I had resisted buying this DVD because I wanted instead something which captured Ted in his prime, somewhere circa 1978-1984 or around then. I had seen Ted in concert about a half dozen times during that time-frame in various San Francisco Bay Area venues, including his headliner appearances at various "Day on the Green" and "Monsters of Rock" concerts where untold tens of thousands of people were blown away by Ted in his maniacal splendor. But it was at his smaller gigs where I really got a sense of "The Nuge," places like the San Jose Auditorium, where a mere eight to ten thousand testosterone pumping youth received guidance from the leading guru on living life large and bold. I can honestly say that Ted (okay, and AC/DC as well) ruined me for the balance of my music-loving and concert-going career. Even beloved favorites like Metallica and Roth-era Van Halen were rather sedate experiences in comparison to Nugent (or Angus) therapy.
The mistake I made was in presuming that Ted would age like a normal mortal. This disc set me straight. The man must be close to 60, but let me assure you, he rocks like a guy one-third his age. This is not mere nostalgia here, folks. Ted is still delivering a robust and potent blow with his guitar (and bow) even in this day and age. I was astonished at how good he and his band sounded. Ted is in fine form here, and in fact I was delighted to see what an amazing guitar virtuoso he remains to be. At one point in the show he replicates a variety of riffs from various blues-guitar masters, and Ted displays that he has their various styles all down, ready to be implemented at his command. It was a dazzling display. The Nuge still has the licks, this is not some marginal guitarist. He is major league. He has now progressed to the realm of "Triple Live Gonzo." Indeed, his intensity is such that I fear he may explode in the near future, with radioactive Nuge particles overtaking the land.
The sound quality is perfect here. I will certainly just listen to this as audio when I don't have time to sit and watch the show. Whomever did the recording and the filming did a first-rate job. I have about 60 or 70 music DVDs, and this is perhaps the best in terms of production values. I had just watched a newer Rolling Stones DVD before this and this blows that away in terms of production and sound. The venue here is somewhere in Detroit, Michigan (Ted's home state), and it is a good sized crowd. Ted philosophizes at length about "Freedom," etc., and I found it to be amusing but relevant rhetoric. Ted, as most of you will know, is off on a huge Second Amendment/NRA tangent. I, personally, don't have the immediate fear that jack-booted government agents are coming to take my weapons, but one gets the impression that Ted does, and he expresses his distaste for this possibility in unequivocal terms.
I have to confess something here: There is something about Ted's rants that I really admire even though I don't fully agree. He displays a netherworldly strong psyche, and I find spiritual, if not intellectual, inspiration in his strength. He is full-blown warrior to the core. If I was President Obama, I would consult with Ted about world affairs, just to get his views on developments. I'm not saying I'd do everything Ted suggests, decisive and spectacular as that might be!!, but I'd want his view on things. There is a unique type of unadulterated energy emanating from this man: pure, fearless, primal, focused. He understands blood and soil and time. I've heard Ted's rants on a variety of subjects over the years, and his words and perspectives are extremely articulate and insightful. Ted is one of America's greatest characters, we should be very proud to have him on our side.
Ted refers to his fans and fellow-Americans as "blood brothers." I think he tries to promote a tribal-type bond between us all. This is a lead I think we should all try to follow.
Ted shows a little of his softer side by bringing out his guitar instructor from 50 years ago, with whom he performs a riffy little song, and other major players from his career and from his band's historic line-up, including the great Derek St. Holmes. I have to tell you, the rock life-style must be treating these guys pretty good because all these "men of a certain age" look remarkably happy and healthy. Their voices and musical aptitude are still superb. Ted's final song is a tribute to the man (Fred Bear) who, I deduce, taught him how to hunt. It was pretty cool. If I didn't live in suburbia I'd be out shooting my bow right now instead of writing this review.
As other reviewers have stated, if you are a Ted fan it is a foregone conclusion that you have to have this. I would give it 100 out of 100 in terms of delivering the goods in every way. I now am keeping my fingers crossed that Ted's complete discography will be released in a 180 gram vinyl box set, so I can complete my "Nuge Shrine."