SunFest 2014: Surfer Blood, Dick Dale, Cake, Kid Rock - West Palm Beach - Day 1

Categories: Music Festivals

Ian Witlen

When the night's headliner, Kid Rock, took the stage, the place went nuts. Kid Rock comes from the Dick Dale school of giving-a-fuck-about-your-concert. He fed the hungry crowd exactly the meal they'd ordered.

I'd heard tale of Kid Rock's shockingly good live shows, and was not disappointed last night. The hour-and-a-half-long set included classics, covers, and a few of his newer songs, all performed with his trademark energy and zeal. He had a full backing band, including wonderfully talented gospel singers.

He played with the crowd the whole time. At one point, he yelled, "I can do some of that Justin Bieber shit, too," and proceeded to do an incredibly goofy impersonation of the Beeb's dance moves. Everyone cheered wildly.

Ian Witlen

He blasted through his rap-rock repertoire and eventually even took to the turntables, doing a live mixing sesh. He rapped over Rush's "Tom Sawyer." It all felt pretty '90s, but it was nice. I also enjoyed how Kid always started off covering a song, but then transitioned into his own music with the same chords. It was creative. For example: The Allman Brothers' "Midnight Rider" morphed into "Cowboy" and "Werewolves in London" into "All Summer Long."

He had more humourous crowd-pandering moments with statements like: "Rock and roll, you drunk fools at SunFest!" and "All I want to do is play my music for my family down in West Palm Beach! And play it LOUD!" He then launched into the finale with "Bawitdaba." People left drunk and happy. And that's what festivals are all about.

Critic's Notebook

Word to the Wise: If you're going to SunFest, here's a tip: Sloan's Ice Cream has two dollar beers.

T-Shirts Spotted:
"Fuck Your City, Go Magic!"
"USA Government Sucks"
A tank top on a muscular guy: "Obama Can't Ban These Guns"

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