During a rare contemplative moment in his otherwise amazingly high-energy concert at the Columbus, Ohio, stop of his summer Sonic Baptizm tour, Ted Nugent briefly pondered changing his ways.

“I started thinking maybe tonight’s the night I should calm down and act my age,” the now 67-year-old Motor City Madman admitted to the crowd. Luckily, the devilish wink in his eye burned bright enough for even those in the back of the packed venue to immediately see through his ruse, and as they roared their comedic disapproval over his “revelation,” Nugent then launched into yet another one of his timeless riffs.

As soon as Nugent kicked into the show-opening “Gonzo” (preceded by his bombastic solo take on “The Star Spangled Banner”), it was clear that taking last summer off from the road to spend time with his grandchildren had done nothing to diminish either his one-of-a-kind stage presence or his guitar playing, which remains the perfect blend of precision and madness.

With singer and second guitarist Derek St. Holmes on the road supporting his second album with Aerosmith's Brad Whitford, and drummer Mick Brown now gone (partly to reunite with the original Dokken), Nugent is back to working in the power trio format, with longtime bassist Greg Smith and new drummer Jason Hartless. No matter -- as always, Nugent and his bandmates were telepathically tight on everything from the frenetic “Detroit City Madhouse” to the more dynamic “Fred Bear” and the unbeatable main-set closing one-two punch of “Cat Scratch Fever” and “Stranglehold.”

Near the end of the show, Nugent posed his standard question to the crowd: “What kind of music is this?” “Soul music!" came the loud reply. To which he proudly replied, “We’re the only ones in the world to do it like this anymore.” You could maybe debate that statement, but it would be pretty damn hard to find anybody who's doing it better.

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