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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Ted Nugent

Motor City Mayhem

Review by Gary Hill

Ted Nugent – love him or hate him you have to agree that he is at his best in the live performance venue. This screaming double disc set proves that. Recorded live on July 4th (come on, how much more Nugent can you get on the calendar) 2008, this was his 6000th concert. The Nuge and band put in a screaming performance. Ted Nugent has a tendency to use the pulpit of the rock and roll stage to promote his political views, often going into long tirades. Whether you agree with his politics or not – and I will not officially weigh in on that issue – it just doesn’t seem the place for such stuff. When I’ve seen his concerts and he’s done that, my feeling is “we came to hear your music, not your speeches – shut up and play.” Well, thankfully Nugent refrained from that kind of stuff in this show. So, what we have here is a live set that might well be every bit as good as the classic Double Live Gonzo album. With that in mind this comes highly recommended to all fans of Ted Nugent and all hard rock aficionados. Get out there and pick it up now.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2009  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Ted Nugent Intro

This is a short, but far from quiet, introductory portion. It’s noisy and cool.

Star Spangled Banner

The Nuge turns his attention to the national anthem.

Motor City Madhouse

A powerhouse rocker from the Nuge, this one has some seriously scorching lead guitar work and is just plain screaming.

Wango Tango

This is a Ted Nugent classic and they throw out a killer rocking rendition here. It’s Ted the Sledge at his best.

Free For All

Here’s one that doesn’t quite hold up to earlier renditions. That said, it still screams and works quite well.

Stormtroopin'

This blazing classic brings the intensity and quality back up to standard. It scorches.

Dog Eat Dog

To me this seems closer to the studio rendition of the track than what we have gotten in live performances before. That’s not a bad thing. The two sounds were (in the past) quite different. This seems to merge them and make them closer.

Need You Bad

This is alright, but definitely not up to the intensity of the onslaught to this point. It’s a bit of a let down. That said, Nuge’s guitar soloing is still powerful.

Weekend Warrior

A bit back towards the screaming intensity that lead us off, this one doesn’t quite stand as tall as some of the rest, but it’s a good start. Having Nugent back on the vocals is a plus. His voice might not be as strong as some of the other people he’s had doing the vocal work in the past, but he’s got more character. I prefer his vocals to pretty much anyone else he’s ever had singing – at least on Nugent music.

Love Grenade

Here’s one that’s adequate, but nothing special.

Honky Tonk

This is a short little blues jam. It’s tasty, but not really much.

Disc 2
Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
We’re back up to firing on all thrusters with this Nugent classic. It’s a screamer and this might be the quintessential live recording.
Bo Diddley/Lay With Me

The Nuge channels some old school rock and roll on this cool medley.

Baby Please Don't Go

An old rock and roll classic, this is a killer rendition.

Geronimo And Me

They fire out into a scorching modern Nugent classic. This is one of the highlights of the set.

Jenny Take A Ride

An old time rock and roll grind, this is alright, but a bit of a let down compared to the other stuff on show here.

Soul Man

This one does better and I like the way Nuge makes it his own.

Hey Baby

I’ve always loved it when the Nuge has done this scorcher. It still works really well here.

Cat Scratch Fever

One of the biggies from the Nuge’s catalog, this is another powerhouse. The riff is just plain classic and I love hearing this live – always.

Strangehold

The jam of the album, this comes well over ten minutes in length. This is always a magical piece of music and this is no exception. They create a killer wall of sound and Nugent solos in fine fashion. It seems a bit obvious, but this is one of the sheer winners of the set. It’s obvious from the sounds and such that make up the minute or so that this was the closer before they came out for an encore.

Great White Buffalo

Here’s another Nugent classic and it’s a great tune. It’s an awesome rendition and another high point of the set.

Fred Bear

Nugent and the guys launch into a screamer hard rocking modern Nugent classic. This one works quite well and seems to be a good continuation of the piece that preceded it.

Outro
The show is ended in much the same way as it began.
 
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