Words and photos by Duane Clawson
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Tonight in St. Louis, there was only room for one true rock star. The one and only, Motor City Madman, Ted Nugent! With some of the most recognizable guitar licks in the history of rock, Terrible Ted did nothing short of dazzle the capacity crowd that came to witness this piece of rock history at the River City Casino.
I will not debate with any of Ted’s detractors over his stance on politics, guns, or animal rights. I’ll let him do that. But I will go toe to toe with you when you debate the fact that, love him or hate him, Ted is the face of pure rock and roll at its finest, and loudest.
With a cloud of smoke and the raw feedback of a Gibson Byrdland guitar, the silhouette of this guitar god appears center stage cutting loose with that patented, Ted Nugent primal scream, letting everyone within a 5-mile radius know, the Nuge is still kicking ass at 68 years old! Nugent made mention that this was his 6,538th show, spread out over a nearly fifty-year span.
Ted’s career began in the late 60’s playing in his original band, the Amboy Dukes. He soon figured out that he wanted to be the headliner and parted ways the band in the early 70’s. Throughout the 70’s and early 80’s, Ted Nugent sold out stadiums all over the world. Ted’s unwavering musical stance became somewhat stale during the 80’s before reemerging in popularity with the band Damn Yankees in 1989. From that point, he has not let the public forget who he is or what he stands for.
Ted’s in between song banter was somewhat toned down but he still managed to remind those in attendance that he is not always politically correct. With that statement, the beginning notes of “Wang Dang, Sweet Poontang” wailed from Nugent’s American flag-adorned Gibson Les Paul. Cheers to Ted’s production crew as they have mastered the art of a well-balanced, loud but clean show.
Nugent professes throughout the show his love of soul music. References to Little Richard, B.B. King, Chuck Berry are abundant and followed up on with a killer version of Berry’s, "Johnny B. Goode". No seats were needed as a majority of the 1000+ fans in attendance stood up for the 90-minute set. “Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine” was a nice addition to the setlist and, of course, the classics such as, “Cat Scratch Fever” were there on this "Sonic Baptizm" Tour.
Sustaining the feedback of what Nugent describes as his longtime girlfriend, Blackie, a black 1962 Gibson Byrdland guitar made in Kalamazoo, MI, he closes out the main set with, “Stranglehold”. With a roar similar to a buffalo stampede, Ted returns to the stage to cap off this classic set with, “Great White Buffalo”. Before I end this article, I have to mention Ted’s current bandmates Jason Hartless on drums and Greg Smith on bass. Both provide the backing sonic blast that Nugent’s music demands! Thanks to “Tedquarters” for allowing MTC MAG to review this bucketlist-filling show. And also to River City Casino for their hospitality! Photos of the show are below:
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Ted Nugent @ River City Casino, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 1:30:00 PM Rating: