Kid Rock at the Minnesota State Fair, 8/23/14

Categories: Last Night
kidrock1.jpg
Mike Madison
Kid Rock at the Minnesota State Fair

Kid Rock
Minnesota State Fair Grandstand, St. Paul
Saturday, August 23, 2014

There is one vestige of the felled rap-rock era that just refuses to shrivel up and go away. This artifact of one of popular music's more unfortunate trend cycles remains so popular, in fact, that he still manages to sell out massive concerts. This past Saturday at the Minnesota State Fair, he proved his immortality once more by performing to a sold-out crowd of 13,123 America-loving, black bandana and sequin-wearing, fair-going "motherfuckers."

Ladies and gentlemen, Kid Rock is still very much alive and kicking. Included in his ridiculous assortment of hats that he so generously showcased throughout his performance: the fedora/top hat (a marriage of the two most signature hipster hats), the trucker hat, and of course... the cowboy hat. "I wanna be a cowboy, baby," he sang to the drunken crowd, most of them double-fisting in efforts not to spend half of the show waiting in line for another cold one.


Atlanta five-piece Southern rock/country band Blackberry Smoke's set was a pleasant start to the evening. The Americana vibes felt appropriate for the environment of the concert. Small clusters of fans stood apart among the mostly seated stands and sang along to each song, raising their fists in devotion to the long-haired five. It seemed like having flowing, well-manicured locks was a requirement to be a member of Blackberry Smoke.

Lead guitarist and vocalist Charlie Starr's beautiful guitar had designs burnt into its lacquered surface. The band played a laid-back rendition of the Rolling Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want," then he switched over to an acoustic guitar and went into their song "Ain't Got the Blues." "I ain't got the blues anymore, I don't toss and turn at night..." Starr drawled while casually strumming. Their musicianship was unquestioned, but Blackberry Smoke brought no antics to the stage whatsoever.

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Photo by Mike Madison

When Kid Rock initially got on stage, all of the lights in the house went off, plunging us into complete darkness. The strains of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" rose over the speakers, and people jumped to their feet cheering. He strutted onstage while some sort of prayer played over the music, and giant bald eagles were projected onto the massive screens at his sides. "This is not just another concert in another town," he yelled at us. "This is St. Paul, Minnesota!" Everyone screamed in delight and admiration as if Jesus himself had just risen on the stage before them.

Unfortunately, Kid Rock performed every song along with a backing track that already included his vocals. This allowed him plenty of opportunity to either lip sync or just allow the pre-recorded voice to do the singing while he swaggered around the stage, shouting out lyrics at random. His saxophone player was the true star of the show, and blew frantically through complex solo after solo, stealing our attention. A wide banner of a bald eagle hung behind the band, a re-enforcement of the America theme that was going on. The band was fairly large, consisting of three backup singers, two guitarists, two drummers, a keyboardist, bassist, and the saxophone player. Occasionally, one of the backup singers picked up her own guitar and played along. They played through all of his big hits, including "Devil Without a Cause," "American Bad Ass," and "Rock Bottom Blues."

The formula made itself apparent. Most of Kid Rock's songs consist of samples from big American hits, like "Sweet Home Alabama." After taking a huge hit like this, or creating a rock song that sounds vaguely like another famous rock song, he then adds his frantic rapping on top, making sure to utilize the F-word as many times as possible. He's kind of like the Girl Talk of rock.

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Photo by Mike Madison

Basically, if you like one Kid Rock song, you are subconsciously forced into liking all of them -- because all of them are actually the same. A lot of people took that leap of faith and liked that first Kid Rock song. They were all there, screaming their heads off along with him and waving their beers in the air, to lines like "I'm the illest fool/ Cooler than the bottom of a swimming pool."


Location Info

Map

Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

1265 Snelling Ave. N., St. Paul, MN

Category: General


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21 comments
dweebie1969
dweebie1969

Oops! My bad...you missed another one on the set list: Forty 

Jo_B
Jo_B

You'd better be 100% certain someone uses backtracks before including it in your review, especially when the performer is so outspoken about others that use them. Did you happen to notice his DJ, Freddie 'Paradime' Bureaugard raps along and fills in some of the lyrics so Kid Rock can catch his breath? Probably not. Oh, and the backup singer who grabbed her guitar? That was blues guitarist and singer Shannon Curfman, who's lived in the Twin Cities area for over 10 years. If you did your research, you would have known that. Also, double check your set list. He and Shannon sang 'Picture'.

dweebie1969
dweebie1969

Your set list wasn't complete. KR also sang Picture with Shannon Curfman.

teeye123
teeye123

I get why you don't dig Kid Rock, after all, you write for a gay loving, hipster wannabe paper. Do us a favor and stay home in the future, these sold out concerts are hard enough to score tickets to.

biased
biased

...says the lady with piss yellow hair, big stupid sunglasses, wearing a jacket made of pink cotton candy.  I liked the show, but then again I'm a Detroit-native-republican-Christian-thirty-something-out-on-date-night-guy.

sarahstanleyayre
sarahstanleyayre

i don't hate kid rock fans! i just question their fashion choices :)

Tim Stang
Tim Stang

Don't kid yourselves and think every act ever doesn't lip sync.. You go to concerts to see performances not singing

Jason McCain
Jason McCain

Yeah, when you're the big show at state fairs your career is going nowhere. Lol

Jamie Grimm
Jamie Grimm

"Unfortunately, Kid Rock performed every song along with a backing track that already included his vocals. This allowed him plenty of opportunity to either lip sync or just allow the pre-recorded voice to do the singing while he swaggered around the stage, shouting out lyrics at random. He's kind of like the Girl Talk of rock." I used to like Kid Rock until he got all Bro-Country. Knowing he uses backing tracks for his vocals nowadays just made me lose any respect I had left for him.

Crystal Roth
Crystal Roth

Well I don't know about anyone else but if I hear that "Born Free" song one more time I will find Kid Rock and show him that he has never met a Mutha Fucker quite like me....

Ryan Siverson
Ryan Siverson

Could you have a more bias reviewer that hates a band's fans as much as the band itself? That was ridiculous.

Jo_B
Jo_B

I very much doubt he uses backing tacks for his vocals. They perform the songs differently than when he recorded them in the studio, and his DJ, Paradime, sings and raps along with Kid Rock, so I am guessing this is what this Sarah chick was hearing and thought it was backing tracks. She didn't even mention a DJ behind the turn tables in her review, so I am guessing she didn't even see Paradime. And yes, I've been to 7 Kid Rock concerts in the past 18 months, getting as close as 8th row and seeing the sweat roll off his face, and veins bulge in his neck...Rock is singing and rapping live, Paradime is singing and rapping live, and the very talented Twisted Brown Trucker Band is playing live.

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