Kid Rock and Twisted Brown Trucker
North Charleston Coliseum
Only a smattering of empty nosebleed seats kept the North Charleston Coliseum from being packed like a box of Marlboro Reds on Wednesday as Kid Rock brought his Born Free tour to town.
Rock opened the show with the song that bears his patriotic nickname, “American Badass” set the tone for the night and the masses ate up all of his machismo and moxie. Backed by his 10-piece band, Twisted Brown Trucker, the singer ripped through a set that dove deep into his bag of tricks and delivered a performance that spoke to fans of rock, rap, and country — old and young.
The band was accompanied by a large projection screen that displayed videos of Rock’s antics throughout the years — as well as a bevy of American flags, strobes, lasers, and explosions. Rock came off like a top showman. Between songs, he kept the audience engaged with props to the local military in attendance and call-and-response chants of “Kid” by the females and “Rock” by the males. Judging by the side stage vantage point, it seemed as though Rock is definitely a hit with the ladies.
Speaking of ladies, Rock even had stripper poles set up on each side of the massive drum risers, which were worked by some scantily-clad young women (local talent?) throughout the set.
He switched tempos as much as he switched outfits, moving from straight rock (“Cowboy”) to rap (“Early Mornin’ Stoned Pimp”) and country (“Only God Knows Why”), the latter of which was performed with country rebel Jamey Johnson, who provided direct support for the show.
Rock also paid tribute to his musical heroes by splicing in abbreviated covers of classics between his own songs, including Bob Seger’s “Mainstreet” and the Allman Brother’s “Midnight Rider.”
In the midst of the performance, Rock even invited the crowd to celebrate his birthday (he turned 40 last month), performing a song called “I’m Fucking 40” after some hilarious taped congratulations from talk show hosts Jon Stewart, Jimmy Kimmel, and Stephen Colbert on the big screen.
The night was rounded out with an extended encore that saw Beavis and Butthead make an appearance on the screen, interrupting Rock’s solo performance of “Picture” to mock the “wussiness” of the song and call him “Kid Suck.” He took their musings to heart by setting the crowd off with explosive (literally) versions of “Bawitdaba” and “Born Free.”
As the amped crowd filed out of the Coliseum, one could feel the patriotic vibe waft through the mob like the stench of stale cigarettes in a local dive bar — just how Kid Rock intended.