Kid Rock, playing House of Blues, makes rock ‘n’ roll fantasy a reality

Twelve years ago, I went on tour with Kid Rock for a few days during a summer almost as hot as he was at the time.

I traveled on a bus with drummer Stefanie Eulinberg, guitarists Kenny Olson and Jason Krause and miniature MC Joe C., who smoked as much pot as anyone I have ever been around — even during shows, he’d sneak behind a stack of amps for a few puffs.

And yet, the guy was still pretty cranky most of the time. (To be fair, he had health issues that limited his diet and eventually claimed his life a few months later, sadly.)

Joe C. was a neat freak who cleaned a lot and didn’t seem to like strangers on the bus — especially strangers with notepads and tape recorders.

This is understandable — on the road, the bus is a band’s home, a diesel-powered sanctuary, and no one enjoys unwanted guests walking into their living room and asking questions.

But, there I was, a 23-year-old journalist on the road for the first time, trying not be overwhelmed by it all, though what an overwhelming introduction it was: Metallica’s “Summer Sanitarium” stadium tour, with Kid Rock, Korn, Powerman 5000 and System of a Down opening the show.

Now, to completely ruin the mystique of something that doesn’t deserve any mystique to begin with: The backstage area at most shows is about as exciting as Yahtzee time in a nursing home library.

Unfortunately, there are seldom any half-naked groupies cavorting about, offering their bosoms from which to snort lines of designer drugs.

There are no kiddie pools full of Jagermeister; no cocaine dispensaries.

Instead, what you mostly find is a bunch of weary, road-worn musicians and their haggard-looking crew just trying to get through the tedium of the day — being on tour is like sitting in the waiting room at the dentist’s office for 10 hours at a time, nothing happens, you’re just biding your time.

And then it’s on to the next city to do it all over again.

It’s like “Groundhog Day” with guitars and suspect hygiene.

OK, got that mental image?

Now completely disregard it when it comes to this particular trek.

Metallica was at the height of its fame, and frontman James Hetfield had yet to get sober, so there was plenty of ego and excess in the air. (When the members of Metallica walked the venue halls, no one else was allowed to even be in their presence, you literally had to wait behind closed doors until they passed and their security dudes gave the OK.)

I first hooked up with the band at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, and the first thing I remember is walking into one of their dressing areas and seeing what seemed like half the strippers in the city packed into this small, windowless room.

A warehouse full of computer chips contains less silicone than was present at that moment.

In each market, Kid Rock’s handlers went out and recruited exotic dancers to jiggle onstage during the band’s set, which also boasted a giant inflatable middle finger — you know, just to keep things classy, Ron Burgundy-style.

Some of these ladies would eventually find their way on to the bus, to, you know, talk about the merits of diplomacy versus unilateral displays of force in the Middle East and other pressing issues.

It really was the rock ‘n’ roll fantasy that Bad Company once sang of come to life — only, unlike that song, it didn’t suck.

For that, I’ve got to give Kid Rock credit.

His repertoire has long been posited on machismo, braggadocio and a complete lack of equivocation when it comes to both, and it only took a few hours in his band’s presence to see that they lived up to the talk.

Onstage, Kid Rock was a randy fireball, cocksure and in command, a debauched drill sergeant in a fedora and baggy pants.

Off it, well, he was just Robert Ritchie — Bob, as everyone called him — someone who was clearly in charge of the band, but still a relatable presence despite his stardom, which was reaching its zenith at the time, as he was still supporting his breakout 1998 disc, “Devil Without a Cause,” that mega-platinum gene splicing of Run DMC and AC/DC that would go on to sell more than 10 million copies.

Since those heady days, Kid Rock has continually tweaked his sound and aesthetic, going from rap rock to country rock to something akin to contemporary classic rock.

Perhaps his greatest talent, aside from being a musical chameleon, is his ability to seem like the prototypical Midwestern Everyman, the kind of guy who lives up to the cliche of being someone you want to have a beer with, while never actually being that person.

He’s the son of a successful car dealer and has never lived the kind of hardscrabble life that much of his blue-collar fan base knows far more intimately than he does.

But, none of that really matters, because like many a great rocker, Kid Rock’s selling dreams — never ending summers and Saturday nights, where the beer is cold and the girls are warm — not reality.

And like Dad, he’s a hell of a salesman.

Hey, I bought it.

Contact reporter Jason Bracelin at jbracelin@ reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0476.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas at The Smith Center
Ten touring productions are on The Smith Center’s 2018-19 Broadway Las Vegas season schedule. (The Smith Center)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like