Even though it’s more than 900 miles away from Detroit, the Fargodome was the site of a rare Motor City tribute on Saturday night.
Detroit rock ’n’ roll heroes Kid Rock and Bob Seger joined up for one of only two scheduled concerts together (they played the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Friday) before heading off back on their own respective tours.
In a sign of just how large a role the city played throughout the evening, Seger opened his 80-minute headline set with a cover of John Hiatt’s “Detroit Made,” which he said will be included on his upcoming untitled album.
After that, he and his Silver Bullet Band played a steady stream of crowd-pleasing hits from the 1970s and ’80s, such as “Mainstreet,” “Against the Wind” and “Turn the Page.” Seger even pulled out “Like a Rock,” which has been a staple of his recent set lists but had been missing from his live performances for years.
One of the surprising songs during his set was a catchy cover of Wilco’s “California Stars,” which Seger said he simply liked after recently hearing it on the radio.
Seger is 67 years old, and though he performed some songs while sitting in a chair, for the most part he didn’t look his age as he worked the stage and sang to different sections of the audience.
He’s spoken openly in recent years about starting to wind down his career, but for Saturday night at least, he – not to mention the packed crowd – was simply having a good time making music.
Earlier in the night, Rock put on a party of a different sort with his 75-minute opening set, a mix of the genres and styles that have defined his career so far.
His first few songs, which included “Celebrate” and “God Bless Saturday Night,” mostly reflected his Southern rock sound, while on “Cowboy” he took to rapping.
For the popular country duet “Picture,” Rock, 42, was joined by 27-year-old Fargo native Shannon Curfman, a guitarist in his backing band.
Fans cheered the homecoming of the singer/guitarist, who was fronting her own band in Fargo when she was as young as 12 years old. In 2010, she joined Rock’s band, called the Twisted Brown Truckers, and has been touring with them ever since.
Fargodome officials said 19,500 people attended the show.
Toward the end of his set, Rock acknowledged the man who took the stage after him, telling the crowd that he grew up listening to Bob Seger’s records and was “truly blessed” to now be able to share the stage with his idol.
At the end of the night, the two men finally played together for several encore songs such as “Night Moves” and “All Summer Long.” Taking cues from each other (Seger even rapped during Rock’s “Forever”), they both seemed to be enjoying themselves, demonstrating a special musical friendship made possible only by Detroit.
“How much fun is this?” Rock asked the crowd. “There’s nobody having more fun than me right now.”
Seger and Rock don’t have any more joint concerts scheduled in the immediate future, but if Saturday night’s show was any indication, it’s a pairing that works.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Sam Benshoof at (701) 241-5535