I have never seen Ted Nugent live (Uncle Ted). Seeing him was one of two performers of the past that I mentioned to my Brother-in-Law, and concert partner, that I would like to see before too long. I said this to my Bro-in-Law about 2 months ago during a casual visit. Three days later he texts (boy, have we come a long way?) me to tell me that Eddie Money is coming to a local community. I recently wrote about that evening. Shortly after that I noticed Ted was going to be in San Diego at a venue that I, again, have never been to, . . . the House of Blues. Well everything was set, I got several people interested in this show at this venue; but what started as a larger group of nine, ended up as just five. Of course my concert buddy, bestest girlfriend and a couple of contractors that share many of my same interests. This is a good group. We had fun!
I was to travel to the House to purchase the tickets on a Thursday. Instead of paying the $11 sur-charge per ticket charged on-line, I had hoped to save a bit by driving the short distance from my workplace that day. Well, that Thursday, my boss decides to call a meeting that cut into my plans and I had to wait until the Tuesday before the show on the following Monday night. Yeah I said Monday night. That alone was a difficult decision for all of us because of the work requirement the next day for each of us. I think that’s why the other folks bailed out on Ted that night.
Well, since my Thursday ticket buying attempt was parlayed until the following week, I decided to coincide the now Tuesday ticket purchase with my travel to school later that afternoon. I got downtown to the House of Blues and waited along the streets huddled together with some of the downtown street’s finest (nope, not cops) anticipating the box office to be open. The House of Blues also has a restaurant I figured would be open. Nope! The ticket booth said it was open Tuesdays at 3pm. Ok, just 45 minutes to wait. I would have taken a swig from the bottle of Boon’s Farm being passed, but I still had to be at school. I waited patiently.
Staring at the ticket window between frequent checks of the time on my cell phone, I realized it was now ten-after-three. Just then a gentleman came out of the restaurant door to have a smoke. As he lingered nearby, I asked him what time the box office opens. His disheartening reply was “only on concert nights, and there’s no show tonight”. SHIT! He must have realized my displeasure and confusion as to how I was going to buy tickets now because he said, “how many ticket are you looking for?” I told him, “five”. He then said, “. . . I can help you out”. He escorted me inside to sell me tickets. That was way cool. I was now a happy customer with my first of great experiences with the House of Blues.
So the night started with a quick pre-game at my house followed by a trip in the Touring Elite listening to a pre-selected iPod music playlist to get us in the mood that concluded with Ted’s studio version of “Stranglehold” of course. Once we arrived at the parking garage, we quickly gathered our concert essentials and made our way past the same group of street Boon’s Farm sipping hopefuls. We waited only a couple of moments to get in the door. Our tickets were scanned and we were given the complimentary feel-up search of the contents in our pockets, legs, waist-band area and thighs . . . that’s what I like . . . right there. “He” was very thorough, feeling everything conspicuously encased within my hidden areas. He even felt extra well around the money wad to ensure there was nothing stuffed in there, like a small pocket knife . . . or something else small…! I felt reasonably safe as this was probably one of the most thorough searches I have ever experienced.
First order of business was to get a drink. I was designated driver so I could only have two within the first two hours, then on to water. As we made our way to the bar I ran into a friend that had attended the same school as I for culinary. It was good seeing him. The first band started and is known for kicking-off for Ted. Her name is Laura Wilde. She is a very talented serious rocker similar to Lita Ford. Very hot, and rocked like hell. I toured the facility to check out the sound in different locations. It proved not to be the greatest venue for sound. It’s very small, two story with a lofted area for pre-paid seating, while the remainder of the venue is standing room only. The sound from underneath where the bar is located is covered by the second floor and the sound is loud and confusing. I turned to the bar to order the first of drinks. I quickly peaked at the very limited bar menu as it was explained thoroughly by the bartender. She was very nice and friendly. She made me feel as though the 6-second free-pour drinks we made specially for me. She was very good! She worked hard for her tips. I hope other patrons recognized her as well.
I had to try their menu and just witnessed another from our group foray through their order of the Chicken Fingers. Looked just like Chicken Fingers . . . how creative can those be? I took the opportunity between sets to order the Street Tacos. I figured those can be tailored to any chef’s dream. They were not great but they definitely had character and flavor aside from the ordinary. I just can’t help remembering to never order the “Rockfish”. Sorry, an inside joke that maybe someday I’ll give insight.
As Laura Wild finished her 30 minute set, the stage crew got the stage ready for everyone’s Uncle Ted. Ted came out and performed a calculated and anticipated politically fused set that just rocked the entire house. His performance was just as I anticipated and I think that’s why I got bored. He was good . . . even great. I just think, since I wasn’t delusionally hammered like much of the Monday night crowd, I got bored and fed up with the Mid-West dressed gun-slingin’ Ted supporters yelling, screaming and applauding his guitar solo covered political rants about the government. I never understood anything he was saying, but everyone yelled like crazy every time he mentioned the government and continuously played licks to blend with his political hollering. I didn’t look forward to his politics blocking the enjoyment of his full-blown rocking music, which was good. I’m glad I saw Uncle Ted, but shut up already and just play . . . !
Well I finally left to go outside in anticipation of the large crowd stumbling and gaggling up the stairs and out the doors. Once atop, I met a very nice door-man bouncer who was protecting the assets and watching the street activity just outside the door. He was a big dude, aptly placed where he could seriously influence adverse behaviors. While atop, waiting on the street, I met the venue’s Operation’s Manager, Clint. Super nice guy and he was happy to hear that everything had met my level of satisfaction including the initial ticket purchase. While waiting on the street I also met and talked with Erin. She indicated to me she was the restaurant (I’ll call her) Operations Manager. She was quite young and I wouldn’t have expected her to be in such a position. Again, she was super nice and welcomed me back to the restaurant. She and Clint told me where to watch the show next time when inside to avoid the bottle neck of drunks by the bar area. I’m telling ya’, everything about the House of Blues make me want to go back. They even have live blues music performers in the restaurant performing nightly. I might just have to pay a return trip.