KID ROCK, at the Docks, August 17. Tickets: Free. Attendance: 3,000. Rating: NN
Two minutes to go until Chris Rock," bellowed the bouncer on the way in. If only. Actually, the "surprise" appearance by white-trash pimp-hop star Kid Rock at the Docks Thursday turned out to be nearly as funny as a set by the Brooklyn comic, but for all the wrong reasons.
In town as part of a Labatt's promotional bash -- find a phone in a case of beer and when it rings, come see some rock -- the scraggly shouter described the gig as a "free fuckin' beer party." Well, not exactly. Fans still had to line up in a parking lot and pay exorbitant bar prices for beer. In the spirit of the artist, though, you did get to buy it from a trailer.
For his part, Rock and his crew didn't exactly work up a sweat trying to offer anything fresh. Instead, his hour-plus set came off more as a ragged rehearsal for a summer stadium tour, complete with canned stage patter, worn-out routines and four pneumatically enhanced dancers who seemed to be having difficulty counting out 4/4 time.
After 9 million records sold, Rock has turned himself into a classic rock star. Proper songs fell into cheesy medleys, and every tune, from absurd frat-hop to Bruce Hornsby-inspired crooning, came with a few glowing, self-referential statements. Even foul-mouthed sidekick Joe C looked like he'd rather be steam-cleaning his carpets than cashing in on this money gig.
If your phone rings, best not to answer it.