By Brandon “B-Mac” McCarthy Photos by Matt “Rabit” Martinez Red Hare Images
I have been to a lot of places in Orange County and Los Angeles, Calif., to see a good rock ‘n’ roll show. My favorite places to go to include the Observatory in Santa Ana, the Roxy and Viper Room on the Sunset Strip, and the City National Grove in Anaheim. So, it was time for Matt Martinez and I to go somewhere new and expand our horizons. So, on June 29th, we traveled to the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. On the outside, it is set in a small industrial office building. On the inside, however, it looks like a honky-tonk restaurant with a built-in stage that is not too big. We traveled all the way from Orange to see one of the most out-spoken, wild, in-your-face rock stars in the world, Ted Nugent. I know there are some out people out there who cannot separate his music from his right wing politics, but that was a night we said to hell with politics, let’s rock!
Getting this shindig underway is young, enigmatic guitarist/singer by the name of Derek Day. I was immediately hooked by the way his fingers tap danced on the frets of his guitar. He plays a wonderful variety of hard rock, blues, and country. I really enjoyed listening to his voice as he crooned the audience of the Coach House. Backing him was his extraordinarily talented band, featuring Ben White on bass, and Marc Slutsky on drums. Though I do not know the names of his original songs, I remembered him performing a rocking boogie to Elton John’s “Benny and the Jets.” It was so bluesy and transcendent, that the audience joined in with singing the classic chorus. Day is full of talent and potential, someone whose career is just getting started. With the way he plays, he is going to continue to turn heads.
Full Derek Day Slideshow Below:
As soon as the lights dimmed down and smoke rose from the set, Uncle Ted stepped up guns a blazing. Despite him making enemies on the left wing side, there is no denying that he is still one of the best guitarists in rock ‘n’ roll. To prove it, he gave us a passionate performance, starting with a fiery “Star-Spangled Banner.” His singing might have aged over the years, but it is still as deadly as ever. From “Gonzo” to “Wang Dang Sweet Poontang,” Nugent dove deep into his collection of rambunctious tunes. Joining in on the fun was bassist Greg Smith and young drummer Jason Hartless. Smith was wailing it on the bass while providing lead vocals on some of the songs, including the iconic “Stranglehold.” Hartless is only 22 years old, and already he is a badass at the drums. It is as if the spirit John Bonham took over and let loose his skills. Nugent, in his American pride, paid homage to the veterans in the crowd with his classic “Stormtroopin’.” I tell you what; I damn near lost my mind as soon as he played his iconic “Cat Scratch Fever.” When the fans wanted more, he obliged them with a song from his days with The Amboy Dukes, “The Great White Buffalo.” The fans overjoyed for it.
Full Ted Nugent Slideshow Below:
Now I know why the world has dubbed Nugent, The Motor City Madman. He is just crazy when he is playing his rock ‘n’ roll. Though he might not have been as wild on stage like he used to be in his youth, he can still bring on the noise. I long for the days when he used to swing on a vine on stage, wearing nothing but a loincloth. It would have been awesome to see him then, but he still proves worthy to his nickname. I’m just surprised he did not bring his bow and shoot at an animal. Matt and I got to see a young, rising star and a veteran who seems like will never hang up his hat, and I hope he never does. The Coach House is a fine establishment for shows, and I will return for another one. To Uncle Ted and Derek Day, I salute you. Horns up!!!