August 17, 2019
CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park
Review by Joseph Hett
Ted Nugent Brings The Spirit To Simpsonville
Blood brothers and sisters packed the CCNB Amphitheatre at Heritage Park in Simpsonville, SC (just outside of Greenville) on Saturday night to witness the legendary Ted Nugent in rare form.
As the camo-clad Motor City Madman lit up the stage with his “Motown classics” and phenomenal guitar work, distant storms lit up the skies in the east. What started off as a hot and humid day eventually turned cool and breezy.
This was a stop on Nugent’s headlining 2019 The Music Made Me Do It Again! Tour. They are touring as a power trio with bassist Greg Smith and drummer Jason Hartless aka The Funk Brothers.
As showtime approached, the backdrop featured a caricature of Uncle Ted giving the middle finger while riding and straddling a large middle finger. Bull skulls with glowing red eyes adorned the stage along with deer antlers. An American flag was on the left of the stage while South Carolina’s state flag was to the right. There was also a custom SC license plate visible that said “THE NUGE.”
Nugent came out and started the set with the slow-burning riff of the rocking anthem “Stranglehold.” This came as a surprise since “Stranglehold” has been Nugent’s set closer for years and years.
Nugent greeted the crowd, “I know why you’re here tonight…You wanna hear the greatest guitar licks in the world. Don’t you?”
They kept the energy going with the deranged “Gonzo” and the hypnotic “Paralyzed.”
“Hey South Carolina, did you miss me? I’ve been coming down here with my band since about 1967, and I love that southern hospitality. I love the grits. We’ve got the grits soundtrack tonight.”
Nugent exclaimed, “The number one love song in the history of the world” was coming up with the driving “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang.” Smith got to make it funky with a killer bass solo. At the end of the song, Nugent professed his love for Chuck Berry, Bo Didley, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard and Motown.
Nugent mentioned his daughter, Heather, was in the audience with his grandson and son-in-law. He then dedicated “Queen Of The Forest” to Heather. He later declared that it felt like a family campfire – with his actual family and everyone in attendance.
The military was in full force since Nugent presents a patriotic show. He gave a shout to all branches of the military before he cranked out the power chords to “Free-For-All.”
Smith got to showcase his lead vocals on “Hey Baby” and “Need You Bad.”
Nugent proudly stated that he has been clean and sober for going on 71 years. He told stories about growing up with the spirit of the wild before launching into “Fred Bear.”
Nugent’s 1962 #15 Gibson Byrdland was handed to him since it “only plays the sexiest licks.” He then promptly began “Cat Scratch Fever.”
For the encore, they played “The Great White Buffalo” sans flaming arrow or Indian headdress. To keep with the patriotic theme, Nugent played the “Star-Spangled Banner” to close out the show.
Ted Nugent put on a 90-minute high-octane show, which is impressive even at 70 years old. He showcased why he is such an influential guitarist and legend of rock and roll. He did get political a few times during the show, but that is just Uncle Ted being Uncle Ted. This was the first time in a long time that Nugent has been in the area. Hopefully he keeps coming back since he is in high demand with all of the blood brothers and sisters.