Article and Photos by: Andrew Kopanski
Hampton Beach, NH — The casino ballroom on the seacoast of New Hampshire is a small an intimate venue that hosts a wide variety of artists from metal to country but for tonight’s show they changed their style. Instead of their typical general admission floor they rolled out the chairs which upon arrival lent a more serious atmosphere to the Ballroom floor.
People slowly trickled in and the quiet atmosphere persisted as the three-piece opener Derek Day made their way onto the unlit stage. That quickly changed as soon as the lights came on and they started playing. With two lead guitars and a drum set in front of Nugent’s covered set they immediately made their presence known. Derek brought immense energy to the stage and showcased his wide vocal range through the first few songs. Their next few songs slowed the pace down to a more soulful feeling with the same energy as before. They wrapped up with a very well done cover of Benny and the Jets and their new single Face Me that they advertised is now on Spotify.
In between sets the anticipation increased along with the amount of fog pouring off the stage. A significant number of audience members spontaneously broke out the air guitar as they waited for Nugent to take the stage. It was an impressive stage – the tarps came off to reveal a solid wall of speakers broken only by a platform in the middle, on top of which sat a classic Ted Nugent drum set.
The lights finally dimmed and the previously seated audience quickly rose to their feet with a roar of applause. Ted Nugent came out onto the dark stage, lit only by a single backlight and through the fog began playing the Star Spangled Banner on his guitar. As he finished, the lights came up to illuminate a smiling Nugent in front of a gigantic American flag. “Semper Fi!” were the first words he spoke, which sparked another round of applause, even louder than before.
The spotlight was quite literally on Nugent all night, following him all across the stage. This was well deserved, his guitar work was flawless and he sang every bit as well at 69 years old as he did when he first began performing.
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