Saturday, 28 May 2011

Kid Rock Born Free Concert at the Air Canada Concert

Kid Rock’s Born Free Tour exploded into the Air Canada Centre on May 27th 2011. After a nice opening set by hometown based The Trews, the highlight of which was their poignant “Highway of Heroes”, Kid Rock and his Twisted Brown Trucker band unleashed a masterpiece of a show.

It opened with a video collage of photos and video footage from when he was young up to the present and then he made his entrance on the stage which looked like an old-time bar in someone’s basement, with wood paneling, and members of the band set up on the bar counter tops.
He walked through the saloon doors in the centre and just totally rocked out. I loved that songs from his lesser known most recent and most mellow album, Born Free, were sprinkled between the crowd rousers.

Midway through the show he talked about turning 40 earlier this year and a video played greetings from many celebrities, mainly talk show hosts sending him birthday wishes. He then informed the crowd that he intended to turn this whole tour into a yearlong 40th birthday party and launched into a hilarious song, “Fuckin’ 40”, which I could certainly relate to.

His greatest songs, “Cowboy” and “Bawidaba” were executed to perfection and I was happy that he played some other personal favourites, “Sugar” which for some reason he hadn’t played on his “Rock N’ Roll Jesus” tour, as well, he led us into the chant of his name from “3 Sheets to Wind” before taking to the DJ decks for a demonstration of incredible scratching, while pouring himself a shot of Jim Beam and then standing up on the bar top all the while continuing to scratch, he then played some lead guitar before taking over the drum kit.

At one point, five bar stools were set up in the middle of the stage as three guitarists, including Rock and the two backup singers sat down to play. Rock introduced the song by saying before he had hit the road an interviewer asked what could be expected from this tour, his response was “Strippers and stripping down”. By stripping down he was referring to the acoustic rendition of “Purple Sky” which followed. By the way the strippers were fantastic too.

Aside from excellent music and musicianship the there was a full-fledged visual assault of pyrotechnics, lasers, fireworks, video effects, to compliment the aforementioned strippers, all of which just totally worked and never seemed overdone, or detracted from the incredible music.

Kid Rock himself, in my opinion, best showman of this century, was so spirited, jumping around, dancing, high-fiving members of the audience, acknowledging signs and giving the audience his sincere gratitude for spending our hard earned money to come see him.

The encore consisted of a wonderful, funky stripped down version “All Summer Long” with Kid Rock dancing and playing maracas. He then sat down at the piano to play “Only God Knows Why”. The piano rose out of the stage revealing USA and Canada flags as it turned a 360 and then Kid Rock climbed up on top of the piano until it retracted back into the stage. He closed with the best song of the “Born Free” album, which is its title track.

I’ve been to many great concerts throughout the years, but this one concert, was the best I’ve ever witnessed.

10 *s

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