Better than: Eating Jack Link's Teriyaki Flavored Brand Beef Jerky.
Ted Nugent never claimed to be a hippie, but his work with the Amboy Dukes was the soundtrack of the acid trip. Rock 'n' roll is freedom, and at its core, last night was a celebration of freedom. Freedom, like America? Sure. Freedom, like the right bear arms? Yeah, that too. Freedom to rock? Definitely the freedom rock, motherfucker.
The scene at Revolution last night was more than 40 years in the making. Blues-based, riff rock 'n' roll used to belong to the hippies, the weirdos, and the freaks. Somewhere in the past five decades, the spirit of Free Love and dimebags was strangled by the shitty economy and Coors Light. T'aint nothing wrong with that; people grow up.
The crowd was amped for Uncle Ted. There was much audible debate over whether there would be an opener or not. The crowd was speculating as to what was behind the tiny drum set on stage. There was a charcoal industrial tarp draped over something huge. Was it the Nuge's guitar cabs? (Spoiler alert: yes.) Was it an arsenal of weaponry? (Spoiler alert: yes.)
Opener Laura Wilde had to prove herself to Ted's legions. She came out decked in leather, studs, and Lita Ford hair. She wasn't very warmly received. Fortunately for her, her band was tighter than her pants. After a slew of catchy metallic power-pop jams, the crowd warmed up to her Flying V and raccoon tail.
Three things became clear when she spoke to the audience between songs. She's from Australia, has perfect teeth, and is ridiculously young. It was energizing to see a 22-year-old young lady play real hard rock without any sense of irony. By the time her booming voice and tiny hands ripped through AC/DC's "Jailbreak," she'd won the masses.
Wilde defrosted the crowd enough, so Nugent had no problem burning everyone to a crisp with his flamethrower hott lixx. The Nuge and his band came out screeching and screaming. At first, it seemed weird that Nugent was wearing a headset mic, he looked like an As-Seen-On-TV Pitchman -- but it gave him the freedom (freedom!) to shred supreme, strut his stuff, and sing without having to worry about being tied down by a mic stand.
Nugent claimed he was "backed by the best band in the world." Their brand of rock 'n' roll was heavy, grooving, and precise. Their playing was so spot-on, we almost forgot about the crossbows, machine guns, and helmets onstage and that every amp in his wall of amps had his chrome-plated name affixed to it.
Nugent is insanely confident and infectiously joyful. He has tons to be proud of, even besides the "ton of venison jerky he personally killed for the troops in Afghanistan." His guitars were crying the sweetest tones, and the crowd agreed with everything he thought. The band is tightly rehearsed; they hit the road for months straight, and "the rest of the year, I just kill shit," Nuge said. He attributes his youthful energy to that.
He gave shoutouts to the godfathers of rock 'n' roll: Bo Diddly, Chuck Berry, Howling Wolf, and Wilson Pickett. After giving praise to the guitar heroes, he gave a giant salute to the American heroes in the crowd: the Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, and Coast Guard. Right after that, he said, "I wanna get rid of the dirty cocksuckers in the White House! If there's justice, Barack Obama will end up being a communal worker in Cuba!" Everybody joyously hugged and high-fived.
It's almost impossible to remove politics from Nugent's music. It's just as hard to deny that he is an incredibly gifted showman. He was ragingly cocky about how amazing he and his band are -- he was also 110 percent right.
The crowd: Hunters, dads, cool uncles, dudes who weren't ever gonna cut their hair, and the Amboy Dukes.
Thanks: To Revolution for being accommodating to my disabled friend; he had the best time and was extremely comfortable.
Overheard: "Oh... We do gotta wait for these stupid warm-up douchebags."
Nugent's wildest quotes:
"No shit muthafucka!"
"This is that big ol' greasy Motor City BBQ two-step."
"You love this shit. You need this shit. You crave this shit!"
"We been doing this all summer long since 1965!"
"Nobody plays shit like this no more!"
"Keep a gun in your hand, boy!"
"The only thing missing in this world is more dead fucking assholes!"
"The whole world sucks, but America still sucks less!"
"I'm going to play the number-one love song in the history of the world -- I digress, no I progress -- 'Wang Dang Sweet Poontang!'"
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