Ted Nugent Concert Review, Austin, TX, July 17, 2017
Ted Nugent. Just the mention of his name to some, especially here in Austin, sends people’s triggers through the roof. When the show was announced on Facebook, the SJWs of Austin took to their keyboards in protest. “I’ll never go to your venue again!” “Boycott the Scoot Inn!” “Such and such should be ashamed of themselves for booking this asshole!” and blah blah blah. It was fun to watch. That being said, I bought a ticket as I’ve never seen Sweaty Teddy before.
Some history…one of my older brothers, Robert (RIP), was a huge Nugent fan in the 70s and 80s and through his fandom, I became familiar with the first 4 or 5 albums. Just the sight of those records takes me back to being a kid again. Oddly, the only album of his that I ever owned was Little Miss Dangerous as I liked the title track. I went back and re-listened to that one a few weeks ago and it’s pretty horrible.
As a musician, the guy is a guitar beast and severely underrated. As a human being, well, I wouldn’t mind meeting him but I don’t think I’d want to be his neighbor. One thing I learned over the years was that if I based my fandom of bands on the people in the band and their previous transgressions, I’d probably never be able to listen to any band ever again. Stones? Bowie? Sheesh, there goes a chunk of my music collection right there!
My buddy Jason K went with me and we arrived right around 730PM just after the opening band, who isn’t worth mentioning, had finished. This was an early show with a hard curfew of 10PM. I was pleased to see the 5 protesters out front and wish I had taken a photo of their signs, but oh well. Good for them for exercising their First Amendment rights under the U.S. Constitution. I applaud that.
Ted hit the stage right at 8PM with his rendition of the Star Spangled Banner and went into Gonzo after that. I expected long-winded political rants speckled between songs but hardly got anything out of him besides, “The world sucks these days, America just sucks a lot less,” and “I’m from Detroit, the murder capital of America, and that’s only because we’re a better shot,” and burped “Obama.” Pretty much everything else was about his love of Bo Diddley and Texas. I was a bit surprised.
Up next was Free-For-All, which is one of my favorites. Ted handled vocals for the whole show except for Stormtroopin’, another favorite. Bassist, Greg Smith, sang on that one. Greg has been with everyone it seems including Wendy O Williams. I met him 2 years ago when he toured with Hellion. Great bassist. It was also good to hear Hey Baby and Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine. Ted’s guitar playing was top notch. His trio was rounded out by 21yr old drummer, Jason Hartless, who was perfect all night.
I was told that presales on the show were about 450 and I think the overall number was about 700 or so in an outdoor venue that can hold 1200. I stayed up on the deck in the back with a couple of friends. It was a nice evening and even better running into my old friend, Robin, whom I hadn’t seen in some years.
This was likely my first and last Nuge show. It was fun and I got to see what I needed to see.