I have a friend who absolutely adores Nickelback. Like maybe as much as I love U2. Maybe not… We probably shouldn’t test that theory anyways… They are her Rock Gods for sure though! And I’ve been in her spot where your friends/loved ones don’t share your admiration and won’t go with you to see your favorite band that you love so very much and who mean the world to you… It’s heart-breaking in a way.
So when Nickelback announced their Feed the Machine Tour and this friend lamented not having anyone to go with, I thought to myself – hmmm, I do love live music and I bet they put on a wild, pyrotechnic, high energy show; plus, how fun might it be to not be the crazy obsessed fan in the equation – it might be interesting to observe things from the other side.
So, I asked my friend if she wanted to go with me to the Edmonton show. She wasn’t sure, she hemmed and hawed a lot… I’m kidding – she was ecstatic! I’m pretty sure she said she would commit unfriendly acts against anyone in her way to get there… (She wouldn’t really, she’s pretty nice…)
So the night arrives, September 28 (the night right after the Coldplay show!), and we show up a bit late – missed the first opener entirely. This is strange for me. But at least we didn’t miss Cheap Trick! I loved their stuff in the 80s and was looking forward to seeing them live as well!
Upon walking into the arena, I immediately observed the decibel level is significantly higher than the previous night’s Coldplay show and we are just talking about the intermission music! Things are gonna get loud!
Then Cheap Trick comes on. And whew, it is loud! We were both sort of underwhelmed by them though… I know that openers are limited in what they can do – they don’t get the full stage, they don’t get use of the full lighting and screens etc.
But there are some artists that can use the space they have and still deliver a noteworthy performance. There are those that can just stand in one spot and project excitement and energy. They are animated and effervescent. Any energy from Cheap Trick did not reach us where we were. Mind you, they are nearing their 70s and did attempt a couple of those guitar split jumps… Things got much better when they performed the classic “I Want You To Want Me.”
And then the guitarist breaks out this baby…
WTF! Five guitars in one! Whaaaaaat?! That’s insane!
Another loud intermission and boom! Here’s Nickelback! On stage. Loud, Live, and Lovin it!
They were freakin impressive! They really are that good live! It was a fantastic show, full of energy and great music! Rocking! Guitars screaming, Drums blasting! This is so bloomin loud! The people around me are freaking out they love this so much!
No pyro, but lots of lighting! Great screen graphics. Totally awesome drum rise and stage, lookin all machiney and industrial.
We screamed and sang at the top of our lungs throughout the night. Jumped, danced, bounced. Hit after hit.
I don’t get the hatred that comes Nickelback’s way. I mean, I do get it in the way that I know some people don’t like their music, and that’s fine, music is subjective, we all have our own tastes, but the extreme vitriol that is spouted, I don’t get it. They remind me much of U2 in this. Both bands spark such divisive feelings in people. It’s like most people either love or hate these bands. I get the love… I’ve never understood hating anyone, especially to that degree, disputing their talent, value as musicians, entertainers, human beings… Why?
Like U2, Nickelback have a solid catalog of huge hits than span decades. Nickelback have been around for about 20 years. Both consistently sell out their tours and their albums do very well. Clearly both bands have talent and enough staying power. Which, I think, is actually why some people don’t like them. For whatever reason, some people cannot handle musicians succeeding above a certain level or length of career…
Anyways, whatever. Like T. Swift says – haters gonna hate.
Also like U2, Nickelback do very well at the rock anthems. (I’m particularly fond of When We Stand Together – shocking, I know, as it’s a save the world kind a song :D.) And the night was full of them. They even sang a Tragically Hip song, much to the delight and thunderous singing and applause of the audience!
They did this thing – Nickelback Karaoke – where they brought up two fans to sing on stage with them – to their song Rockstar. It was pretty cool – they even gave the fans their own mics and had the words ready on a paper on the stage in case the fans need them. The guy they pulled up was really good – he even moved around the stage, had all the rockstar gestures down pat and even threw his arm around one of the band 😀
Chad was super funny and charming through out the night. Probably the most talkative front man of the many concerts I’ve been too, as far as the amount of times he stopped to talk in between songs. (Bono has everyone beat for the length of the talking 😀 (I do love my speechifying Bono :D)). Chad mentioned liking the new arena and forecasted an Oilers playoff run (did he say win? I can’t remember), also much to the delight and thunderous applause of the audience.
And… yes… some woman threw her thong up on stage… first concert I’ve ever seen that actually happen, lol. Well, I was at a Pilate show once where some guy threw his boxers up on stage, but it was done ironically 😀
Anyways, I’m in. I will totally go see them again. They are that good live. I already told my friend, next Nickelback concert, we are on the floor!!!
More photos in the Gallery.
Feed the Machine
Woke Up This Morning
Too Bad (Blow at High Dough by The Tragically Hip interlude)
Song on Fire
Something in Your Mouth
Rockstar (with 2 audience members)
Hotel California (The Eagles cover) (first verse and chorus)
When We Stand Together
Figured You Out
How You Remind Me
Gotta Be Somebody
Burn It to the Ground