By Jeb Wright - Tuesday, June 5, 2007
Ted Nugent played to a nearly full house at the legendary Cotillion Ballroom on June 5, 2007 in Wichita, Kansas. Right from the start you could sense that Uncle Ted was in the mood to play. He opened with "Motor City Madhouse" and followed it up with the Amboy Dukes classic "Journey to the Center of Your Mind." Nuge cranked up his Gibson Byrdland guitar and sent the crowd through the roof with an extended version of "Wango Tango."
Ted's style is to play fast and crank it up loud. Age has not slowed him down, in fact, he plays with more fluidity than ever before. He slams pentatonic scales, going both up and down and top to bottom on the guitar neck with breakneck speed. As his fingers fly across the fretboard his eyes glaze over and a wide grin appears upon his face. If one looks close enough then they will see a little bit of drool sliding out of the corner of the Motor City Madman's mouth.
Ted's band is made up of Dokken drummer Mick Brown and newcomer Greg Smith on bass. Smith took vocals for two songs, the classic "Hey Baby" from the self-titled debut and "I Need You Bad" from Weekend Warriors. Terrible Ted blasted a ferocious guitar solo on "I Need You Bad." The three-piece played hard the entire night. In fact, this was the strongest performance I have seen from a Ted Nugent Band since he was backed up by Marco Mendoza and Tommy Clufetos.
Ted played all the classics including "Free for All," "Stranglehold" and "Fred Bear." "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" was one of the highlights of the evening. Ted took control of the song and even included snippets of the Kinks classic "You Really Got Me" and a song Ted claimed he wrote when he was "a little black boy" titled "Soul Man." Nugent put the rock into the classic Sam & Dave tune before jumping back into "Wang Dang" and ending the song with a thundering guitar solo.
Nugent gave a few lectures on guns and freedom and welcomed all the members of the armed service who were there from the stage. He performed two new tunes from his upcoming album due out later this year on Eagle Rock Records. "Girl Scout Cookies" is a tongue-in-pussy song filled with innuendos that will make the meek blush! The song is juvenile and not one of Ted's best, although it was clear that he loves singing this tune.
Ted then picked up one of many machine guns that lay littering the stage and said, "Tonight we have free machine guns for the children. It is part of our guns for cookies program." He bragged how he enjoyed brandishing this weapon in front of his "Kansas hunting buddies" but he said that he really enjoys bringing the gun out when he plays in New York City. He paused, smiled and yelled out, "Hey Hillary, suck on this" while holding the gun in the air.
The other new tune performed is the title track of the upcoming album called "Love Grenade." This tune had more of the classic Nuge style to it giving hope that this album will at least rival, if not surpass, his Craveman effort. Nugent's show always contains guitar solos, pro-gun lectures and a few good laughs. Tonight was no exception. If Uncle Ted drops by your neck of the woods then I recommend stopping by and enjoying a true spirit of the wild.
Opening the show were a band of 13-year-old kids named Crooked X. The band hails from Oklahoma and has been signed by legendary band manager Doc McGhee. The group shows promise for their age. The lead singer wants to look like Megadeth and sound like Metallica. They are heavy metal and write their own songs and even play guitar solos. Will they save heavy rock? Probably not but with practice and experience they may make a splash on the scene. The biggest hit they had this evening was not one of their own tunes. Instead it was a metal version of the Pink Floyd classic "Another Brick in the Wall" from The Wall. Upon the opening notes I thought it would be horrible but by the end of the tune I thought it was pretty cool.
Visit www.crookedx.com to learn more about these young rockers.
Stadium Rock - Classic Rock Revisited From the Vault - Series 1 includes fascinating, in-depth interviews with some of the biggest names in the classic rock music genre including Ted Nugent - BUY IT TODAY!