I had mentally prepared myself for a night of tight jeans, cowboy boots, hoochie mamas and draft beer, knowing I was walking into a Kid Rock concert. I may have found more than my fair share of those but the best part was the REAL rock and roll I got to experience before the American Badass even hit the stage.
If you’re from Canada, you may recognize The Trews’ newest single, ‘Hope and Ruin’ from the opening montage of our favourite televised pastime, Hockey Night in Canada. Let’s see… Canada’s favourite sport… being introduced by one of Canada’s best REAL rock bands… throw some beer in there and you’ve got most of Canada standing at attention.
The Trews, supporting Kid Rock tonight, did a little rocking of the John Labatt Centre themselves. It was amazing. Pure and simple. No flashy fireworks, no special effects, just honest to goodness rock and roll. These guys do one thing and they do it well. They make songs that everyone remembers. Whether it’s their melodic ballads or their full out party rock songs, these guys know how to write hits.
They pulled no punches as they ran through their lengthy list of hit singles. Starting the night off with ‘I Can’t Stop Laughing’ then moving on through a number of other hits ‘Fleeting Trust’ to ‘So She’s Leaving’ to ‘Tired of Waiting’ to ‘Paranoid Freak’.. And I honestly can’t say I have purchased any of their records up to this point but there were hardly any songs I couldn’t sing along to. Making me realize that maybe I should support these guys and grab a few albums, they’re amazing.
The moment they played the first few chords of ‘Poor Old Broken Hearted Me,’ everyone was up out of their seats and singing along. They ripped through a few more hits and finished off their set with ‘Hold Me In Your Arms’ beers raised, feedback streaming out of their amps and a gracious thanks to the crowd. A real rock and roll send off… and no, ‘We’re Not Ready to Go’.
From the opposite end of the Rock spectrum, Kid Rock followed the Trews tonight. Before he hit the stage, out of nowhere came the track ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ from Journey. With half of the audience already singing along, a giant screen was revealed playing a slideshow of Kid Rock’s discography starting a waaaay back in the early 90s. They showed some great high school photos, album covers, played a few samples of a few of his earlier hit singles, and photos of him with his friends, family and other celebrities.
Then BAN! Balls of fire… bottles of Jim Beam… police lights… and lasers?
Yes. There were even lasers.
From ‘American Badass’ to ‘You Never Met a Motherfucker Quite Like Me’ to ‘Picture’, he sped through his hits and had fans singing and dancing along non-stop.
Then the controversial ladies Kid Rock had the JLC audition as dancers hit the stage. Not sure what the fuss was all about; a few women in short shorts and cowboy boots dancing around a pole. They were so far at the back of the stage that had you not been looking for them, you may not have even seen them. But there they were, dancing to only one song, ‘Cowboy’, undoubtedly one of his biggest hits. And then they were gone until the end of the evening.
He scaled through several more songs and finished his set with a video of Beavis and Butthead introducing his last number, â€˜Bawitdabaâ€™. You know it’s true, he is right in calling himself ‘Cocky’ but I have to admit, he puts on one hell of a show.
I left the venue last night with a smile on my face. I hit the merch booth before leaving and spent a few bucks that were well worth it. I got what I came for, a night of real Rock and Roll. Thank you.