Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ted Nugent - i wireless Center

Politics make strange bedfellows, at least that is what we are told by...  Who knows really but one thing is for sure some of those people "in the know" can be just a bit freaky.  Yes we all are guaranteed by the First Amendment freedom of speech therefore we enjoy the ability to voice our opinions.  The problem isn't with their exercising their rights its often what they say that is confused and just plain uninformed.  While what is called the "left" has the point - counterpoint part of their beliefs on a level track its not always on the mark.  What does that have to do with a music blog, well....

The fact that so many people in the nation have political viewpoints to begin with is so amazing it is really unfathomable.  Political debates over lunch, doing dishes, at the dentists office (unless you have the same views as the dentist, this isn't the place for it though), over Thanksgiving and even on one of the many social media platforms but...  Despite the fact that some of us may have participated in "debate club" in high school or we read a history book once doesn't mean you can debate with a Sunday morning "news" show.  For every lay person that realizes that point, there are 50 "important" Hollywood - types that will spout forth their knowledge.

Listening to George Clooney ramble on about something is difficult when all you can remember is that he was "Booker" on "Roseanne".  Similarly taking Sean Penn seriously is difficult not because he isn't intelligent, its because he was "Jeff Spicoli" in "Fast Times at Ridgemont High".  Despite either of the intelligence of either gentleman, it becomes increasingly difficult to take them seriously.  While I am taking a swipe or two at those gentlemen (I seriously do look at Penn as his character "Jeff Spicoli") there is one area that ANY intelligent man, woman or child should be able to talk about with a certain level of confidence, intelligence and with fervor: the Constitution of the United States.

I realize that not every person has the characteristics I mentioned in the preceding paragraph (if you don't, READ IT and learn something) but those that have can generally talk about the document on some level.  Of course there are some points of the Constitution that are contentious and just down right flammable and the best read can take that flammability and throw gasoline on the fire just to watch it flare.  The content of the Bill of Rights can be that gasoline and in the right hands it will flare. Those sitting in the best seats of the political arena often lose track of the Constitution thus certain parts seemingly face extinction.  It is often said that the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution has met its executioner having sustained a long, slow death but of all of the Amendments the most contentious would have to be the Second Amendment.

The right to bear arms is under attack daily and yet its supporters have not wavered, they will not concede.  Of those supporters Ted Nugent has to be at the forefront and Uncle Ted makes sure you know he is too.  In all honesty if anyone wanted to see exactly a leader should be then they should look directly at Nugent.  Admittedly Nugent is a political voice but his music reflects another leadership role.

Ted Nugent has been and always will be a legend in rock music.  I remember as a kid (around eight or nine years old) singing the song "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang" out loud at a family gathering and the looks on the faces of my family are still priceless.  The great thing about Nugent's music is that it is still fun to listen to and really can be used as a tool to prove what hard work gets you (as well as conservative thinking and the importance of the Second Amendment).

On April 20th, 2013 Nugent arrived at the i wireless Center in Moline, IL as a part of a trio of bands that in itself is some of the royalty of hard rock (Nugent, REO Speedwagon and Styx).  Being the opening act Nugent came out with the energy and power that immediately set the bar for the rest of the show.  Having seen Nugent three times before (I think, it was the '80's and '90's) I thought I knew what to expect but I was wrong.  With the power of a thousand raging buffalo Nugent raged onto the stage with riffs that made me slack-jawed.

Being at this show meant quite a bit to me as our two children and a cousin were seeing Nugent for the first time.  It was reminiscent of days gone by when my cousin Jim and I went to concerts together (Jim's son Zakk was the one with us) so it was fun to see our children doing what we did.  My expectations of Nugent didn't hold a candle to how amazing he was this warm evening.  How could it not be?  The music Nugent created then was extraordinary and I think it is even better today.

Opening his show with "Wango Tango" had a power behind it that made the rest of Nugent's set seemingly get better each song.  What was interesting was that there was music that Nugent performed that I had forgotten about but firing "Hey Baby" and "Turn it Up" opened the floodgates subsequently I myself was transported to those concerts of thither.  Two songs Nugent has in his catalog that are my favorites did grace my ears that evening, "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Great White Buffalo".  In all honesty "Cat Scratch Fever" is one of those songs that you can consider an "anthem" if you will.  I think that's a fair description of the song but for me the greatest on all of Nugent's work lies within the song "Great White Buffalo".  Not only is the song strong in notes but it is strong in meaning and that never seems to happen anymore.

I was getting a little worried that Nugent may not play the song but he held out until the final song of his set to perform it.  As flawless as a live performance can be Nugent passed that level.  Its fun when you can look around the crowd and see others singing along on what one may consider it to be their favorite song.  Perhaps the reason for that emotion comes from the understanding others feel what you do, or maybe its something else but who cares, its just fun.

During the show Nugent performed what he called "a Motown thing" which was a simple tribute to the history of rock.  Selections were melded together from the Temptations ("My Girl"), to Chuck Barry ("Johnny B. Goode") and were thrown at us like a swift kick to the groin.  Ted personifies those two songs, he really does.  It shows depth and it shows an understanding where rock comes from and with Nugent being from Detroit it makes perfect sense.  Nugent has solidified his position in rock history and he isn't afraid to show gratitude and adulation for those that came before him.

Understanding the man that is Ted Nugent isn't that hard but those with a closed mind will only see a political activist, "gun nut", conservative and a musician.  Isn't being close-minded worse than that?  This country was founded on open-mindedness, tolerance and freedom of happiness but often that's forgotten.  Its easy for anyone to blindly have an opinion but stereotyping an individual or a group is asinine.  The soul of America is blanketed by the very rights we seem to either not understand or want to understand.  Ted Nugent personifies values and a passion for his and OUR civil rights and that should never be forgotten.  Mr. Nugent is much more than a simple "musician".  He is more than just a simple man.  The man we see live or on paper is a simple American citizen.

On April 20th, 2013 the Quad Cities (Moline and East Moline Illinois and Davenport and Bettendorf  Iowa) were host to a large piece of rock history as Styx, REO Speedwagon and Ted Nugent came to the i wireless Center.  With Nugent opening Pandora's Box the fans that graced the confines of the arena, we were transported into a little piece of history.  We not only saw an important fixture in rock history, we also saw one that understands the importance of recognizing his influences thereby always staying true to himself.  On the flip side you see a man that understands the importance of recognizing his historic influences thereby always staying true to himself.    Ted Nugent is a microcosm of the truth within the paragraphs of the Constitution (and her Amendments) as he exercises his rights while attempting to help us exercise our rights as well.

If Ted Nugent makes it near your home be sure to get tickets and see the man, the myth and the legend.  Strike that last comment, if Ted Nugent makes it near your home be sure to get tickets and see the man, the legend and the patriot.

Well done Mr. Nugent (or Uncle Ted or Brother Ted)!  I look forward to seeing you again!

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