Majestic Ventura Theatre, Ventura, CA, 08/17/01
Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton
Despite the fact that the ILL REPUTE show had to be cancelled in order to make room for the Motor City Madman, there was an air of excitement throughout Ventura County that Ted Nugent would be playing our own little Ventura Theatre. Sure, we've had big acts come through before - Pearl Jam, Ramones, Dio, Black Sabbath, Alice Cooper, Motorhead - but this was TED and it was an event.
Sadly, that event quickly soured to disappointment for all the usual Ventura Theatre reasons. First, the sound system sucked. Ted hadn't been on stage for more than eight seconds before giving the backstage crew the sign to turn it up. It didn't help. The Ventura Theater is notorious for bad sound and Ted's ultra-loud assault sounded simply awful. No fault of Ted's, at least performance-wise, he was dead on (as he has been more often than not these days). But the Ventura Theatre couldn't handle the sound and all we could hear was a muffled mess.
Two: No air conditioning. Imagine being crammed shoulder-to-shoulder with 3,000 people you don't even know and then forced to try and peer over their shoulders while being crushed amongst a crowd that has been drinking too much and waiting too long. It ain't pretty and it sure as hell ain't comfortable. Add to that that there are only about 100 actual chairs in the entire theater, and it becomes even uglier.
Three: The Theatre's patented "elitist seating" schedule. The tickets to the Ted show were, if memory serves, $52.00 for the front section, $42.00 for the middle section and $32.00 for the back section. Don't even think of moving between sections; theater bouncers will throw your ass out. It's pretty touch for any act to comprehend why only 40 people are the in the pit while the balance of 2,500 or more are crammed into the other, cheaper sections.
All that aside, Ted did his best and it was cool to see him in our home town. Snidermann thought he needed a rhythm guitarist to make the sound fuller but it could just have been the lousy sound system at work.
Regardless, Ted continues to impress with his undying charisma and ever-improving guitar prowess. There was a time when I thought Ted Nugent performed two kinds of shows: The superb, sharp and crisp show and the sloppy yet wild show. These days, he's sticking to the superb, sharp and crisp shows and I would go see him again in a heartbeat.
Anywhere but at the Majestic Ventura Theatre, that is.
Opening was the Rick Hunter band who fared better as far as sound quality was concerned and who warmed up the audience to just the right level in anticipation of Ted Nugent.
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Revised: 23 Aug 2016 22:57:17 -0400 .