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Ted Nugent Kicks Off ‘Sonic Baptizm’ Tour: Setlist + Exclusive Interview

James & Maryln Brown
James & Maryln Brown

Ted Nugent kicked off his 2016 Sonic Baptizm tour last night in Laconia, New Hampshire. After taking last summer off from the road to spend time with his grandchildren, the Motor City Madman is back with a new power trio lineup featuring longtime bassist Greg Smith and drummer Jason Hartless. After the show, Nugent was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his new band, how he manages to maintain his famous energy levels after more than 6500 shows, and what he does to relax afterwards.

How was tonight’s show?
I just got off stage at Laconia and let me tell you, if I wasn’t in this band I would follow them across the globe to watch them every night! Jason & Greg create the ultimate driving rhythm section that every guitar player dreams of. We were crazy tight, ultra high energy and the songs killed! My guitar tone through my new Blackstar stereo amps is by far the greatest guitar tone I’ve ever had and that is really saying something! It was a phenomenal 6,519th rockout for this old guitar player! My very emotional and spontaneous extended intro to “I Still Believe” from my SHUTUP&JAM! record was extremely moving and I could see it in the eyes of our jamming crowd! I played some insane guitar stuff tonight that I have never played before and I can’t wait to see where this tour takes us! Musical adventure turns me on big time! Hallelujah!

Did you notice anybody in the crowd doing anything particularly crazy?
There sure were a gaggle of beautiful, sexy, skinny gals out there tonight and as always, it is incredibly inspiring to see everybody smiling and dancing to my songs. Tonight was an out of the park musical home run! Lucky, lucky me!

What made you decide to change the band lineup for this tour?
Spontaneous instinctual killer music craving desire! Absolutely love and respect all my amazing musicians all these years, but when Greg Smith and I jammed with Jason Hartless I knew damn well he needed to throttle my drum dreams, so here we go baby! This young monster from Detroit will soon be a world class drummer known by all, just like all my amazing drum monsters like Tommy Aldridge, Michael Cartellone, Mick Brown, Tommy Clufetos and all of them.

Any setlist surprises in store for this tour? Any songs that sound different or particularly awesome with this band?
Surely the intensity of my amazing music and live performances come as no suprize to real music lovers everywhere. I have SO many insane fun songs to perform that they all make the ultimate opening song and ultimate encore song. We can do no wrong!

How do you decide on the opening song for each tour?
I let my personal cravings pick the songs I feel like playing at any given time. It does drive me nuts not to play them all!

How do you calm down after a concert?
I don’t. The incredible high I achieve every rockout for more than 6518 concerts is just a force to reckon with that I have had to learn to discipline myself to intelligently manage and harness. I allow the pure animal momentum throttle relentlessly the entire tour. By the time the tour wraps up in late summer and I transition from over the top maniac high energy rock-n-roll bombast to the silent, calm, stealthy, omniscient reasoning predator, I calmly and carefully and slowly climb trees every morning and afternoon for seven months and let nature revitalize my spirit, mind, body & soul. It is truly miraculous.

Check out Ted Nugent Sonic Baptizm tour information at his official website.

Ted Nugent Setlist: 6/17 Laconia, New Hampshire
(as reported by
1. “The Star-Spangled Banner”
2. “Gonzo”
3. “Yank Me, Crank Me”
4. “Snakeskin Cowboys”
5. “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang”
6. “Free-For-All”
7. “Good Friends and a Bottle of Wine”
8. “I Still Believe”
9. “Fred Bear”
10. “Cat Scratch Fever”
11. “Stranglehold”
12. “The Great White Buffalo”

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