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Band has fun keeping 'naughty train rolling'
Saturday, October 2, 2010 12:10 AM
By Gary Budzak
For The Columbus Dispatch
Around 9 last night, loud explosions went off and fire shot up from the floor of Nationwide Arena. Not to worry; it was just the start of an awesome concert by Nickelback.
"I'm feeling like a Jack and Coke," vocalist-guitarist Chad Kroeger bellowed. "It's Friday!"
The band celebrated with alcohol (including beer shot out of cannons) and more blasts of pyrotechnics. Mostly, though, the band from Alberta rocked for 105 minutes.
Chad and his half brother Mike Kroeger (bass), Ryan Peake (guitar, vocals), and drummer Daniel Adair might be the best rock band of the past decade. They can pile on the cool grunge rockers such as Burn It to the Ground, Flat on the Floor and the final encore, Figured You Out, that appealed to the guys, but also did effective power ballads such as Photograph, Someday, Too Bad and Gotta Be Somebody for the ladies last night..
"Did I mention it's Friday? Time for a drinking song," Kroeger shouted, and the quartet walked out to a smaller stage to crank out This Afternoon.
"Let's keep the naughty train rolling," Kroeger shouted; songs in that vein included Shakin' Hands, Something in Your Mouth, Rockstar and Animals.
Another fun element was the sprinkling in of song verses or guitar riffs that the members like. I recognized snatches of Garth Brooks, Journey, Young MC, Michael Jackson, Metallica, Bon Jovi and Pink Floyd. "We've never done that before," Kroeger bellowed after Another Brick in the Wall.
Even Adair's drum solo was out of the ordinary: The platform of his kit lurched forward on the stage, rose several feet and rotated in a semicircle.
Finally, the band excelled on its well-written songs, such as Savin' Me, If Today Was Your Last Day, and How You Remind Me, all propelled by Kroeger's throaty roar.
Family obligations prevented me from seeing opener Buckcherry, but I did see the bulk of middle act Three Days Grace.
"I need you guys to help me with this song -- it's called Pain," said singer/screamer Adam Gontier, and the audience obliged. The hard-rocking quartet from Ontario has been around since 1997, and in recent years has become a mainstay on heavy-metal radio stations. I liked the aforementioned Pain, Never Too Late and Animal I Have Become.