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Alberta band satisfies packed house at Rexall Place
EDMONTON — At this point in their career, Nickelback doesn’t need to worry about winning over new fans — they spent the last 15 years building a fan base that helped them be crowned “Group of the Decade” by Billboard last year.
The band has developed the best kind of fan base, too — the kind that fills up Rexall Place every time they come through town, which feels like every six months.
Their Tuesday night set at Rexall will do little to change the opinion of anyone who dislikes Nickelback’s brand of post-grunge crotch rock, but the band did an admirable job of leaving a packed house satisfied.
Amid ear-popping explosions, enough flashing lights to induce seizures, and tons of fireworks, Chad Kroeger and his band — and it really is Kroeger’s band, even with strong drumming from Daniel Adair, formerly of 3 Doors Down — spent two hours playing through their many hits, such as the crowd-pleasing How You Remind Me and the overcooked melodrama of Photograph.
The kind of music that Nickelback makes is well-suited to large venues like Rexall. Their chugging riffs and pounding bass fill up every nook and cranny of the barn, and Kroeger’s hoarse growl particularly comes off strong in a live setting, which gives him more room to let loose a little more than the band’s over-produced records allow. It’s not subtle in the least, but subtle isn’t what Tuesday night’s audience came for.
And really, Nickelback’s songs are basically vehicles for their choruses, which are big, obvious things that are easy to sing to and have a nasty habit of burrowing their way into your head.
Whether it was the crass Something in Your Mouth, limp ballads like Saving Me or the going-out-tonight anthem Burn It to the Ground, the boisterous crowd sang along to every word. Kroeger was especially talkative, his banter striking a chord with the audience as he cursed, cracked jokes and did shots onstage.
In fact, it wasn’t far removed from a country show — when Kroeger performed a brief cover of the Garth Brooks song Friends in Low Places, it made clear how much in common Nickelback has with country music. If they were inclined to take their foot off the pedal more often and turn down the guitars a bit, most of their songs could work as country tunes. A majority of them already even cover the same sorts of topics.
But as much as Nickelback is maligned for their carefully manicured hard rock, a glance at any of the sets from the three opening acts — Sick Puppies, Shinedown and Breaking Benjamin — and their derivative three-chord rock music shows that Nickelback shines much brighter than most of the bands in their orbit.
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Rexall Place, Edmonton - June 1, 2010
By MIKE ROSS - QMI Agency
EDMONTON - Nickelback is the most hated rock band in history -- OK, the 2000s -- because every music critic who writes about them says they are. It's as simple as that.
So can 30 million fans be wrong? Of course they can. But we shan't single out any of the 15,000 local hosers, rock chicks, party animals and impressionable children who sold out Rexall Place last night.
These folks obviously came for the sort of big fun only a meatball rock band like Nickelback can deliver, and by the sound of it, they were not disappointed. It was like the Shrine Circus on steroids. Minus Shriners. Plus explosions.
The show literally started with a bang, then several more to scare the living daylights out of the crowd as the lights went down for Burn It to the Ground, accompanied by enough burning gas to lift the arena into the air like a giant party balloon, were Rexall made of nylon instead of concrete.
Then came Flat on the Floor, a song about being, well, flat on the floor.
Opening party tunes slid into an ode to the most important years of your life. You guessed it: "High school!" as Chad Kroeger bellowed proudly. Cue the power ballad Photograph and a slide show of pics from Nickelback past. Big cheer for Oilers logo.
Fond memories out of the way, it was time for a blast of blatant sexism in the form of Shakin' Hands -- as in "she didn't make it this far just shakin' hands" -- and the oral sex anthem Something in Your Mouth. A camera shot of a pair of rock chicks making out with bananas and whipped cream was a nice visual aid.
Then came alcohol, more sex and more rock 'n' roll -- not necessarily in that order -- much of it going with spewing fire and Kroeger's non-stop, expletive-laden barrage of party animal patter between songs.
The singer's filthy jokes were probably the freshest part of the show. Last time through he glorified marijuana. Last night was all booze. A wagon full of cocktails was wheeled out for lucky fans in the front row (who were of legal drinking age, Kroeger insisted -- though I didn't catch the booze roadie checking IDs -- with the singer himself swilling shots of Jagermeister. Maybe it was apple juice, I don't know. But they played bits of Garth Brooks, Bon Jovi and Journey amongst usual decadent Nickelbackian bill o' fare, so I doubt it. These are not the actions of sober men.
Nickelback's songs are so radio-friendly they buy your beer, pay your taxes, mow your lawn and walk your dog. The band uses all the tired rock cliches -- T-shirt cannon, pyro to the max, obligatory drum solo on rising platform and so on -- as if it were as fresh as the day they were contrived.
The i r s ong s g l o r i f y unwholesome habits and are utterly free of political message or deep meaning. At least they don't pretend to be anything else. You have to love them for that.
Nickelback sure gave its fans the old "bang for the buck" in the warm-up band department. There were three openers and not one of them sounded like Nickelback! How refreshing. It all started with Sick Puppies, a trio of U.S.- transplanted Aussies who played the bait and switch for the incoming crowd. The first tune almost came off as heavy metal before they lapsed into surprising pop sensibility, even with the usual topics of loathing for self and others.
Next, Shinedown blew the roof off like they were the headliner in a short, but dramatic set distinguished by the hammy antics of lead singer Brent Smith. This born showman has the magic touch of Wayne Newton about him, just in a hard rock world.
Imagine. High point s included the power ballads The Crow and the Butterfly, Simple Man -- in a touching shout-out to the recently deceased Slipknot bassist Paul Gray -- and the closing big fat hit Second Chance, as in "sometimes goodbye is a second chance." Of course, sometimes it's not, but these are obviously the kind of guys who see the glass as half full.
Breaking Benjamin drew the short straw for the last warm-up position here, and by coincidence was the weakest of all, depressing in more ways than one. Their songs were depressing because of the depressing subject matter and also because all their depressing ideas were rendered in such depressingly generic, hard rock sludge.
Call Nickelback what you want. At least they're not depressing.
Superschönes Foto!irishjenny hat geschrieben:
Die Schnuckies geben ihre letzten Konzerte auf dieser Tour und das dann traditionell zu Hause in Kanada.
Ich fiebere ssssssssssooooooooooooooo mit und denke an ein paar liebe Freunde Love8 Bye2 , die es hoffentlich am Donnerstag so richtig krachen lassen.
Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanz viel Spaß!!!!