The ski season in Schladming always opens with a bang, last year it was P!nk, this time it was the American Bad Ass that’s been dominating the Austrian charts All Summer Long. “The kid that really knows how to rock” officially kicked things off at a press conference on snow, where he drove himself in a snowcat. Temperatures dropping, the Cowboy in a Schladminger jacket (looking like a golf tournament winner, which he noticed himself as well) got a question, whether this would be his coldest concert. He answered: “In one word: yeah. In two words: fuck yeah!”
By the time the concert started the valley was hit by a severe snow storm. The first support band Cardiac Move heated things up, slowly pushing away the snow. Following them was the second support band – Finger 11, Kid Rock’s tour support band, and since three’s a charm, by the third support band the crowd piled up, snowing ceased and Sorgente, the ones supporting P!nk here last year, were the final flame-holders, before the heat really picked up with Kid Rock at about 22:00.
Cardiac Move at a soundcheck
The Son of Detroit on his Rock and Roll Revival Tour entered like a Shotgun Blast with Rock N Roll Jesus and lining the hits one by one. Cocky in his music (not soft at all, as one journalist wrongfully stated at the press conference) and a caring Single Father off stage, he bid the full Planai Stadium Welcome to The Party. He specifically stated that it’s all Live, “no American Idol bullshit” and yes, I do believe the Planai Stadium has Never Met a Motherf***** Quite Like him. Only God Knows Why the snow stopped for him, and the Devil Without a Cause had the crowd all to himself, hyping them into clapping, screaming, singing along …
After three press photo songs, I had my Picture, stashed away the camera, retreated back onto the slope and watched the show. The crowd went berserk at the sound of the famous Sweet Home Alabama guitar intro, announcing the song that’s been addicting them All Summer Long, but the real surprise was when Kid Rock actually toured the stage in the middle of that song and played some of that Alabama thing on the guitar, and then took on drums aswell. Flawless in my layman opinion!
An hour and a half later, the show ended. And when the devil has left the building, it was time to cool things down, so the heavens brought in some heavy artillery again. Slowly picking up on snow, the weather seemed it would hold until I get through the mountain tunnels and back into Slovenia. But hell no, the A10 was closed due to a car crash and there was no detour that I or my GPS could find. After more than an hour of hope that it would clear, Miro Majcen and Co. who were further ahead notified me that it’s not looking good (thanks), and that’s when I said to myself ‘Fuck That’. I got onto the side lane, drove to the first cut-off where I wasn’t supposed to turn, looked at the sign, waved off “Blow Me”, drove to the other side of the highway and went back into the valley to try getting around the mountains. By then, the valley was hit by another severe snow storm. I knew where I was going, but it was several hours further, and although it was said that the A10 won’t be cleared for several hours, it kind of felt like Wasting Time, since the roads were all covered in snow and I had to take it easy.
The trip that takes two hours now went on in a snow storm the whole night, on comletely unfamiliar Cold and Empty roads, and at about four o’clock in the morning on A Lonely Road of Faith that I will get home before I fall asleep or run my car off the icy road, I was still somewhere in Austria and home was about three hours away. Keeping me strong, was the almighty koffeine and Sugar. “Roll On,” I thought and kind of got numb, stayed alert simply because it was so dangerous to drive in those conditions. And I rolled my way home at 7:30 in the morning. Saw a nice sunrise coming out of the Karawanken Tunnel, before I entered a thick wall of fog. But What I Learned on The Road is that I can easily drive for seven and a half hours straight if there’s something on the road that keeps me alert and careful. Or pissing me off, like my GPS, who wanted to send me over a mountain pass (yeah, sure, that would be some scenic drive in a snow storm like that!).
Amazingly, I blotted all that icy and snowy Calvary from my memory and remembered only the concert. It was some kick-ass show.