Concert Review: Ted Nugent at House of Blues

Who could have predicted hed become a right-wing nutjob?
  • Who could have predicted he'd become a right-wing nutjob?

Listen, my sex life is nothing like Prince's, and I'm not taking two-minute cold showers to save the earth like Michael Stipe. I also wouldn't vote or eat like Ted Nugent, but sometimes you have to separate the music from the messenger.

And if you're looking for a veteran of the '70s music scene who has somehow miraculously managed to remain vital and alive 40 years later, look no further than the controversial Motor City Madman.

Love or hate his outspoken and hopefully exaggerated political views, you can count on "Uncle Ted" to deliver the goods in concert.

The majority of last night's two-hour show at a packed House of Blues found Nugent leading his powerful and flexible two-man rhythm section through the highlights of his recorded career, delivering faithful but not stuffy versions of radio staples such as "Free for All," "Cat Scratch Fever," and "Stranglehold."

For all his talk-radio bluster and posturing, in person Nugent legitimately seems to be searching for common ground among the ages, genders, and heritages.

He spends much more of his between-song banter trumpeting the influence of his Detroit hometown's soul music on his development than he does espousing his current caveman-level political leanings, but ... you know what? There's no explaining this. Either you accept a hard-working, expressive, constantly evolving last-of-his-breed rock genius with his flaws, or you sit at home and think you know better.

I know where I'll be next time. —Matthew Wilkening

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