Tuesday, March 25, 2003

Review: Ted Nugent, "Full Bluntal Nugity"

If you've never experienced Ted Nugent live, it's something any rock 'n' roll fan ought to see. Whether you agree with Uncle Nuge's political views or not, you can appreciate the raw, ripping chainsaw noise channeled from a Gibson Byrdland through amps cranked up to ear-bleeding levels. It's rock 'n' roll power in its purest form.

His latest DVD, "Full Bluntal Nugity," is the next best thing. The video is the companion piece to the album of the same name. The show was recorded live in his hometown of Detroit in August 2001 and features most fan favorites, and even a snippet of "My Baby Likes My Butter on Her Gritz," from his excellent 2002 album "Craveman," which was still a year away from release at the time.

While Nugent, at age 53, isn't the same wild man that he was on stage in his youth, there's still plenty of energy in his performances. While he's not climbing amps and swinging from vines anymore, he channels all of that into his playing now.

One of the most striking things about this DVD is Nuge himself. Despite the fact that we know he's played most of these songs a bazillion times, it's still obvious that he loves what he's doing. He loves being on stage and in command of the audience, but most of all, he loves playing his music. Just take a look at his face as he cranks out the opening riff of "Cat Scratch Fever."

As always with Nuge, there is that air of cocky self-confidence, bordering on conceit. For example, when he calls that same riff the "greatest guitar lick in the history of the world." I'm not sure if that's the case, but it is certainly one of the most recognizable.

The concert performance is cut with some quick scenes from Nugent's daily life from rehearsals to an afternoon on the shooting range to an inspired jam version of "Red House" at the wedding of his long-time manager Doug Banker.

In addition, on several songs, an icon pops up which allows you to access classic performances of the same songs from the 1970s and '80s, and even a stirring acoustic version of "Fred Bear" from his 2000 Whiplash Bash. These and other features on the DVD give you an overview of Nugent's career from a 1967 performance of "Journey to the Center of the Mind" with the Amboy Dukes, to the 2001 version of the right-wing anthem "Kiss My Ass," to his latest video for "Crave."

Get "Full Bluntal Nugity."

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