Last Night: Ted Nugent At House Of Blues

Ted Nugent House of Blues August 25, 2011

"I cause liberals to shit themselves. I make music for those assholes to kill themselves to," says Ted Nugent, lording over a sold-out House of Blues crowd full of sleeveless, sweaty, and buzzed Americans Texans hanging on his every lick and line.

We are sitting about six songs into the third Ted Nugent show we have attended in just over a year. The first was back last July at the Pasadena Fairgrounds for a military veterans benefit, where there was a delightful backdrop of Nuge and friends rolling over all the big liberal politicians. The second was just a few months ago out in Winnie at Nutty Jerry's, a subdued show by his standards, at least when it came to the Nuge's trademark rhetoric. Both shows were loud and on point, musically.

But you've heard all this before. Let's fast forward.

Now you may be asking Aftermath why we have driven out of the Inner Loop twice for such a man, whose words wildly inflame those who disagree, and for others act like a warming fire on chilly Central Texas evening. You guys do remember when it used to get cold in Texas, right?

The answer is simply that for all the saber-rattling and the taunting, the man puts on a killer rock show. He's an underrated guitar player. Riffs drip off his animal-killing fingertips like so much hog's blood. Still others say that no matter how great a rocker he may be, his words in between songs are too abrasive to warrant the ticket price.

If you cut out the swearing and the tirades, the show would last at least half the duration of last night's two-hour workout. But we guess if you asked Snoop Dogg to not bring up pot, then he would be over and gone in the time it takes to watch an episode of Toddlers & Tiaras without the commercials.

Nugent reunited with his former band member Derek St. Holmes earlier this year, and his live shows are the better for it. Things are well, meatier, to borrow a buzzword from Uncle Ted's lexicon.

There was no crazed tapestry behind the band last night, just a simple frayed American flag, and an array of guitars displayed like rifles in your grandfather's gun cabinet, the one you got swatted at for trying to open. We were sort of hoping for something to write home about, if only to shock you sitting in front of your monitor.

So we've spent a year in the company of the Nuge and we doubt we will be there for the next show here in town. By the time he got to the big immigration/White House cocksucker speech we wished we were home watching El Topo.

Have we learned anything, other than we share little with his crowd, besides our own pro-gun, NRA member, concealed hand gun license-carrying stance you aren't supposed to know about? Nothing really, except that you either ignore his words, or get the Hell out. It's that simple. We suppose that's why people still buy Kanye "Hitler" West's stuff, or at least torrent it all and let him take up room on their hard drives.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Craig Hlavaty
Contact: Craig Hlavaty