Kid Rock, Crow lead party at Comcast Center

By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / July 11, 2011

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MANSFIELD - Since 1998, when he broke through to the mainstream with his head-rattling, rump-shaking explosion of rap-rock swagger, “Bawitdaba,’’ Kid Rock has shown remarkable staying power.

Others may be better songwriters, singers, or rappers, but few artists work as hard and have as much fun as the relentlessly proud son of Detroit. Over the years Rock has shrewdly, and sincerely, refined his good-time sound to land comfortably at a spot where Bob Seger intersects with Run-DMC, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and AC/DC. That’s a hell of a crossroads and Saturday night at Comcast Center, in front of one of the season’s loudest crowds, Rock worked it like the world’s most badass and excitable traffic cop.

With the able aid of his crackling Twisted Brown Trucker Band, and with the occasional assistance of pole dancers and pyro, Rock sprinted through his catalog - from wriggly-browed raunch to heartfelt heartbreakers - with a natural-born sense of showmanship and the mischievous grin of a man who knows the party whereof he speaks.

Whether it was rollicking rockers infused with a little country flavor - including “Low Life’’ which led into the Georgia Satellites’ “Keep Your Hands to Yourself’’ - the braggadocio of his chest-puffing rhymes - especially “Cowboy’’ and an epic medley that included “Somebody’s Gotta Feel This’’ and “Fist of Rage’’ - and even a couple of tunes that showed his tender side - including “Care’’ and “Picture,’’ performed with opener Sheryl Crow - Rock was having as good a Saturday night as the most joyful audience member. (Crow returned for a spirited cover of Stephen Stills’s free-love classic, “Love the One You’re With.’’)

He hit high-water marks with the still bracing “Bawitdaba,’’ a stripped-back take on his nostalgia-fest “All Summer Long,’’ and a run at John Eddie’s comically defiant ditty about hitting the big milestone of “Forty.’’ Kid Rock may be growing older but by no means is he growing up and it suits him just fine.

For her hourlong set Crow stuck mostly with the hits, scoring big cheers with the steadily warming crowd on tunes such as “Soak Up the Sun,’’ “Every Day Is a Winding Road,’’ and “If It Makes You Happy,’’ but still managing to work in some of the steamy soul tracks from her latest album, “100 Miles From Memphis.’’

Sarah Rodman can be reached at

With Sheryl Crow

At: Comcast Center,

Saturday night