This album won't supplant Double Live Gonzo! in the record collections of Nugent fans, and it certainly won't win him any new listeners, but just like 2008's Sweden Rocks (and his previous two studio albums), it's evidence that even as he persists in his obnoxious right-wing crankitude on cable talk shows and in print, when the Nuge straps on his Gibson, he can still lay waste to an audience. This July 4, 2008, show, recorded before a rapturous hometown crowd, is a greatest-hits run-through with a few surprises and a version of then-new single "Love Grenade," but the current rhythm section -- bassist Greg Smith and drummer Mick Brown -- gives the old songs a visceral kick, and Nugent's leads and solos scream and sting as powerfully as ever. There are guest stars, but they're stars within the Nugeiverse and/or the history of Detroit rock & roll -- his guitar teacher, Joe Podorsik, shows up for a surprisingly mellow and tasteful "Honky Tonk," while drummer Johnny "Bee" Badanjek of Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels takes over on a version of that group's "Jenny Take a Ride," and Derek St. Holmes (vocalist in the '70s band that first brought Nugent to solo prominence) returns to the fold for "Hey Baby," "Cat Scratch Fever," and "Stranglehold." His clear, powerful voice adds something essential to Nugent's bluesy, funky hard rock, and a full-on reunion of the two men would be something special. Though three ten-minute tracks in a row ("Stranglehold," "Great White Buffalo," and "Fred Bear") is a little much to take as things wind down, ultimately, Motor City Mayhem rocks almost all the way through. Ted Nugent's still got it.
AllMusic Review by Phil Freeman
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2
feat: Bernard Besman