He's called himself a cowboy, an American badass, and a host of other names over the years, all in his mission to let us know his one unmistakable message: Kid Rock is an outlaw. He's done his best to cut a wide swath in the music world, making a splash during the rap-rock era of the late '90s and early Aughts with the likes of "Bawitdaba" and is responsible for a modern-day power ballad like "Only God Knows Why" and Lynyrd Skynyrd-riffing "All Summer Long."
Say what you will about his politics or the general flavor of his music and lyrics (God knows they aren't for everyone), but one thing is abundantly clear: Kid Rock is going to do whatever the hell he wants, whenever the hell he wants, and however the hell he wants.
Case in point? His current summer tour is a two-pronged effort aimed not only at doing his fans a favor, but giving places like Ticketmaster the middle finger.
To start with, tickets to Rock's concert will be $20, and considering he could easily charge a hell of a lot more than that, that's a deal. But there's more. Beer lovers will be able to get draft beer for only $4, there will be free coffee available, and food and merchandise will be discounted throughout the entire concert.
Considering how expensive concerts tend to be, this is quite the idea. And while a $4 "parking fee and venue services charge" will be attached to tickets purchased online, if you know where to look, then you still have a chance to cut Ticketmaster and other online ticket services out of the picture.
There are some who will argue that this is all a marketing ploy aimed at getting more butts in the seats because Rock doesn't think he can sell out venues, but nothing about his drawing ability looks different from usual.
He's going to be putting on the same high-energy, wildly over-the-top show he always does, and on top of this, he is bringing acts like ZZ Top, Kool and the Gang, and Uncle Kracker along for the ride.
Even in this economic climate, Rock wouldn't have much trouble selling out (or nearly selling out) an arena with this lineup, so it really comes down to just wanting to give the fans a good time they can actually afford.
The fact is, when he says no one on this tour expects fans to have to pay more just because they're putting on the biggest show they can, he probably means it. He probably also knows he could price-gouge the hell out of his fans, but he's choosing not to.
While this choice will naturally lead to more people coming to his show, you don't make more money by dropping prices this much, even if it brings more people to the show. All it does is perhaps make you some more fans and give people a chance to see if your tour's title -- "$20 Best Night Ever" -- is the real deal or not.
That's what amounts being a rock 'n' roll outlaw in this day and age. And whatever you think of his music, his tour should at least have you taking the title of Rock's most recent album, Rebel Soul, slightly more seriously.
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