Ted Nugent Stalks His Prey at The Grove
City National Grove of Anaheim
July 14, 2014
There are certain people who simply create their own gravity. They exist in all walks of life and in all professions. The species are easy to identify, yet a cloud of mystery typically enshrouds them, hiding the answer to the question: "Is this guy for real, or is it all flash and dazzle?" The truth, likely, exists somewhere in between -- case in point, Ted Nugent.
Nugent brought his show to City National Grove of Anaheim this weekend, and it cannot be said that he did not tear the roof off the joint. The 65-year-old hard rocker, who has gone by the names Sweaty Teddy, The Nuge, The Motor City Madman, and Uncle Ted, is a textbook showman whose concerts are just as much about music as they are about production. The image that stands upon the stage is drenched in red, white, and blue, and braggadocio pours from his mouth. He espouses Right Wing ideology; he beams that he has been drug and alcohol free his entire life; he claims that in the kingdom of guitar heaven he is a god; and he never ceases plugging his image or his various projects. Despite all that noise, he still puts on a great show!
His band included fellow Michigan singer / guitarist Derek St. Holmes, who has performed and recorded with Nugent -- fairly steadily -- since 1975. Greg Smith (Alice Cooper) played bass, and Mick Brown (Dokken) played drums. The band was very tight, and St. Holmes is a pretty incredible performer in his own right.
Perhaps it was the fact that this show was in Orange County, but, for as much of a rocking show as Nugent puts on, there were very few youths present at The Grove. The audience essentially consisted of the same metalheads, rock 'n rollers, and swivel-hipped girls that had likely gone to his concerts 30 years ago. This is not really surprising considering that Nugent has always been most popular (and very prolific -- regularly travelling and performing around 300 days a year) as a live act, and today's youth is more-or-less reliant on electronic devices for cultivating their tastes. Then again, perhaps old-school rock warriors are an anachronism that does not resonate with today's youth. Regardless, there were enough lively fans to decently fill the 1,700 capacity theater.