Clarkston, Michigan (August 31, 2019) – Love him or hate him, there is no denying that Ted Nugent is a controversial figure in the United States. Outspoken to a fault, his brashness is often a catalyst for intense debates between friends and foes alike. Unfortunately for his legion of longtime fans, the legendary guitarists musical endeavors have taken a backseat to his strident advocacy of hunting and gun rights along with conservative political views. Even though his political stance has angered his followers at times, Nugent’s music continues to be a common bond that pulls the most ardent detractors back into the fold.
Saturday, the DTE Energy Music Theatre played host to the last stop on Nugent’s annual cross-country jaunt, 2019’s “The Music Made Me Do It Tour.” Backed by Gene Smith on bass and Jason Hartless on drums, the defacto home coming performance was vintage Ted Nugent from the moment he stepped on stage until the last note of the night was played.
Opening with a searing, extended version of “Stranglehold,” Nugent made his intentions for the night perfectly clear soon after when he announced; ”Michigan! If your not expecting an old fashioned, loud rock and roll show, its time for you to get the fuck out while you can!” And with that bold, IN YOUR FACE statement, the 13-song, two hour performance took flight.
All the classic hits any fan could expect and hope for were mixed in to the high energy set. “Motor City Madhouse,” (with a little extra guitar work thrown in for the Motorcity faithful)”Wang Dang Sweet Poontang,” “Free-For-All” and for the animal lovers in the house “Cat Scratch Fever.” Each song seemingly played a little longer and with a bit more intensity than any other show in recent memory. “Paralyzed” and “Hey Baby” found Nugent playing side by side with Smith, each smiling and laughing at each other while laying down a few smoking guitar licks for the fans enjoyment!
Being the Patriot that he is, Nugent always takes a few minutes out of each show to recognize active and past military members in attendance. Tonight was no different as men and women from four branches of the United States military were saluted with a rousing standing ovation from the appreciative crowd.
With the festivities complete, Nugent turned his attention to the encore and the end of the night. “Fred Bear,” the hard rocking story of World Class archer Fred Bear and Nugents mentor, had the crowd standing and singing back at the stage word for word. A well played segue into “Great White Buffalo” kept the momentum going before finally ending the night with Nugent’s wildly popular version of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Ted Nugent loves his family, country and rock and roll. At times that order has been questioned and sometimes rightfully so. But one thing we can tell you for sure, Ted Nugent is timeless artist and can play a guitar like no other. Love him or loathe him, he is a man that doesn’t give a shit on what you think or feel personally about him. He lives his life on his own terms at his own pace. No drugs or booze, just good old fashioned rock and roll to keep the blood flowing.
Rock and roll or politics,he stands up for what he believes in and will articulate the war of words with anyone that challenges him. Tonight we saw Ted Nugent in what I would describe his best overall performances in years. 70 year-old men should be enjoying life fishing and playing cards with their retired friends and not wailing on a guitar like some 30 year-old. But this is Ted Nugent, would you expect anything less?