famous be-feathered cowboy hat and fringed leather jacket, the point of Kid Rock's concert really boiled down to a group of people getting as drunk as possible to a combination of mediocre country music and musical appropriations, mixed-in with what comes off in the context of a setlist as awkwardly aggressive hits from the '90s.

The heartbreak of it all is that Kid Rock sells big, the place was packed -- and people were having a really good time. Not only that, they paid a lot of money to see this show. In the meantime, there's a veritable sea of artists that write painstakingly original music right in our backyard that can't get 30 friends in a room on a weekend... For free.

We're not saying everyone needs to start paying close attention to music blogs (like the one you're reading) or explore a (free) site like Spotify or anything like that. But we are saying that it's a real bummer that a guy that talk-sings over other people's tracks, plays watered down country music, and traveled the country with Mitt Romney in the name of "the working class" can fill a room as big as Hard Rock Live's, two nights in a row, and (seriously) offer a DJ set with a $600 per table price tag on New Year's Eve.

Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: Would rather have Jack White end the concert four songs in than sit through an entire Kid Rock show.


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David Von Bader

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