By Thomas S. Orwat Jr.
Hamburg, NY-At first it looked like another canceled show at the Erie County Fair concert grounds, (which was no more than just a stage set up on a dirt horse racing track in front of the grandstands). The performance on the prior evening by teen sensation Vanessa Hudges was canceled due to the rainy, dismal weather. And since the weather was the same on this day everyone though that the show featuring 60 year old rock legend Ted Nugent would end up the same disappointing way. An announcement was made earlier in the day on Buffalo’s rock station 97 rock, that the opening act Greg Rollie would not be performing and Nugent would go on at 8pm to hopefully beat the bad weather. Well, when 8pm passed and the clouds became darker it looked like the show would not go on. At 8:30 some people started leaving the grounds which by this time turned into a rain soaked mud pit. Just when it looked like the show was going to be called off, the sudden high pitch sound of feedback came wailing through the speakers. Nugent then bounced on stage emphatically announcing, “This ain’t nothing, this is ducking hunting weather and I’m a duck hunter!!!” The crowd of approx 4000 enthusiastically roared in approval. From this moment on, the Nuge had the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Nugent kicked off the concert with the intro “Celebrate” which was a take on the “Star Spangled Banner.’ He then kicked into an intense version of “Snake Skin Cowboy” in which he immediately proved that even at 60 he still has the chops that he had at the prime of his career. His band, which consists of Mick Brown (Dokken) on drums and Greg Smith (Alice Cooper, Rainbow) on bass, was simply amazing. Nugent through out the show gave kudos to of all of his “hunting blood brothers” in attendance. Yes, there was a ton of camo.
Shortly into the show, Nugent jokingly introduced the song “Wango Tango” as a Hunting, Bar-b-q style Love song, which he later confessed that all his songs were of that type. And he’s right most of his songs are typical girl meets boy, boy eats girl style love songs. Rock on Ted, we’re with ya bro. Many seemed pleasantly surprised to hear a few tracks from Nugent’s 1978 album “Weekend Warrior.” He played the title track and also “Need you Bad,” in which bassist Greg Smith took lead vocal and did an outstanding job, one that would of made the original vocalist of the track Charlie Huhn very proud. Smith also rocked the house with a killer version of the 1975 hit “Hey Baby,” which was originally sung by Derek St. Homes.
The high point of the show, however was when the band played a mesmerizing version of “Fred Bear” from Nugent’s 1994 release “Spirit of the Wild.” Nugent claimed that it was the #1 song on Detroit rock radio for over ten years. He also expressed to the crowd that Detroit was the murder city capital of the world because everyone there had better aim. Another typical Nugent moment occurred when he praised the US Military and stated “they go to bad places in the world and kill all of the assholes.” “Keep on doing it!!!, he shouted with the crowd cheering in approval.
Overall, this was a great show by a rock legend who at the age of 60 is almost as sharp as he has ever been. Yeah, he may not be swinging out in his loincloth anymore (thank god), but man Ted Nugent is still the MotorCity madman 24/7. He has aged gracefully and most likely because of his clean lifestyle. I would be hard pressed to find another 60 year old rocker in as good physical condition as Mr. Nugent. Thank you Ted for staying your course, there will never be another like you, ever.
We would like to thank Greg Smith for inviting us back to the tour bus after the show to chat and also Wild Mick Brown for mixing that killer drink.
Ted Nugent setlist
STAR SPANGLED BANNER
Free For All
Dog Eat Dog
Rawdogs & Warhogs
Need You Bad
Still Rasing Hell
WangDang Sweet Poontang
Great White Buffalo
For more please check out www.tednugent.com