We are back on the road again, and this rock n roll road trip never ends. Today I catch up with one of America’s favorite guitarists – TED NUGENT! Michigan’s Motor City Madman, is back with a killer show loaded with classic hits. Nugent is currently touring the USA – with yet another highly acclaimed tour in 2017.
Attended the Ted Nugent concert last night at House of Blues for the 2nd time in 2 years and was pleasantly surprise. Last year, Ted was more of a politician, constantly complaining about the White House, freedom, liberty, etc., focusing more on politics than the music itself. This year was definitely more about the music.
Nugent is surrounded with a strong band. The group was tight, the music on cue, and the moves well choreographed. You can tell that Mick Brown (drummer), Greg Smith (bass) and Derek St. Holmes (guitar) have been together for a while. St. Holmes has been back with the band for a few years now, and does a fantastic job on vocals on many of the tracks, leaving Nugent to focus on his superb guitar-playing.
Sitting back and watching the packed crowd at HOB rocking to Uncle Ted was also an experience. Ted was a perfectionist in his sound and actions. During the show, he realized that his guitar was not sounding just the way it should so he asked for the crew to change the equipment immediately just to get it right. At 65, Ted still has what it takes to make his guitar sing. This is what I wondered when listening to Ted. Who developed their chops first, Ted Nugent or Eddie Van Halen? Both extremely talented guitarists, both professional and entertaining. With Ted, what you see is what you get. True hard core rock and roll.
Laura Wylde again opened the show and was a demon on stage, entertaining the crowd with excellent guitar and vocals. The main set from Nugent lasted a little under 2 hours and the music was loud. Yes, Ted is a proud American and loves his roots and like he said, “this whole world sucks, but here in the US, it sucks a little less!” And, on this night with Uncle Ted, it was a nice escape for all in attendance.
Rock ‘n Roll has been around for 50 years, for thousands of bands and millions of songs. Therefore it’s totally understandable that a few great classic rock tunes have slipped through the cracks and somehow eluded your iPod. Have no fear – I’ve started up an occasional article focused on a few of these classics that belong on the iPod of every rock fan.
The Story In Your Eyes – The Moody Blues – These guys have been rocking themselves for nearly fifty years, and still tour today. This classic off of their Every Good Boy Deserves Favour album is one of their greatest rock tracks, and a song that never received proper recognition.
Subdivisions – Rush – This was the first of many synth heavy hits for these Canadian icons, and they definitely made the transition masterfully. Check it out for yourself when they visit The Amway Center on April 28th.
Change Your Mind – Sister Hazel – These boys from Gainesville tore it up at the turn of the century, and this one was their best. It’s a great song. and the perfect rock and roll singalong.
Police On My Back – The Clash -From the band’s royalty-free triple-album Sandanista, this is one of the band’s best cuts. This one features Steve Jones on lead vocals, and is surprisingly a cover of an Eddy Grant song – yes, that Eddy Grant!
Free Four – Pink Floyd – Released just before Dark Side of the Moon, this one is totally different. It’s the equivalent of a Roger Waters meets The Monkees kind of groove. A fun little ditty…
SO, how many are on your iPod? Check the others out and download the ones you need to shape up your iPod. Also, let me know which classic rock treasures you think need to be in our next six pack.
With the Rolling Stones’ “Street Fighting Man” cranking over the PA. Ted Nugent and his band exploded onto the stage at HOB in Orlando Sunday night. Festooned in his omnipresent camouflage cowboy hat, the legendary guitar hero tore up the stage on his Great White Buffalo Tour with a fantastic display of pristine guitar rock.
Nugent was his typical outspoken, entertaining self and absolutely on top of his guitar game from the opening notes of “Gonzo” throughout the entire 90 minute set. We were also treated to the reunion of Nugent and original vocalist/rhythm guitarist Derek St. Thomas, who has returned to the band after a long break. St. Thomas took the lead vocal on the second song’ “Just What the Doctor Ordered,” and sounded like he hadn’t missed a beat throughout the show.
Playing in front of a hug American flag and sporting a flag emblazoned Gibson for a few songs, Nugent is still a patriotic guy. He doesn’t hide his patriotism, nor his conservative political fervor: “The whole world sucks, but here in America it sucks a little less.” He bashed Obama all night to the point of distraction, actually reminding me of the annoying anti-Bush rants of Springsteen a decade ago. It would have been nice to have had him back off the preaching and offer up an extra song or two.
Wild “Mick” Brown (Dokken) on drums and Greg Smith on bass kept the Motown beat going all night. Smith took the vocals and showcased his bass playing on a nice version of “Need You Bad.” Brown, Smith and St. Thomas were the constant driving force, but this is truly all about Uncle Ted on guitar. Nugent traded off between a couple of his trusty Gibson guitars as he played in front of a wall of amps decorated with more than a dozen hanging guitars (as a well as a few machine guns). The guitar was loud all night, but those classic guitar riffs from “Wango Tango,” “Free For All” and some classic Blues and Rock flashbacks (“Cool Jerk”) were near perfect.
Nugent interacted with the crowd all night, and seemed to be having a great time, grooving to good old American Rock and Roll, with a Motor City Madmen’s Motown touch. He was his typical humorous, cocky self and just as over the top, as ever. He was truthfully a bit of an ass, but just as soon as his pomposity started hitting new levels “…don’t you just love me..” his guitar magnificence brought us back around.
At 63, Nugent hasn’t lost anything as a showman. He knows how to please an audience, and was all over the stage playing solo after solo to the delight of the packed house. A raucous “Cat Scratch Fever” closed out the set and brought the crowd to a fever pitch, which carried on through to the ten minutes of musical genius of the encore, “Stranglehold,” which is one of the most under-appreciated rock music masterpieces, and a timeless guitar song.
Overall, a fun night with a rabid crowd and one hell of a talented guitarist. “Don’t you just love him…”