WHEATLAND, CA – Kid Rock brought his “Best Night Ever” tour to Sleep Train Amphitheater in Wheatland on Wednesday.
Offering a circus type atmosphere, $20 tickets, and $4 beers, Kid Rock was able to attract 18,000 fans that were thirsty for some music and a little beer – okay a lot of beer.
Pulling into the parking area you couldn’t help but notice the many tailgaters, ranging in the hundreds, as fans braced themselves for a night of partying. Pre-drinkers were preparing for the nights events and music aficionados were calculating what the opening song would be.
There was a little something for everyone as fans strolled the premises, with half-naked women handing out Jim Beam bandanas and tattoo artists offering on-the-spot inking.
The best part for most fans appeared to be the bargain prices on beer as lines were long, but moving quickly.
When Kid Rock announced his tour he said, “Everyone knows the economy is still hurting people across the country, but I didn’t want that to be a reason why everyone couldn’t get out and enjoy themselves on a summer night.” Not certain if offering cheaper prices would mean larger crowds he said, “If this works we’re going to play to packed houses of fans who appreciate what we’re doing. If it doesn’t, might be a long summer.”
Based on the 18,000 screaming and mostly inebriated fans packed into Sleep Train Amphitheater, I believe Kid Rock has a pretty successful model going.
As Uncle Kracker kicked off the concert, most of the seats were empty because many fans were still cramming into the parking lot and making their way into the amphitheater.
Dressed in a pink t-shirt and looking slim, Uncle Kracker did a crackling good job as he performed many of his hits such as “Follow Me,” “Smile,” and “Drift Away.” It’s just too bad so many fans missed his set. I heard a number of people complaining about traffic as they headed in from Redding, Chico, Roseville and Sacramento.
ZZ Top almost stole the show as they came out on stage with their long beards, fancy guitars and really slick drum set. At least a third of the fans appeared to have purchased those $20 tickets, not to see Kid Rock, but to pay homage to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Billy Gibbons (guitar/vocals), Dusty Hill (bass/vocals) and Frank Beard (drums).
The trio had the crowd singing from start to finish as they went through many of their hits including “Sharped Dressed Man,” and “Legs.” Fans were even singing to their newer songs like, “I Gotsta Get Paid,” off their latest album ‘La Futura.’ Surprisingly “I Gotsta Get Paid” hasn’t charted yet. It’s a very catchy tune and is bound to hit the charts at some point.
Kid Rock’s set started out with a huge $20 bill lit up in front of the stage with Kid Rock’s shadow shining where ‘ole Andrew Jackson’s head should have been. When the giant bill fell to the stage fireworks and lasers were going off as Kid Rock shot to the front of the stage and looked, for all intents and purposes, like Detroit’s answer to the Energizer Bunny.
Opening with his title track from the multi-platinum ‘Devil Without a Cause’, Kid Rock was jumping and running all over the stage as lasers were being fired in every direction.
Kid Rock was joined by Jimmie “Bones” Trombly (keys), Marlon Young (guitar), Jason Krause (guitar), Stefanie Eulinberg (drums), Paradime (turntables/keys), Aaron Julison (bass), David McMurray (sax), Larry Frantangelo (percussions), Shannon Curfman (guitar), Jessica Cowan-Wagner (backing vocals), Hershel C Boone (backing vocals). I may have missed a few people.
Kid Rock played to every type of fan in the audience. He played his new more mellower songs, but was quite happy to jump back into the past with his heavier metal songs like “You Never Met A Mothaf-cker Quite Like Me” and “American Badass.”
Jim Beam and Harley Davidson were center stage with prominently displayed videos that played during Born Free, which may have been a contributing factor to the lower priced tickets.
Kid Rock has proven himself to be an extremely versatile musician and a successful business man, as many artist struggle to fill a venue, he’s been able to do it throughout the country offering extremely competitive prices and let’s not forget the $4 beer.
Cheers to Kid Rock – I’ll drink to that!
Photos: Randy Miramontez
Sleep Train Arena turned into a haven for pot smokers as Wiz Khalifa and his band of recording artists, under the record label Taylor Gang, brought throngs of fans to the arena formerly known as Power Balance Pavilion Sunday night.
Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Gang 2050 World Tour is in support of Khalifa’s latest album O.N.I.F.C.
Car alarms could be heard going off on a regular basis, as a large number of “pre-drinkers” and pot smokers were hanging out in the parking lot prior to the show.
While fans were filing into the arena, a thick cloud of smoke could be seen rising above the sold-out crowd. Wheezing was the watch word because as the crowd grew, so did the cloud.
As Fans pushed and shoved their way to the front, security was having to extract people who had bitten off a bit more than they could chew. There were a couple of instances where people were being pulled out of the crowd after they had lost consciousness. In fact, one fan had to have only been 10 or 11 years old.
These concerts are not for the faint of heart, and not the type of event parents should be dropping off their kids so they can have a nice quiet dinner alone. I was shocked to see so many young kids.
The audience was into the show from the start as Tuki Carter took the stage followed by Berner and Lola Monroe, each playing about 10 or 15 minutes. The short sets didn’t hamper their efforts to get the crowd excited as each came out and gave it their all.
Chevy Woods and Juicy J both performed for about 30 minutes each, followed by Khalifa who performed for over an hour.
It was quite a night with almost the entire audience smoking freely while girls were being invited up onstage to “party.” At times it was hard to tell where the smoke was coming from, smoke machines or the hundreds of joints being lit up throughout the arena.
Just prior to Khalifa coming out onstage, it was obvious a few fans saved the best for last, as they were holding on to finger sized joints with lighters at the ready.
It was a smoking good concert!