July 8, 2017
Billy Bob's Texas
Fort Worth, TX USA
Review by Tamra Harrison
Photos by Robert Keith
Rockin' America Again
Freedom isn't free! A Rock & Roll Show That Had Some On One Knee, Guitar Pitch Clear, Crisp, and Clean I Was Hearing Tones I had never heard before, filling The Room. Backed By A Full Size American Flag, The Red, The White, and The Blue This Three-Piece Rock Show Was None Other than Patriotic Brilliance!
Fan or not, TED NUGENT provides his fans and critics alike with Rock & Roll in a class all of his own. Proud to be an American, Ted Nugent's patriotism is real and unedited. If your feelings are easily hurt, I don't advise your outing to include "The Nuge." In fact, he makes himself very clear, "have I offended you? Good! Go ahead and leave!"
I had the opportunity of meeting, as well as witnessing my very first Ted Nugent concert while attending the 40th Annual International Guitar Show & Festival last May. From his finale closing the guitar show in Dallas Texas for 2017 to his Rockin' America Again tour landing in Fort Worth, Texas about two months later, it was as though I was witnessing his stage performance for the first time, and on an entirely different level.
The stage set a mood with a clear and simple message. Aside from a great light show, an a American Flag hung in the background with just enough slack that you could see the red, white and blue waving.
Opening with (THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER) John Stafford Smith cover, every single person instantly, if not already standing, were on their feet. People humming the words all around you. (TED NUGENT) took a completely packed house, hog tied and deep fried - stuffed with feelings of freedom so deep tears were shed, military branches individually recognized, as people all around you were proudly waving their flags.
Loving Rock and Roll growing up, I listened to it all. No matter the genre, I was intrigued by what story may be untold, the musicians inspiration or influence, or how it felt picking up their very first guitar.
When I received word from a personal source that I was going to be provided the opportunity to not only go backstage prior to the show, but that I would have the opportunity to ask Ted Nugent face-to-face whatever I wanted... No pressure, right?! WRONG! It had to be something people around the world were curious to know, it must be a question that a sentence wouldn't suffice or even begin to express a just passion, something fresh within his heart. It is of no surprise TED NUGENT has always had that "Motown Soul."
With the recent passing of the Legendary Rock & Roll Hall of Famer, (CHUCK BERRY), I knew this was sure to be fresh within his heart. Not looking to tear open fresh wounds, doing some further research discovered that (MITCH RYDER) on March 31, 2017 received notice that he was going to be inducted @ The 5th Annual Rhythm and Blues Hall of Fame in Detroit, on June 11, 2017. But on March 18, 2017, 13 days prior to Mitch receiving news of his achievement, Chuck Berry joined the big band in the sky. With two men in particular that influenced Ted, I had to ask "Who would you say inspired you the most, Chuck Berry or Mitch Ryder?"
His response: "Both" His eyes lit up with excitement as he shared.
Switching "hats" making my way to speak with fans, there was not one individual who hadn't been to a Ted Nugent concert prior to this tour. In fact the majority had seen him live 4 or 5 times previously. I knew there had to be some negative feedback, or a first timer, but our paths just weren't crossing. Until the very end of the night, just about all of the floor had cleared out, a young man about 16 years old, diagnosed with cancer was surrounded by his uncles as he marked off of his bucket list... *See Ted Nugent Live.
Fan or critic, there wasn't a negative moment throughout the entire show.