–By Sean Derrick
Canadian hard rock quartet, Nickelback, brought their A-game to Saint Louis on their “Feed the Machine Tour” on Tuesday.
Nickelback sparks a debate every time they are mentioned. Between the crowd that passionately loves them and the crowd that absolutely hates them one is sure to at least elicit a response from anyone who has a pulse.
For all the haters saying they are horrible the band sure knows how to be successful. On Tuesday the band performed for a sold out crowd at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Saint Louis. Not a bad turnout considering they suck.
Nickelback is known to poke fun at themselves and also play on the “Hate Nickelback” theme.
Lead singer Chad Kroeger joked about the negativity towards the band on multiple times throughout the show. It seems they take the criticisms in stride. Hell, why wouldn’t they? It’s not like they are dependent on the critics to like them to be successful. The sales of tickets to their shows and albums (or now, downloads) do that just fine, thank you.
Attending the show this past Tuesday rekindled my curiosity for why people rip on this band. It’s not like their songs don’t have catchy hooks, just look at “Photograph” or “Rockstar” or their set closing “Burn it to the Ground” (if you think you can write a better song, go for it. Tell me how the sales go for you.).
I’ve asked the question to my friends who say they hate Nickelback. Their responses range from the aforementioned to “all their songs sound the same” (So, you hate AC/DC and ZZ Top then, right?) and even “All they sing about are strippers, sex, drugs and partying.” Um, isn’t that what Rock ‘n Roll was based on? Hello! Ever hear of Motley Crue? Bet you hated them, too. Because that is all they sang about, with much greater frequency.
In addressing the songs sounding the same: it sure didn’t sound that way Tuesday. “Photograph”, with its acoustic arrangement and tempo didn’t sound anything like the rocking “Too Bad” or the protest-style “When We Stand Together”, or the ode to the rock-lifestyle “Rockstar” to which Kroeger stated it was time to karaoke.
Every stop on the tour the band picks 1 or 2 fans to join them onstage to actually sing the huge hit in front of the large crowds. In Saint Louis Kroeger picked a female named Alicia and a guy named Adam, who came prepared with a huge sign stating “Hey Chad, Hey I wanna be a Rockstar”. Gotta give the dude props, it’s kinda hard to miss that sign. You can check out their performance and Kroeger’s banter back and forth with the crowd here.
Kroeger bantered with the crowd quite a bit, actually. It’s almost like he’s having fun. Who knew? Isn’t that what a concert experience is supposed to be? Fun? With the joking around Kroeger was doing what almost seemed that a stand-up routine mixed in, and Kroeger has that ability to pull that off in their concerts. Some artists try that and it seems forced. I can’t say that about Kroeger, and it shows.
The rest of the band (guitarist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger and drummer Daniel Adair) had fun too. For instance, during a bit where Kroeger takes a picture of the crowd to post on social media he asked for his phone to do so. However Peake handed him an old cordless phone with a note that said “Chad’s phone”. Kroeger, after a few seconds realizing he had been punk’d laughed it off by saying “Oh, I miss the 80’s”.
A lot of what they do is improvised, just going go off of feel. They did that with a cover of “Hotel California” by the Eagles, and had the crowd sing the vast majority of it.
Throughout the show the fans had fun and were entertained with a strong setlist of 20 songs that were performed tightly, as if they were wrapping up the tour, not just starting it. The tour runs until October, by the way. If you are one of the haters, I suggest putting your pretentiousness aside and go check them out and enjoy a fun show for once, that is if you can find a ticket.
Local Missourian’s Shaman’s Harvest opened the show with a strong southern rock-style set. Daughtry held the support slot with a superb set that included a cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” accompanied by just keyboards. He also performed a new song “Backbone” from his next CD, and it sounds deep. He stated his next record will be a back to a rocker-form album. Can’t wait to hear more from that.
The only drawback for this show was that no press were allowed to shoot the Daughtry performance. I’m still not sure as to why, since his camp has always been pretty gracious with the photo passes.
Check out the photo gallery of Shaman’s Harvest and Nickelback after the Setlist.
Feed the Machine
Woke Up This Morning
Because of You
Savin’ Me (with Chris Daughtry)
Song on Fire
Something in Your Mouth
Hotel California (the Eagles cover)
When We Stand Together
Figured You Out
How You Remind Me
Gotta Be Somebody
Burn it to the Ground