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To honor our troops on September 11th, Kid Rock put on a HUGE show at Fort Jackson. He invited Blackberry Smoke to share the stage for the event, and I was lucky enough to tag along and document the day’s happenings… which included a boot camp of sorts and tour of the base for the bandUpon our arrival we were all given U.S. Army hats. Here, Brit is proudly displaying his, before getting suited up for repellingPaul and Charlie were all ready to go… and were having a laugh at the others getting all tied inDrill Sargeant Ferguson gave them a quick lesson on how to lean back and let your ‘guide hand’ stop you in the event of trouble. Here he is demonstrating how you can hold all your weight with one hand. This tower had an incline to it to prepare them for the next round of repelling actionAfter the demonstration, it was time to scale the tower. rnRichard went firstThen CharlieNext up was BritThen PaulAnd finally, BrandonNext up was the 45-foot tower. No incline here, and much more intimidating. This gentleman set the tone for not to do things. You can see about half-way down, his decent goes awry, and he slams hard enough to make a shock-wave. Luckily, the material he fell on is finely shredded tires – which was surprisingly softThis soldier was climbing down this giant rope wall. About 3/4 of the way down they would have to drop off backwards onto a giant pad filled with air. It looked scary!rnLucky for the band… there was a stairwell that led them to the top of the tower. It didn’t seem so bad from the ground – but once up top… it was VERY intimidating! Here the boys are sizing things upBrit was the brave one, and went down the wall firstRichard had some solid hangtime on his way downBrandon repelled nextThen it was Charlie’s turnAnd finally Paul’s chance at deathHere you can see Drill Sargeant Ferguson recapping what they just did through the reflection in Charlie’s glasses. Everyone agreed that by the time they got about 2/3 down the wall, it got easier… and they wanted a bit more wall to repel down before they reached the groundNext it was off to check out soliders being trained in MMA hand-to-hand combat. We got to try Army-issue ‘Gatorade’, called Victory Juice. It was REALLY goodAfter we observed the fight training… it was time for lunch! I was fascinated how the soldiers stand in line for the cafeteria. I also thought this photo was cool considering the painting on the wallIt really was an honor to be on base on September 11thThe guys enjoying Army food. I’m sure if you eat it every day… it gets old – but we all enjoyed the food. I thought it was really good!rnSo good, in fact… that I took more than I could finish. I had chicken and rice (sweet & sour-ish), cottage cheese, veggies, and a heaping of baked beans. I was STUFFEDStay tuned for more from Fort Jackson, as we get to enter a firearms simulator and do some shooting!

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After the show in Detroit, we made a mad-dash down the East coast to Coyote Joe’s in CharlotteShowtime once againThis venue had a huge dancefloor in front of the stage. It is hard to tell from the photo… but plenty of line-dancing was being hadBrandon looking patriotic behind the keysI loved the lighting at this venue. Such rich color raining down on Brit behind the drumsMore dramatic lighting pouring down on brother RichardAfter the show it was back to the bus, and southbound… home to Atlanta

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Our second day in Detroit meant another crazy opener for Kid Rock at DTE. Hanging out backstage with the band is their friend, Billy GrahamI don’t know what a ‘chicken wing party’ is… but Kev’s shirt was hilarious!rnRichard was taking it easy before the showBrit was in final stages of bandanna prepBrandon all ready to goBilly was on point for soundLights up..ShowtimePaul layin’ it downThe engraving on Richard’s bass is awesome!rnBrandon laying down the keysThe last song they played was ‘Freedom Song’. Charlie dedicated it to our troops and the crowd went CRAZYAfter the show, we had to pack up fast to make the drive all the way to Charlotte for day 5 of tour (well… day 5 for me)Stay tuned!

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