Kid Rock comes to Toledo on Friday night as an artist in transition.
While it's difficult imagining the hard-partying Detroit rocker/rapper doing much gazing into the mirror questioning his lot in life — Rock seems uniquely ill-equipped for such ruminations — his Rebel Soul tour finds him navigating his way through a bit of a career crossroads.
Ticket sales of have been spotty in some regions of the country and he had to cancel a show in Madison, Wis., because, as he said on his Web site: "Bottom line is, we sold very few tickets!"
Then in late February he was hammered with a nasty illness that forced the postponement of a show in Knoxville, Tenn.
Meantime his music is undergoing something of a face lift while he tries to determine exactly where he stands creatively. Is he the crafty rock/pop hitmaker behind the mainstream "Born Free" (2010) album and it's big hit "All Summer Long," or is he more of the raunch master behind the board of his "Rebel Soul" (2012) album and songs like "Cucci Galore"?
He also has a country bent and likes to hang out with fellows like Hank Williams, Jr., and has fun sharing the stage with classic rockers such as Bob Seger, as he did a few weeks ago for a couple of dates, and Peter Wolf.
Incorporating all of these styles into a stage show can be challenging, but if his show here in 2011 is any indication, he is awfully good at it. Unfortunately that raises another question: Rock's concerts are surprisingly athletic because he's an old-school front man who throws himself around with abandon, but how long can he keep that up now that he's easing into his mid-40s?
Reviews of the current tour have been uniformly positive, noting that Rock still is a high-energy performer, but he also has pared the show down to a tight 90-minute run that features a variety of genres, a sing-along with a fan he brings on stage, and various set pieces that cover the gamut of his career.
His shows in Toledo have always been powerful and 2011's was no exception. His gritty style of classic rock, hard rapping, and soulful country have long been in this area's musical wheelhouse and no doubt tomorrow's sold-out show will feature plenty of fireworks.
Opening acts for the concert are Buckcherry and Hellbound Glory.
The 7:30 p.m. concert is sold out, but some tickets mIGHT be released at the last minute for the show after the stage has been set up. Check the Huntington Center box office, 500 Jefferson Ave., for their availability Friday. Tickets range from $59 to $85.
Contact Rod Lockwood at firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6159.