Controversial rocker Ted Nugent makes a lot of noise wherever he goes, both literally and figuratively. After dealing with protestors in New Haven, CT the night before, Nugent’s “Black Power” tour rolled into Boston’s House of Blues for a hard rocking show. This time there were no protestors, just fans of the classic rock icon. The always outspoken Nugent voiced his opinion on many subjects throughout the night, including the NSA, hunting, and President Obama.
Aside from social commentary from Uncle Ted, he also provided some pretty radical rock n’ roll. With barn burners like “Gonzo” and “Wango Tango” early in the set, the show was in high gear almost immediately. Nugent also paid tribute to his blues heroes as he played parts of Willie Dixon’s “I Can’t Quit You Baby” and “Red House,” originally by Jimi Hendrix. A new addition to the set on this year’s tour was “Queen of the Forest,” a song the Nugent hasn’t played live in decades.
Nugent’s tribute to the late legendary outdoorsman “Fred Bear” brought out the vocalists in the crowd who were elated to hear the fan favorite. Nugent closed his set with perhaps the best one-two setlist punch being played today. First came “Cat Scratch Fever,” immediately followed by “Stranglehold” for about 13 minutes of blistering, nasty, rock n’ roll.
Nugent’s setlist came in at only 15 songs, but the set time lasted over an hour and half. Nugent and his band bring their songs to life by delivering new, extended jam versions of nearly every song on the set. That type of live performance is a rarity today when many acts just go out and regurgitate their recordings.
Nugent’s guitar tone throughout the night was flawless, as were the smooth vocals provide by Derek St. Holmes, who continues to prove why he is one of the most underrated vocalists of the past 40 years. The band’s sound was tight and loud--everything you’d want from a rock n’ roll show. Nugent’s political views kept a lot of people away in a state like Massachusetts, but for those who either agree with him, or were willing to put them aside for the music, Wednesday’s show was a true treat, a night of solid, loud rock n’ roll that would leave no fan disappointed.
Opening the show was Aussie rocker Laura Wilde, whose blues influenced rock n’ roll served as a spectacular precursor to Nugent’s set. Her energy and vocals combined with killer guitar skills wowed the crowd. Wilde played some great original material and even rocked out an awesome cover of AC/DC’s “Jailbreak." Her stage presence and stunning good looks didn’t hurt at all either.