At some point during Kid Rock’s return to the Puyallup Fair Sunday night it struck me just how artificial a lot of what you hear on top 40 radio is these days. It was right around the time that Kid – a guy who’s spent the latter part of his career lifting riffs from Metallica, Warren Zevon and ZZ Top – bragged about how authentic his band was because, you know, they play instruments and stuff. Oooooh, ahhhhh.
“This is not ‘American Idol’ … this is American Badass!” he declared to explosive cheers. Then he alluded to something that’s actually been messing with my head all week: “And what the (heck) is Steven Tyler thinkin’ about?” (Click here if you haven’t heard. But I digress.)
Not sure if Kid realized some serious “American Idol” action was going on as he spoke, with season six contestant Sanjaya headlining the Great American stage that same night (video on the way.) But fans hung on his every word as he packed hits and just enough jarring pyro into a set that clocked in at about a hour and three quarters.
Smash singled “Cowboy” and “Picture” drew the loudest cheers I heard at the grandstand this year, the latter – his duet with Sheryl Crow – sung with talented backup singer and “triple threat” Shannon Curfman, who thrilled by playing a few licks on guitar at Rock’s request.
Kid Rock threw in some new material, too, from his forthcoming “Born Free” album. Expect him to dig deeper into the Southern-rock thing he’s been mining since rap-rock went out of style, based on performances of the title cut and a track called “Slow My Roll.”
Kid Rock set list
Sept. 26, 2010
Rock N’ Roll Jesus
Son of Detroit
Never Met a M—- Quite Like Me
Slow My Roll
All Summer Long
Rock N’ Roll Pain Train
Everyday People (Sly & the Family Stone, on piano)
In Color (Jamey Johnson, on piano)
Cowboy (piano intro)
Born Free (new)
[Medley, call & response with Kid Rock scratchin', on drums for Cat Scratch Fever]