Story and Photos by Tom Collins
The Motor City Mad Man, Uncle Ted, the one and only Ted Nugent brought his blistering guitar licks and always raucous attitude to the brand new Hard Rock Casino in Atlantic City this past Thursday! Some people may have other names for “The Nuge” but ask him if he cares? Trust me, he doesn’t! Ted Nugent is about as wild a Rock&Roll’r you will ever see! From his racy songs to shooting flaming arrows across the stage, he’s always been the one to march to the beat of his own gun fire. Time and politics have not slowed him down one bit! In fact, it’s almost like throwing gas on a wild fire!!!
Ted took to the stage as a Trio band with a huge American flag draped in the background. But of course! Ted has never made a secret of his feelings on all things politics and social issues. The man loves America as much as he loves his guitar. You’ll never be able to take either from him! Ted wasted no time shredding through several of his classic songs like Gonzo and the “love ballad” Wang Dang Sweet Poontang. In between songs, He took a few moments to express his views on politics, hunting and Rock&Roll. In true Nuge fashion, he did it with a great sense of humor!!! Not hat it’s ever stopped him but some people get a little sensitive these days.
It was a relatively short set for Ted this outing. Still though, there was no disappointment as he made sure to melt faces and burst ear drums with Cat Scratch Fever (see video) and the epic, Stranglehold!!! As always, Uncle Ted delivered the goods that people came to see! The only criticism there was that I heard amongst the audience after the show was about the actual room.
The Hard Rock Casino has ran into a little bit of a bumpy start with it’s entertainment venues, and I think I know why. Having now been in The Estess Arena and their smaller room, Sound Waves, the rooms are more like airplane hangers than music venues. The stage that Ted Nugent played on in the Sound Waves room had to be half a football field wide! The ceilings in both venues are or feel like they are three stories high. They are just far too vast and it takes away any intimacy to the show, even if you are actually seated close.
With Ted having only a trio and even with the massive flag backdrop, they were getting lost in the vast openness of what’s supposed to be the Hard Rock’s smaller room. It seems to take the audience out of the show which is a crucial part of any concert. Ted played just as great as any other time I had seen him but in other venues, the crowd was much more enthusiastic.
The Hard Rock previously had a theater at The Showboat Casino just down the boardwalk a ways. That venue was a perfect size and was built just right to capture a great music vibe. Can these problems with the Hard Rock concert rooms be fixed? Most definitely! Let’s just hope they do so soon! The rest of the casino is absolutely mind blowing so do make sure to check it out!!!
Cat Scratch Fever