People make mistakes. Sometimes twice. The Rock Never Stops Tour, which did at Nissan Pavilion on Wednesday night, has made the same mistake more than 20 times this summer. Namely, allowing Quiet Riot (the original lineup is back together, barely), Slaughter (who?) and Night Ranger (guilty of cruel and unusual punishment by guitar solo) to appear on the same bill.

If it's possible for the appearance of Ted Nugent to redeem anything, his headlining set salvaged the remains of the evening. Sporting an animal tail and a shirt emblazoned with an image of himself (flipping the bird, natch), the Motor City Madman blitzed his classics, clawing "Cat Scratch Fever," "Free-for-All," "Stormtroopin' " and the truly great "Stranglehold."

Underneath the hunting imagery ("Fred Bear"), pro-gun zeal and inherent bravado is music: Using only bass and drums as cover, the ululations Nugent wrenched from his trademark Gibson Byrdland guitar achieved a lithe, metallic authority most "loud" bands fail to match with four or five instruments. But far be it from the 50-year-old to let the music do the talking, so his set included upbraidings of his usual targets--Bill Clinton, immigrants, Sarah Brady et al.

Love him or hate him, Wednesday's performance confirmed that the Nuge will probably be yankin' and crankin' when they have to wheel him out onstage. Unless the bears get him first.