Ted Nugent August 7, 2011 Medina Entertainment Center
Ted Nugent's incantations are amusing, even charming, the first, second, third, even fourth go-round. But by the end, for fuck's sake. It's like listening to your drunk uncle complain about your aunt's bad cooking for the hundredth time in one backyard BBQ sitting, using the same tired quips.
And yet, I'm nodding my head. Not because I agree with him, but because uncle's got some sort of catchy hard rock tune blasting on the boombox behind him. For heaven's sake it's a conundrum. Me and my charming, but unfunny uncle. Me and Uncle Ted (Nugent).[jump]
Say what you will about Ted Nugent's politics. I'll say nothing of them, except that if those who claim to be in favor of guns and personal autonomy did it right (read: stopped the special treatment for corporations and the overt and offensive oppression of the poor, and stopped the panty bundling over sex and abortion), and if the rich and powerful weren't rich only by virtue of their malevolence, I might also be a gun-toting, backstrap-eating Libertarian.
Alas, I shoot guns only in a range. I eat backstrap only when my dad kills it for me back in South Dakota. And I recognize everyone's right to free and safe love... and abortion. Importantly, I'll vote for Obama again, goddammit, because it's the right thing to do.
That said, Michael Franti's message is nice but I hate his stupid music. The Indigo Girls' politics may be aligned with mine, but they also induce my narcoleptic tendencies. Ani DiFranco has always been right on, sister, but Zzzzzzzzz... Black Eyed Peas show up at every big concert for a good cause, but dear god is there a worse band out there pulling in over a million in album sales annually?
I knew this already, so his sold-out Sunday night Medina show came as no surprise; Ted Nugent is a hyperactive ball of crossbow-not-amphetamine-induced adrenaline. He can shred on the guitar, and he can bigbuckthumping wail when he sings. Every other word out his mouth is a celebration of something uniquely Nuge - Backstrap! Backstrap! BACKSTRAP! Motherfucker! You can't do this in France! You can't do this in France! Let's pretend we're in the outskirts of Detroit you big buncha crackers! Chuck Berry! Bo Diddley! Now we're fuckin' rockin' in Minnesota!
His set at the Medina was a non-stop crash course of rockin' Nugent hits, featuring Derek St. Holmes on rhythm guitar and a share of vocals. However you feel about Nugent's politics, whether or not you're one of his "blood brothers" (psst A HUNTER), this one thing is undeniable: the guy owns whatever it is he's doing harder than most other musicians. So bless his heart, even when he's riling the crowd with incitements to clean the Capitol of "cocksuckers" like Al Franken (yeah, I'll vote for him again, cocksucker) and to clear out the "cocksuckers" in the White House (yep, and I'll fuckin' vote for him again, too, sure as doe piss'll lure a buck to a tree).
So I s'pose all I can say about the dude is this: my appreciation for him as a public figure (what a character!) and for his music (fuckin' rock!) is that, when the bullet hits the bone, I'm just another bleeding heart liberal, buuuuuut I have major daddy issues. You can't eat backstrap in France, motherfuckers!
What does that even mean? Oh, just go with it.
Critic's Bias: Ugh. You know what? Forget it. His music isn't good enough to carry all this other BS. Any backhanded defense of the Nuge ends here. I resign. The crowd: A whole lot of the kind of person who raises his or her fist to the call of "Let's defend our borders!" Random notebook dump: Amidst a sea of white people, an American Indian woman just walked by in a Nuge shirt. His blathering about border defense just switched from stupidity to irony. Overheard in the crowd: "I just pumped two whole beers during 'Stranglehold!'"
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