That Time I Saw Kid Rock

Kid Rock at a Party in 2007

The year was 1991. I was listening to a cool show on WDET called Radio Free Earth. WDET is one of the coolest stations in the history of radio. The DJ was giving away tickets to a concert called “Localpalooza”.

It was going to take place on the Campus of Oakland University. I had been thinking about going there for college and the concert sounded fun so I called in. Guess what?

I won two tickets!! So I took my buddy Ed to this show. His mom drove us. The show took place at the Oakland Center.

The video above shows the place as it looks today. Notice the Chik-Fil-A. Classy. In 1991 however, The Oakland Center was dingy and desolate. It had not yet been tweaked out with corporate propaganda like it is today. It was a basic purpose building with a larger multipurpose room on the main floor.

The show had about 12 bands and Kid Rock was the headlining act. We’ll get to that in a minute. Some of the other bands I can remember were Keeper Wild, Kevin’s Grounded, The Pedestrians. There was some band called Charm Farm that had some connection to Jane’s Addiction and Brave New World. I even bought the t-shit.  I wish I still had it. I can’t even find a picture of it!

Most of these bands were pretty good and played well. There were about 60-80 people in attendance, mostly college kids.  I felt so cool to be hanging out with college kids.

bnwI was struck by Brave New World.  They are/were mainly a Depeche Mode reinterpretation and cover band but they did do a few originals. At the time I hadn’t been exposed to any Depeche Mode.  I might have been into them but just as I was getting over Information Society, someone gave me a Dead Kennedies tape.  So I was into Punk and Alternative back then.

But lets talk about Kid Rock.  While I really like the midsection of Kid Rock’s work, I do not like what he is now and I really didn’t like what I saw at Localpalooza.

The young(ish) Kid Rock came out with about 20 people on stage.  Very few of them did anything but move around and say “Yeah!”.  He sprayed a bunch of underage college kids with 40 oz of Old English.  Being from the ghetto myself, I thought this was a bit trite. All of his songs were simply loops of other popular songs by Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions.  His rap skills were poor as well.

I thought, “I can’t believe this guy has top billing”. Apparently 80% of the crowd could not believe it either. He pretty much emptied out the place including Ed and me.  I remember flipping him off from the crowd and him saying “Fuck You Too” in response. Building maintenance started putting up chairs during his set. That’s how empty the place was.  How sad was that?  Poor Kid! Unfortunately he did bomb that night as the headliner.  I am sure he will admit to it.

Shortly after that however things really started working for him, and I started to like what I heard.  These days songs from that period are a guilty pleasure for me which annoys the hell out of my friends in Minnesota.

The video below is Kid Rock playing at Woodstock 99, just 8 years after the show i saw where he bombed. I think he kicked ass here. But that’s just me. Don’t be a hater!

[ article by Alex Velocity ]

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  1. UPDATE: Brett Mullins sent us a comment:

    Funny I was doing some searching on the net about Kid Rock and stumbled into Alex’s blog about seeing kid rock in 1991. I was there with a group of rowdy white boys from Port Huron. We were Kid Rock junkies. We loved the way he performed covers of Beastie Boys & EPMD. We kept following him around to local clubs thru the early 90’s. Of course he blew up and the rest is history! He was cool that night. I even got on stage and sang a verse of Yoddle in the Valley with him. After the show he gave my buddy a shirt. So it’s all good. Wish you would of enjoyed him. Polyfuse Method came out shortly after that. A classic and underrated CD. I know there is footage of that Oakland show floating around. I’ve just never found a copy. Still searching!!




     /  December 8, 2018

    Yo Alex,
    I don’t remember a lot of the crazy shit from them late 80’s early 90’s,.. ya know, when Kid was sporting the high-top fade . But that night when you left that concert and made the big scene by flipping Kid the bird. I was there. Front and center. And I DO remember your exit . Kid hollared at you….. Fuck You Too , Ya flock of seagulls looking mother fucker !
    I started laughing, because that shit was funny. But Kid noticed that I understood his crack at you, & then kid says to me;
    Hey big fella !… throw a chair at that dude.
    Then he went crazy on that stage set up they were on. I think you made him preform an awesome show for the few that stayed, he stage dove, or dived, on me and the fucker took my new LSU hat off my head ! The hat was brand new out the box ! For some reason I followed LSU basketball that year ? First he tried to like trade me for the green “John Deer “ hat that he was wearing during his show, I declined the offer, then ….. oops ! Sorry big man but I can’t find your hat to give back to ya, here, have a shirt , now the shirt was fresh, I needed at least a XXLT size shirt, he gave me a size medium.
    So I gave it to my man Brett,
    But really Alex, you being from the ghetto and all, you should have stayed till the end,
    And by the way, Im pretty sure that ghetto lingo word choice would be played-out,…& not your choice of the word …“TRITE” ! ya made me use the dictionary half way through your blog,
    It was a Great night ! ✌️ & 🐝🆒
    Pat L.

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