|+++ Liebe Forum-Mitglieder: Passt auf euch auf, bleibt - oder werdet wieder - gesund! +++|
Dark anthems rescue Nickelback at Honda Center
October 23rd, 2010, 4:26 pm · 7 Comments · posted by LANDON HALL, THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER
amazing how well Nickelback’s breakthrough hit “How You Remind Me” still holds up nearly a decade later. There’s something intensely important — if not quite profound — about that smash that made it one of the signature songs of that recently elapsed and still-unnamed musical decade.
Maybe it’s the strange mix of defiance and vulnerability, of rage and hope. Whatever is in that mixture, it’s enticing enough to make you not only sing along, but shout out loud as your car hurtles down the freeway.
I, for one, have had an extended remix of the song playing in my head for almost 24 hours, ever since Nickelback belted it out for eager fans Friday night at Honda Center. And it was just enough to make up for much of the show’s pervasive awfulness.
Frontman Chad Kroeger talked about drinking so much — and consumed so many libations in blue and red plastic cups — that it had to be a put-on. His incessant urging to chug-a-lug was either a plot to get patrons to quaff as many $11.50 suds as possible, or simply part of the act, a throwback to the head-banging glory days of the ’80s when most major rockers wanted you to think they partied like the world was about to end.
Here’s a sampling of Kroeger’s observations:
“It’s Friday night! That means we can drink more!”
“We’re three songs in and I haven’t had a drink yet! Time for a Jack and Coke!”
“I never think about the future. Let’s just get effed-up in Anaheim!”
“It’s startin’ to feel like a party in here. It’s time to start drinking!”
“The more alcohol we can put into your effin’ veins, the cooler we will sound.”
No argument there. I sipped a tall paper cup of coffee myself, and therefore stuck out like a narc at a high school kegger.
Kroeger and guitarist Ryan Peake could have been slurping root beer, for all I know, from the tubs of cups roadies brought around at regular intervals. (Bassist Mike Kroeger and ridiculously athletic drummer Daniel Adair abstained entirely.) But the band sure acted like an obnoxious drunk during several interludes when its otherwise tight, well-played set lost momentum.
During an unforgivably tedious 10-minute stretch, roadies employed solely for shooting T-shirts out of a gun came out and hammed it up for the crowd, egged on by Chad. It felt like a Clippers game, with fans in too-expensive seats clamoring for trinkets that cost pennies to make. At the same time, the booze-roadies actually threw cups of beer into the crowd, without lids. They detonated on impact, splashing over unlucky targets. That has to be the worst fan giveaway since WKRP in Cincinnati dropped live turkeys from a helicopter.
The shenanigans, and the band’s more idiotic songs — the master recording of “Something in Your Mouth” should be shot into space and never heard again — obscure the actually solid craftsmanship this Canadian quartet (plus, too infrequently, multi-instrumentalist Timmy Dawson) can muster when they get serious.
“Flat on the Floor” and “Animals” grind with frenetic speed as Ryan and Chad trade simple but crunching chord changes. After years of success, Nickelback’s biggest asset remains its versatility. When the four members strode onto a teardrop-shaped peninsula stage front (and a small drum kit unfolded from the floor; tres cool), they took to stools and acoustics, Unplugged-style, and drew the crowd in for the happy-go-lucky “This Afternoon” and Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places.” If Nickelback wanted to, they could have been the world’s loudest honky-tonk band.
Since history has now made Journey into the Beatles, there was an obligatory cover of a Steve Perry-sung staple (“Don’t Stop Believin’”). Chad asked the crowd to sing as loudly for its own stuff, and fans nearly obliged on “If Today Was Your Last Day,” a syrupy bit of metal-pop that succeeds against all odds.
Later, after a mind-numbingly long drum solo by Adair (“Look! His kit is rising! Into the air!”) and a pointless cover of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” (Korn beat ‘em to the punch on that one), the real show began with a series of the kind of dark anthems Nickelback does best. “Savin’ Me” belongs in the canon of prison songs built from scratch by Johnny Cash, then came “How You Remind Me,” the simmering “Too Bad” and finally “Someday,” which doesn’t really suffer from being virtually identical to “How You Remind Me.” On those songs Chad’s voice is at its most effective, low and gravel-weary, a stark contrast to the high-pitched yowl he employs when urging the crowd to down yet another shot.
There’s still too much downtime in a Nickelback show, chunks of fat that could be trimmed. But I have to say the props and pyrotechnics are a knockout. The performance began with blasts of fireworks, and at various points flames of orange, red and blue spurted from the rear of the stage, a bonanza of natural gas-fueled wizardry. And on the finale, “Figured You Out,” the nine-component video screen was used to dazzling effect, as antique TVs popped up, showing the musicians from various camera angles.
History may not be kind to Nickelback, a perennial punching bag for critics. But their now-middle-aged fans aren’t likely to care a bit. If they keep partying as hard as Chad Kroeger wants them to, they’re likely to remember only the best songs anyway.
Four separate auto wrecks on I-5 between Lake Forest and the 57 freeway prevented me from catching first opening act Buckcherry. As for the abysmal second warm-up band, Three Days Grace, well, the less said the better.
Photo by Kelly A. Swift, for The Orange County Register.
SLIDERSHOW HIER: http://www.ocregister.com/articles/nick ... cle-photos