CD/DVD Review: Ted Nugent / Ultralive Ballisticrock
Why another Ted Nugent Live Album? The question should really be ..why the hell not? Truth be told the Ted Nugent machine is a live artist and the studio albums are really just a vehicle for him to go out and do what he does best and that’s put on a loud, kick ass, politically incorrect, fun, over the top rock show.
Ted’s politics often take away from any real subjective review from his live performances. Sometimes they get swayed too far one way, critical of his conservative viewpoints and at other times go too gung-ho in praise of his Republican sentiments and really ignore a critique of his band or Ted the guitarist and vocalist.
With this new release we have Uncle Ted back with vocalist/rhythm guitarist Derek St. Holmes, bassist Greg Smith and drummer “Wild” Mick Brown. The show was recorded on August 14, 2011 at Penn’s Peak in Pennsylvania as part of the “I Still Believe Tour”. This was the first tour back for Derek as a full time member as he has remained within the Nugent camp including a tour this past summer in 2013. This collection is a great way to see and hear all of the older material with a fresh new kick as only Ted and the gang can provide.
Included in this collection are such heralded fables as “Wango Tango”, “Just What the Doctor Ordered”, “Wang Tang Sweet Poontang”, “Need You Bad”, “Fred Bear” and more. Of course Ted’s other live records include many of these songs and others but it seems as if the great majority of these tracks have longer solos than in past efforts and the band seems to really be enjoying themselves on extending them out.
You may not enjoy the political banter in between songs but you have to at least respect Ted’s heartfelt convictions and the youthful energy he brings to every one of his live shows. The only new track on this release not available previously is the song “I Still Believe” which was a song offered as a free download via his website to subscribers to his newsletter back in 2011. Nugent said of that song “It throttles the animal spirit of rugged individualism in pure Motor City ultra-high energy rhythm and blues and rock n roll.” That more or less describes this concert in a nutshell.
There is a very funny DVD extra called the “Making of Ultralive Ballisticrock” that shows Ted before the show signing autographs for fans and watching them lineup outside the venue prior to the gig.
This release will take its place next to all the other Ted Nugent live collections but again take into account Ted’s great lineup this time around and the quality of the recording and the stellar sound will just shake your DVD players in your homes like it did mine. A dose of Ted is like having a healthy laugh a day or some hard driving music for your car on a long drive. They are both not needed to survive necessarily but they sure can make even an average day just a little more tolerable. Add “Ultralive Ballisticrock” to your collection and just laugh a little and take Ted for what he is a rock giant and a legend still giving his fans everything he has to offer.