August 3, 2013
Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
Kid Rock, (real name Robert James Ritchie) hailing from Detroit, Michigan, is an artist that people either seem to love or hate, and since he’s such a highly-controversial “bad boy,” it made me want to check him out for myself and see what the fuss was all about. I could then base my personal assessment on how his voice, the beat, and the music made me feel.
Plus, if famous artists were going to offer tickets at a mere $20 each–for THREE bands–I figured, what did I have to lose? What did that say about the artists? Maybe that they were trying to make a statement that it’s not okay to charge $200 for a ticket to see a concert. Barry Fey, Denver’s most famous concert promoter, would have concurred. He once told me that the only way to lower concert ticket prices was for fans to refuse to pay exorbitant prices. Not sure if that’s ever going to happen, but at least Kid Rock, ZZ Top, and Uncle Kracker are making an attempt. It’s also a great marketing tool: make the concert affordable and more people will attend, thereby bringing the artist more fans who will buy his or her music and T-shirts and hopefully attend future shows.
There were three bands in the lineup in Denver that day—Uncle Kracker, ZZ Top, and Kid Rock. Due to a torrential downpour, it took us a while to get to our seats, so we missed the first band. I’m not talking about a nice, summer shower here, it dumped on us for hours, and there were a lot of people in the audience who hadn’t prepared for adverse weather conditions, giving the term “wet T-shirt contest” an even more “interesting” connotation. Oooo—middle-aged women in beige, cotton shorts should perhaps think twice about wearing black thongs when the sky looks like it may open up at any moment.
In any case, it was difficult to see ZZ Top through the tiny crack between the bottom of my umbrella and the top of my plastic rain poncho. Still I could hear them well enough, and the boys from Texas put on a great show—they always do—with their fluffy guitars, long beards, and gravelly voices. Uh how how how how…
By the time Kid Rock took the stage, the downpour had ceased and instead of the sky exploding, the stage did; Kid‘s performance blasted my bones right out of me.
First, they played videos in five minute intervals stating: “15 minutes until show time!” “10 minutes until show time!” on the giant screens on either side of the stage, and before Kid came onstage, they played another video with an eagle rising from the bottom of the screen against a forest background with Kid‘s voice-over thanking God for allowing him this opportunity and asking God to help him deliver a great show to all those who came to the concert that night.
Nice touch, and although I know very little about Kid, I’d heard enough about him to know that this concert was not going to be a G-rated, Christian-rock-based show.
Kid burst onto the stage, singing some hip-hop song laced with obscenities and cannon balls (his). The more I heard, the more I loved it. I had to ask myself, “Where have I been?” Well, perhaps where I’d been was that I’d heard that his music was more country laced with rock and rap. I was partially correct. However, I had no idea he could do it so well. There was a man a few rows ahead of us wearing a T-shirt that read “You’ve never met a motherf–er quite like me” and at first I thought, “Wow, that guy has some nerve!” Then Kid sang that in one of his songs, and later my husband produced the same T-shirt from under his soaked fishing jacket! I guess if I had to sum up my impression of Kid’s performance in one sentence, that would be it. I’d never heard anything quite like what he delivered that night. I apologize for not being familiar enough with his music to report the song he opened with, but it knocked my soaked socks off.
Rock‘s band, Twisted Brown Trucker, and backup singers were top-notch too. Shannon Curfman, clearly not a novice, (she’s released quite a few albums herself) was so fantastic when she sang “Picture” with Kid, I would have liked to have heard her sing even more. She is truly a star!
I love music that challenges my sense of what is right and wrong in the world, music that challenges my sense of who I am as a person–brazen music that exposes the soul of the artist and makes no apologies. Kid spilled his guts on his drug use, sex, his faith in God, and his pride in being an American, among other things. No doubt, I’d never seen a motherf–er quite like Kid and next time he comes to Denver, I’ll be sure to be in the audience!
Some of the songs from the setlist:
All Summer Long
What I Learned Out on the Road
You Never Met a Motherf–er Quite Like Me
3 Sheets to the Wind (What’s My Name)
(All photos and content property of Baja Rock Pat. Please do not copy without prior written permission.)