The Nuge is ready to rock.
“My music and band have a powerful life of their own and are a serious force to be reckoned with every night, every concert, every song,” Ted Nugent said. “It matters not where, when or with whom we rock. But there is a certain increased joy performing with die-hard classic rock bands like REO and Styx, who also put their hearts and souls into every performance, thereby increasing the overall excitement of the event.”
The Midwest Rock ‘N’ Roll Express packages Nugent with two other superstar groups of the Great Lakes region — REO Speedwagon and Styx and stops at Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island on Sunday.
“The heart and soul of American R&B and rock ‘n’ roll has always gushed from the heartland of America. REO, Styx and The Nuge have always celebrated the power of our special Midwest music,” Nugent said.
REO's Kevin Cronin said the tour reunities "old buddies."
"The Styx guys are like family to us and there’s history with Ted’s band too.” REO guitarist Dave Amato was a member of Nugent’s band before joining the Speedwagon line-up a quarter century ago.
Sunday's concert promises to be a guitar-driven night of music.
Nugent will unleash his trademark Gibson Birdland axe and earn his “Motorcity Madman” moniker anew. This is the same guitar Nugent famously boasted about on his classic “Double Live Gonzo” LP, a guitar capable of taking down a charging rhino, a guitar that does not ever get “mellow.”
The dual guitar assault of Tommy Shaw and James “JY” Young — who in recent years have focused heavily on the hard rocking tunes in the Styx catalog — turn the volume and energy level up on tunes like “Miss America,” “Renegade” and “Great White Hope.”
“We’ve been seeing a younger audience coming out the last few years,” Young said. “It’s nice our music is still finding new fans and still relevant. Styx, today, is rockin’ harder than ever.”
While REO made their name with power ballads, guitarist Dave Amato is a monster player who earns his nightly paycheck on sizzling rockers like “157 Riverside Avenue” and “Ridin’ The Storm Out.”
Together, these three powerhouse acts have sold more than 80 million albums, racked up a dozen Top 10 hits, and can boast of putting more than two dozen additional songs on the national Top 40 charts.
“Between these three bands, there’s a LOT of really great music,” Cronin said. “Music that defined the Midwest during the 1970s and 1980s. Music that has stood the test of time. This is an awesome line-up taking Midwest music live, loud and proud all across the country, and when we are playing in the Midwest it really becomes a party! We’re very much looking forward to our dates there in cities like Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit.”
Young said Styx will close the show in Chicago because of the local connections and REO will close in St. Louis with Nugent closing the show in Detroit.
Nugent has no problem being the first on stage in most cities.
“My band and music are so overwhelmingly ferociously intense, the timing of the performance has no role in its power,” he said. “I admire both bands I’m with on this tour. I admire their gungho professionalism and love of the music we all were raised on. It really doesn’t get any better than this! It’s a rock ‘n’ roll party every time we step on stage.”