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Ted Nugent - August 2, 2008

Ted Nugent at Billy Bob's on August 2, 2008Only The Nuge would have a .50 caliber machine gun on stage.

Ted Nugent's power trio, fueled by an impressive stack of 5150 amps took the stage promptly at 10:30 and rocked Billy Bob's Texas until after Midnight this Saturday. The Motor City Madman pegged the testosterone meter as soon as he hit the stage. Opening the set with his inimitable version of the Star Spangled Banner was perfect for Billy Bob's and the crowd responded accordingly.

Ted Nugent and Texas are a perfect fit and Ted's unique brand of “no excuses” Red, White and Blue patriotism resonate with this crowd in a big way. The symbiotic relationship between Ted and his Texas fans is immediately apparent.

Nugent may have the self-proclaimed soul and rhythm of James brown, asking the crowd at one point if he is the “only black man here” and “are there any other brothers out there?”, but Ted is nothing if not a guitar monster, tearing into fret-shredding solos that seem to go on forever. There are no three-minute songs in this set, as every piece is an opportunity for Ted to do what he does best – solo until he loses interest (a very long time). A veritable orgy of guitar work ensues throughout the night. satiating even the most die-hard hard rockers in the crowd, myself included. The energy Nugent produces along with the non-stop pace he keeps up is dizzying -- and impressive as hell for someone pushing 60. Ted's endless staccato, rapid-fire solos are reminiscent of the machine guns he is so fond of (and what red-blooded American Boy isn't?), blistering the ions in this room with combinations of soaring, screaming cascades of his signature metal-laced hard rock.

As Ted rattled off the last 20-odd stops in classic auctioneer fashion the crowd went wild when the list culminated in Billy Bob's. The One “love song'” of the night, to no one's surprise is Wang Dang Sweet Poon Tang and after the enormous build-up the crowd goes wild with the first bar. Dog Eat Dog is another highlight as Ted explains that their entire repertoire consists of Love, Dog, Hunting and Military themes. This is eventually modified to include BBQ.

The Detroit native, now a Crawford, Texas resident had a bit of fun at the expense of Country aficionados (pointing out they were easy to spot by the stupid look in their eyes), building up to their one obligatory country song which turned out to be “Who Wants to F__k Me”. Destined to be the next Country hit? I don't think so.

Texas in general and Billy Bob's in particular turn out to be the perfect setting for Nugent's unique brand of politics and personal conviction. Even if you don't agree with his position, you've got to love his fervor. It's downright infectious and he has the fans in the palm of his hand for the duration.
Clearly classic “No Excuses”, No Holds Barred” Ted Nugent.

Review by Warren Paul Harris, staff writer

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