Review/photos by Thomas S. Orwat, Jr.
Lewiston, NY – The Motor city madman with the motor mouth -Ted Nugent played an intense 90 minute set in front of 25,000 adoring classic rock loving fans of all ages on Tuesday evening. This was another free Artpark concert, that brought in droves of people from all around the WNY and Southern Ontario area. The 63 year old hunting advocate, and guitar legend, shows no signs of slowing down, and is as controversial as ever before.
When you go to a Ted Nugent show, not only do you get to see one of the greatest rock legends of all time, but you also get a big serving of Nugent’s contentious social commentary and satire. During the evening, no one was safe. Nugent called out our current administration by calling them “The cocksuckers in the White House.” He also claimed his bar-b-que partner, up in the top row, and himself, were the only two black “mother fuckers” in the audience. He then referred to his ‘black friend’ as “fatso.”
Nugent was also relentless on the many fans from Canada in attendance as well. However, later during the show, Nugent stated that after his tour ends, he will be heading up to Canada for a hunting trip. He also said, “Even Canada is run better than the USA. But then quickly remarked, “But, don’t worry, things are going to get a lot better here.” Regardless if you agree with his views or not, there is no denying that Nugent really has the uncanny ability to get his audience fired up.
But regardless of Nugent’s harsh words, it was still the music that mattered the most on this evening. And in all of the twenty Ted Nugent concerts that I’ve seen (since 1978), this particular one may have been the best. Not only because of Ted’s awesome and flawless guitar skills, but because his band, now with the addition of original member Derek St. Holmes (guitar/vocals), is just out of this world. Before St.Holmes was brought back into the mix, I felt that Nugent’s sound and performances suffered a bit. But now with St. Holmes added the stomping’ rhythm section of Greg Smith (bass) and “Wild” Mick Brown (drums), Nugent is able to concentrate on what he does best, and that’s wailing on the guitar. Nugent seems to love his band as well, referring to them as “The Nigerian Rebels” (or were they NUGErian?) several times throughout the show.
Nugent’s setlist (see below) was a well balanced, consisting of all the classics with a few less-known newer tracks thrown in. “Free for All” was a great choice as an opener, and set the tone for the entire show. And hearing St. Holmes sing his classics “Stormtroppin’,” and “Hey Baby” were big highlights. But hearing his two biggest hits “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold” side by side, then followed by an encore performance of “The Great White Buffalo” will be cherished moments, held forever by the tens of thousands in attendance.
Love him or hate him, Nugent can’t be ignored. Even at his age, he still delivers the goods night after night. And he’s not even close to being finished yet. I wouldn’t even be surprised if one day, we are all addressing him as President Nugent.
Ted Nugent setlist 08-16-2011
-Free For All
-Just What the Doctor Ordered
-Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
-Need You Bad
-Turn It Up
-Rawdogs and Warthogs
-Dog Eat Dog
-I Still Believe
-Motor City Madhouse
-Cat Scratch Fever
-Great White Buffalo
Special thanks to Maria Costello and Linda Peterson.
For more on Ted Nugent, go to www.TedNugent.com