Kid Rock pairs with Seger, wows hometown fans

February 3, 2006

BY BRIAN McCOLLUM

FREE PRESS POP MUSIC WRITER

OK, see, this is how Detroit throws a party.

Detroit takes a Friday night, puts a bunch of loud people in a place called Joe Louis Arena, and sticks Bob Seger onstage with Kid Rock for an electric rock 'n' roll moment that those 17,000 people aren't going to forget.

With the sort of fanfare appropriate for a fanfare-heavy week in Detroit, the rarely seen Seger &emdash; 60 years old and introduced by Rock as "the king of Detroit rock city" &emdash; joined the 35-year-old Rock for a duet on Seger's high-energy '70s chestnut, "Rock & Roll Never Forgets."

This was the first of Rock's two sold-out Super Bowl weekend shows at the Joe, and he'd promised a special surprise. For a hometown crowd that considers Seger rock royalty, he probably couldn't have done better. Pumping his fists as the crowd roared, Seger was in fine voice as he belted through the song's raucous chorus.

The pairing was brief but notable: Rock and Seger have become close friends &emdash; a tight relationship that bridges two generations of Detroit music.

Two hours earlier, Rock had taken the stage in his typical over-the-top style, decked in a black fedora and a full-length fur coat. This was a hometown crowd that knew every line to the old-school opening tune, "Where U at Rock," and it clearly came primed for its own taste of Super Bowl week excitement. Already drenched in sweat just 10 minutes in, with booming pyrotechnics and frantic lights flashing around him, Rock looked ready to give it to them.

In a week stuffed with splashy parties and all manner of hyperbole, Friday night at the Joe stood out. With velvet ropes and snarling bouncers taking over the rest of the city, this was a party Detroit threw for itself.

Who better to host the festivities than Kid Rock, the guy who has emerged as the consummate Detroit star by simultaneously tapping the city's built-in blue-collar grit and its long tradition of garish flash. When Rock boasts about his hodgepodge of musical influences &emdash; where the hip-hop meets the rock and wears country denim &emdash; he's saying as much about the place he grew up as he is about himself.

Friday night, that was clear by the second song of his set, "Son of Detroit," in which he set the tempo for a show ready to travel the stylistic map.

Rock says he'd planned for this show way back in 2000, as soon as the city got word it would be hosting Super Bowl XL. Detroit was ready for him, snapping up all the tickets as soon as they went on sale.

As the swirl of Super Bowl madness took over the city this week, the gregarious Rock quickly emerged as the Motor City's ad hoc ambassador.

Behind the scenes, Detroit's Super Bowl stars may be Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and biz-minded booster Roger Penske. But it was Rock who became a human face for the city's step into the spotlight, popping up at party upon party and kicking off Jimmy Kimmel's week-long run by leading the TV host on a real Detroit tour outside the snazzy NFL banners &emdash; to a coney island, a grungy bar, Henry the Hatter.

The real Detroit was inside the Joe on Friday night, sporting black Harley shirts and hip-hop sneakers, and bellowing along in unison to Journey's "Don't Stop Believin' " before showtime. And for one night, at least, they got to enjoy the kind of Super Bowl bash they really wanted.


Seger joins Kid Rock on stage at the Joe

Adam Graham / The Detroit News

Kid Rock promised history would be made during his concert Friday night at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, and he delivered by bringing Bob Seger out on stage, joining him on a duet of Seger's 1976 classic "Rock and Roll Never Forgets."

"Ladies and gentlemen, the king of Detroit rock city, Bob Seger," Rock said as Seger strutted on to stage at just past 11:30 p.m. during the concert's second encore.

Rock and Seger immediately embraced and traded "you the man"-type hand gestures with one another, while the sold-out audience roared.

Seger, sporting a black sport coat, black shirt and blue jeans kicked his feet, pumped his fist in the air and attacked the song with vigor, his silver hair waving and nearly leaping from his head.

Rock and Seger embraced again at the end of the song, and Seger looked ecstatic to be back in front of a hometown crowd.

Rock has made no secret about his admiration of Seger over the years, and even fashioned his forthcoming live album, "Live Trucker," after Seger's "Live Bullet" by directly aping the album's iconic cover art.

