Haters gonna hate, but Nickelback are in town once again with their loud, radio-friendly (apart from the swearies) rock and roll. Annoyingly the gig clashed with Buckcherry, the tickets for which went on sale some weeks later. That’s two years in a row we’ve missed Buckcherry and two Nickelback gigs in a row that have clashed with other acts we’d have gone to see any other time (Soulfly were the cheaper option last time around).
Still, The Hydro is an all ages venue with seating so we were able to take our eldest and one of her schoolfriends as we slowly indoctrinate them into “proper music”. Hey, even if you hate Nickelback they’re still better than One Direction.
Sadly, due to the logistics of getting two schoolgirls, two mums, me and a friend visiting from Edinburgh together at one time, wolfing down pizza and then getting parked, we entered the arena just as Skillet were slamming out “that’s it, we’re done, goodnight” chords. I don’t know anything about them, but they were given quite a cheer as they left the stage so it’s a shame we didn’t see them.
Nevertheless, we had a short break as cables and bits of wood were moved around during which we were treated to some nice music. Then Pantera’s “Walk” blasted over the PA and I remembered (once again) how bloody good Vulgar Display Of Power is. What an album. I’m actually listening to it again as I write this.
Annoyingly, it was halfway through this signature track that Nickelback chose to come on stage. Damn you, Canadians.
Mind you, they came on in a blaze of light. A superb light show accompanied by three LED screens at the back of the main stage and two larger drop-downs to the sides so even those up in the gods wouldn’t miss a thing.
This is a “best of” tour, and with so many albums and successful singles out there the band had plenty to choose from. All the obvious songs popped up “How You Remind Me”, “Rockstar”, the opener “Animals” and so on.
They are good live entertainers, and they play all their own instruments. They also bring a good crew and a great atmosphere. A Nickelback gig is very much like a huge party, and a lot of use was made of audience-facing cameras to make the punters feel very much part of the event.
One guy went just a bit further. A sign was held up and passed forward to Chad at the end of “Savin’ Me”. It was a marriage proposal, regarding a couple who were up against the front barrier. Indeed, a ring in a box was present. The question was popped using Chad’s microphone and (thankfully) a positive response was received! The happy couple had “Far Away” dedicated to them.
The gig was more or less non-stop with relatively little chat from the band compared to when we last saw them in Newcastle. It also seemed, despite the blinding lights, a little cut down compared to that show, though that could be just me. The sound in the Hydro still needs a bit of work as I was getting an “echo” of the more treble-y sounds bouncing back at me from time to time.
Overall a good night, and a decent performance from a band with a solid track record. If you don’t like them, then that’s fine. But they do know how to get a party going.