Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Stone Cherry
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
July 26, 2009
The Deal: Kid Rock brings along a good bit of Southern rock with openers Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Stone Cherry.
The Good: The show kicked off at 6:30 with a 30-minute set by energetic Southern rockers Black Stone Cherry. The Kentucky quartet's guitarist Ben Wells and bassist John Lawhon were all over the stage as they quickly got the crowd going.
If an opener's job is warming up the audience, I'd say mission accomplished. I'd be interested in seeing them again as they provided a sturdy combination of rock and metal that chugged along through six songs.
The legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd was next up for an hour and a half. Though there's only one original member left Gary Rossington, the audience could care less as the band tore through hit after hit. They opened up with "Skynyrd Nation" before going into "Saturday Night Special." Sure, they showed their age in appearance, but their energy had the crowd singing along to every word.
Johnny Van Zant has been filling his brother's shoes nicely since 1987. No surprise that there were plenty of rebel flags to be seen during "Sweet Home Alabama" and the band, of course, left the stage and came back for a 15-minute "Freebird."
Kid Rock was the last up on the night and held true to his ability to entertain the hell out of a crowd. I can't say I'm a fan, but the guy is a performer and definitely talented. I think his singing vocals have gotten better as he's leaned away from the rap-rock of his past. He pulled off a half-decent cover of "Tumbling Dice" early on in his set and later pulled out covers of "Everyday People," "Cat Scratch Fever" and "California Love." During the song "Three Sheets," Rock, who was wearing a Carolina-blue fedora, showed off his abilities on the DJ tables, drums and guitar. He's also one of the first performers I've seen this year to say, "Time are tough and we thank you for choosing to spend some of your hard-earned money tonight to be here with us." (Much better than the Kings of Leon who said, "Next time bring a friend.")
He paid tribute to the troops during "Only God Knows Why" as photos of Rock doing a USO Tour were shown on the screen he also found time to make fun of himself with a mention of Waffle House while his mugshot ran on the screen. He also noted that there's no "American Idol bullshit going on, as all of the music you hear is being performed live." While staying true to the album versions for most of the night, Rock also sat at a piano and slowed things down for the beginning of "Cowboy."
The Bad: With Kid Rock's recent hit "All Summer Long" using a key riff from "Sweet Home Alabama," you would think that he would invite the band up on stage to perform it during the song, or even invite one of the band members up to play with the group. No such luck. That's like Run DMC and Aerosmith going on tour, but Run DMC not inviting Joe Perry or Steven Tyler up on stage. On an unrelated note Ric Flair can't go anywhere without receiving constant "Woo!" calls. The former wrestler walked to his seat before Kid Rock and the entire amphitheatre was up on their feet, screaming and shouting his call to him.
The Verdict: I'll be honest am I going to listen to Skynyrd or Kid Rock in my car anytime soon? Probably not. However, I do have respect for the music they've put out, that they truly love what they do and if people were going out on Sunday night hoping to have a good time and see a good rock concert, they must have left satisfied.
Black Stone Cherry setlist
Things My Father Said
We are the Kings
Lynyrd Skynyrd setlist
Saturday Night Special
What's Your Name
I Know a Little
Gimme Three Steps
Sweet Home Alabama
Kid Rock setlist
Rock n Roll Jesus
Son of Detroit
Motherfucker Like Me>
American Bad Ass
All Summer Long
Dukes of Hazzard Theme
Only God Knows Why
Picture of Me