The performance marked only Seger's second appearance before a Detroit audience in 10 years. Seger also hopped on stage with 3 Doors Down at DTE Energy Music Theatre in August 2005.

"Face the Promise," Seger's first studio album since 1995, is tentatively due in the spring.

Kid Rock and Seger ride again


Kid Rock's Detroit party didn't stop Saturday night.

Detroit Free Press, February 4, 2006

In the second of his two sold-out Joe Louis Arena Super Bowl weekend concerts, Rock kept fans going with his high energy combination of hip-hop and rock. And there was another appearance &emdash; late in the show &emdash; by Bob Seger, who Rock called "the king of Detroit rock city."

Like they had done the night before, the Bobs (Kid Rock's real name is Bob Ritchie) teamed up on "Rock & Roll Never Forgets."

And the crowd went wild.

Another special guest: Rock's pal, Hank Wiilliams, Jr. About a half hour into the concert, Williams joined Kid Rock for a version of "All My Rowdy Friends are Coming Over Tonight" and then asked the crowd: "Are you ready for some football?"

By Georgea Kovanis, Free Press staff writer


Surprise guest Seger sweetens Kid Rock's Super Bowl concert

The Flint Journal, Sunday, February 05, 2006

By Doug Pullen

DETROIT - Kid Rock obviously hasn't forgotten his rock 'n' roll heroes - er, hero.

He coaxed the reclusive Bob Seger onstage Friday for a performance of Seger's classic "Rock 'n' Roll Never Forgets."

It was a little ragged, and the graying Seger's voice was too low in the mix for most of the song, but it was a thrill all the same to see one of the original keepers of the Detroit rock flame doing a little torch passing, much to the delight of the sellout crowd of about 16,000.

It also was a fitting, sometimes explosive kickoff to Super Bowl XL weekend - easily the biggest three days in a long time, if not ever, in Motor City history.

Rock's was the biggest and, with all the pyro, potentially most explosive show of a ridiculously busy weekend of concerts. Among them: a second sold-out Kid Rock show Saturday, Snoop Dogg's Friday Bud Bowl show at nearby Tiger Stadium, businessman Don Barden's three-day Big Game Weekend soiree at the Music Hall (Chaka Khan Friday, Smokey Robinson Saturday and Little Richard tonight after the game), Friday's Rap Bowl with Young Jeezy and others at The Palace of Auburn Hills and Saturday's Shady Records party (with various artists from Eminem's label) at the State Theatre.

For Seger, the heavily rumored appearance was something of a coming out party. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who joined 3 Doors Down at DTE Energy Music Theatre last summer, has a new album coming out this summer, so the publicity generated by Friday's performance should help get the ball rolling.

It's no small coincidence that Seger and Rock share a manager or that the cover of Rock's new "Live Trucker" album, due out Feb. 28, pays homage to (some might say copies) Seger's "Live Bullet" cover art.

His voice may have lacked some of the strength that should come with a summer's worth of concert dates, and he blew a lyric, but Seger looked pretty comfortable up there, considering he hasn't toured in 10 years. He pulled the mic off the stand before he was done with the first verse, and though his hair is gray, his beard is white, he wears glasses and has a bit of a paunch, he was springing up and down and pumping his arms like he used to.

It was a fitting tribute to the guy Rock described as "The King of Detroit Rock City," and provided a lift to a show that was pretty much the same as the one Rock did in Saginaw last weekend. It started strong, made good use of a new video board and the combined energy of the crowd and his Twisted Brown Trucker band, but bogged down about two-thirds of the way in.

Rock, who wore a black Red Wings jersey at the start of the show, also welcomed his "best friend" Uncle Kracker back to the fold for a version of Kracker's hit remake of Dobie Gray's '70s classic "Drift Away," which also served as a tribute to such late musical idols as Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Hank Williams Sr. and Marvin Gaye.

The self-proclaimed American Bad Ass was also a little more talkative, addressing a hometown crowd and criticizing the NFL for disrespecting Detroit artists.

"I don't care if you're president of the United States," he declared, "if you come in my house, you're gonna take your shoes off and show some respect."