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Ted Nugent Keeps it Fast and Furious in Ohio: Concert Review

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Just a few months shy of his 69th birthday, Ted Nugent performed live for over the six thousandth time* in front a rowdy capacity crowd at the Packard Music Hall in Warren, Ohio on Aug. 24. And thank goodness, it’s still impossible to detect even the slightest hint of him slowing or calming down anywhere on the horizon.

Uncle Ted’s gas pedal was clearly nailed to the floor from the second he took the stage under a gigantic American flag while playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” on guitar. That quickly led into a cover of “Baby Please Don’t Go,” and then a rapid-fire procession of about 15 other of his classic tracks.

As always, Nugent kept things fresh and gave himself extra room to show off his impressive guitar skills with loose extended versions of several of the songs. And of course he didn’t use the brief space between those songs to catch his breath, instead delivering his trademark mile-a-minute monologues about treating each show, each song and each lick as if they were the most important in his entire life. Which, as usual, seemed to be exactly what he was doing.

Apart from a brief mention about how happy he was that we now have our very own “Great White Buffalo,” Donald Trump, “the closest thing we could possibly get to having Ted Nugent as President” in the White House, politics were kept to a minimum in favor of celebrating our freedoms and paying tribute to the forefathers of rock, blues and soul music.

The recently departed Chuck Berry – who was the subject of an excellent impromptu fireside tribute from Nugent back in March – was name-checked on several of those occasions.

There was room for some horseplay as well, as Nugent, powerhouse drummer Jason Hartless and Greg Smith (who did an excellent job on lead vocals for both “Hey Baby” and “Need You Bad”) launched into a brief rendition of “Don’t Tread on Me” by his former supergorup Damn Yankees at the start of their encore.

Earlier in the set, Nugent seemed to accidentally hit on a brand new riff during one of his pre-song raps. After exploring it a bit, he turned to Smith and said, “I don’t know what that is…. but I like it!” So did we. Hopefully, it turns up on the next Ted Nugent album…

*we forgot the exact number, but we’re sure Mr. Nugent can tell you, as he does at nearly every show.

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