11.06 2006 House of Culture
Ted Nugent’s long career as a musician started in the late sixties with Amboy Dukes but the big success did not find him before he started his solo career in the mid 70’s. Since then Ted Nugent has done several world tours and sold millions of records but before today, he’s never been in Finland. Although it’s true that in the past few years Ted Nugent has been in the headlines more for his statements and hunting interest than musical deeds. Despite that and the fact that Ted has never been a real big name in Finland and he has never sold too many records either it was more than delightful to discover that House of Culture was completely sold out tonight.
Live review and photos by Marko Syrjälä
While the intro tape was still rolling a still very fit looking Ted, who now was wearing a white cowboy hat, a camouflage suit vest, tight blonde trousers and pair of brown sneakers, walked on stage and started his set with thundering opening track “Stormtroopin” from his first very solo album. “Wango Tango” from 1980’s “Scream Dream” came right after that.
At this point of the show it was a little bit comical and shameful at the same time when it was clear that about 90% of the audience didn’t recognize songs, especially the latter one, at all and mainly for that reason they just stand on their feet and wondered what was coming out from the loudspeakers. When the songs were over you could just hardly hear the applause which was caused by a few “true fans” on the forefront. Another track “Snakeskin Cowboys” from the classic debut didn’t cause any greater reactions and neither didn’t “Free for All” which was almost shameful because band really was on fire while they were playing that track. Maybe Ted himself recognized the small problem and he then kept a brief speech about “the attitude”. He talked something about politics, jokes about everything and did some other usual “Ted’s stuff”. I think that he succeed quite well because he managed to get most of the people smile and when the next track “Wang Dang Sween Poontang” started there was lot’s of hands on the air and the whole atmosphere was getting better all the time. Maybe older audience like what we had here tonight needs more time to get warm or something like that?
“Klstrphkme” sounded good as well as did “Rawdogs and Warhogs”which unfortunately was the only track from Ted’s latest “Craveman” album. I personally liked that album a lot and in my opinion it was one the best albums released in 2002. Tonight’s only cover song “Soul Man”, originally written and performed by Sam & Dave, was a nice addition to the set list. Ted’s vocals and guitar playing were in top form. He and the whole trio really seemed to have really good time on stage and they had some nice jamming in the end of the song.
“Hey Baby”, which was written by the original Nugent band guitarist Derek St Holmes, continued the series of classic songs from the debut album while “Dog Eat Dog” did the same for “Free for All”. The first real surprise of the evening occured when Ted announced that they are going to play a new track. Like I mentioned earlier the last Nugent album came out already in 2002 and nobody, including myself, was sure if there is ever going to be another one?
The new track was called “Still Raising Hell”. It was a usual Nugent rocker and it sounded pretty much the same kind of stuff like what was heard on “Craveman”. Another surpise followed when Ted announced that they are going to do another new track right after the first one. “Girlscout Cookies” was a somewhat basic bluesy rocker in the vein of late 70’s. At this point Ted announced that new studio album will see the light of day next spring. Very promising indeed!
It is more than obvious at some point every gig has it’s climax. If it doesn’t happen then there is probably something wrong with the concert. “Motorcity Madhouse” get very close but when the ageless opening riff of “Cat Scratch Fever” started, the roof of House of Culture almost blow off. “Strangehold” and the last song and only encore “Great White Buffalo” were great as always but there is no doubt that the highest culmination was already passed at that point.
After almost two hours the show was over. It was noticeable that the sound was really loud and for sure people who for some reason or another didn’t use earplugs did hear Ted’s guitar many days after the event. As I already said before Ted himself, now 58 years old, was in top form both vocally and playing wise. I heard that some people said that he has a really bizarre sense of humor and does some strange talk on stage. In my opinion that’s just a part of the show and his personality and if you are too serious person to understand that, it’s better if you stay home. Ted is really patriotic. He have his own, American style and what’s the most important is that he certainly have the ATTITUDE!
In years past there have been many different variations on this bands line-up and there have been many well-known names like Marco Mendoza and Tommy Aldridge but there is nothing wrong with the current rhythm section which consist of current Dokken colleagues bassist Barry Sparks (ex- MSG, Uli Jon Roth, Yngwie Malsteen etc) and drummer Mick Brown (ex-Lynch Mob). They both played extremely tightly and are also very good singers. Barry even did some lead vocals every then and now.
At last it must be said that it was that the average age of the crowd was easily more than 40 years old. I think that it proves my belief that being a Ted Nugent fan is more like a lifestyle than being just a regular fan. Hopefully Ted will keep his promise and will return to Finland soon without another thirty years wait!!
3. Wango Tango
4. Snakeskin Cowboys
5. Free For All
6. Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
8. Rawdogs & Warhogs
9. Soul Man (Sam & Dave)
10. Hey Baby
11. Dog Eat Dog
12. Still Raising Hell (New)
13. Motorcity Madhouse (Inc:Baby Please Don’t Go(Joe Williams))
14. Cat Scratch Fever
16. Great White Buffalo
FOR MORE INFO GO TO:
SPECIAL THANKS FOR GIVING US A PHOPASS GOES TO TOMI LINDBLOM FROM EASTWAY
MORE PICTURES FROM HELSINKI CONCERT