Upon entering the Motorpoint arena, you could feel the excitement in the room. The venue was slowly filling up and was about 2/3 full by the time Seether were due on stage. There was an age diversity in the venue from kids coming with their parents to older fans who could have been following the two bands since the beginning.
Opening their set with “Stoke the Fire” off the band’s seventh and most recent album, Poison the Parish, the crowd were definitely warmed up for the night ahead. Moving straight into the next song, the energy on stage was high and the members of the crowd who knew the band were singing along. A quick thank you from lead singer and guitarist Shaun Morgan earned a big cheer from the crowd and the band began to play “Rise Above This”. John Humphrey on drums looked lost in the music throughout the entire set, with large movements that were bursting with energy.
The band were wasting no time talking between songs with only a few quick pauses as they filled their set with as many songs as they could. They had a very simple but effective backdrop to the stage with the band’s name in huge red lettering on the large screen. As soon as “Country Song” began, Corey Lowery on guitar got the crowd involved with claps that continued throughout most of the song. It seemed that although the majority of the crowd didn’t know the band well enough to sing along, a large portion of the venue were getting involved throughout the whole set and Seether could have some new fans.
When the penultimate song “Fine Again” began, there were torches and hands waving in the air which the band mirrored on occasion when the had a free hand. Before their finale of “Remedy”, Morgan thanked the crowd for “being so good” and to “give it up for Nickelback” which got a huge cheer and applause from the arena. They finished by throwing out all their picks, drumsticks and passing a set list down to a fan at the front.
To keep the crowd entertained while the stage crew set up the impressing stage design for Nickelback, a short teaser video of a documentary the band have been working on featuring their story from the beginning played after a 20-minute countdown. The arena was nearly at capacity at this point and the crowd were singing along to the song clips played in the video. A huge cheer sounded as the lights dimmed and the band emerged from the smoke.
The first song of the night had to be “Feed the Machine” which had the whole venue moving and singing along. As expected at any Nickelback gig, there were lots of pauses for banter with the audience and band members throughout the night. Chad Kroeger on vocals and guitar started the night saying “Who comes to a rock show on a Sunday?!” followed by a mention that it was the last show of the UK tour so “Let’s rip the roof off this f*cker!”.
“Photograph” was next with a slide show of Polaroids featuring pictures of the band on the screen at the back of the stage. After announcing the next song “for the ladies” and getting the attention of all the women in the room, they began “Far Away” with an additional musician on stage playing acoustic guitar. The crowd sang nearly every word back to the band. Ryan Peake on guitar, piano and backing vocals and Kroeger decided it was time to start drinking, which if anyone has ever been to a Nickelback gig before knows this would only increase the comedy aspect of the night. It was time for Kroeger to “CHEERS!” the audience before drinking his shot.
They announced that the next song has got them into trouble with the tag line “You look so much cuter with something in your mouth” before starting. When it came to singing the above line, he held the mic out to the crowd to sing, after which he laughed and mentioned how good it sounds when the crowd sings it to him. They quickly added a piano to the stage for Peake before “Lullaby” began which had hands and torches swaying again. After the song finished, the band asked if anyone wanted their sunglasses back before expressing their disliking for having things thrown at them. Daniel Adair on drums and back up vocals sang the first line of the next song, “Figured You Out”, which the crowd showed their appreciation for with a loud cheer. Later in the song, Peake sang the chorus which gained the same response
Earlier on in the set, Kroeger mentioned an inside joke that he would explain later. Little did he know a superfan that had been following them around the country would bring them a gift. Peake had just celebrated his birthday at which point Kroeger said he would buy him a white horse and paint it pink for him next year. The fan brought a pink unicorn on a stick to the show which the band received from one of the security guards and the band left it on the stage for the rest of the night saying “How fitting for a rock show!”.
On the UK tour, the band promised to play a song from every album and tested the crowd’s knowledge with “Leader of Men” from The State, the band’s second studio album. After a couple more songs, they took another break to ask the audience “Are you guys actually going to work tomorrow? Ah hell no!” before announcing it was karaoke time and that they wanted a lady and a dude to come sing “Rockstar” with them. They made a few remarks about using all of the stage but not falling off and playing the song in the key of G… because they wrote it in G.
Throughout the tour, Kroeger felt the need to stray away from the set list on multiple occasions and this show was no different. Adding “Side of a Bullet” and “Hero” to the set saying they were “Making sure the crowd were getting their money’s worth” followed by “I love it when the stage crew start scrambling” received a laugh from the crowd. As soon as “Animal” began, the crowd went wild and were bouncing throughout the whole song. After a quick check to make sure everyone was having a good time, they got the crowd to sing the intro to “How You Remind Me”. This was the end of the main set with a thank you before “WE ARE NICKELBACK” and leaving the stage.
Automatically there were cheers for more and the arena wasn’t disappointed. When the band reappeared, they were on a podium at the back of the stage behind the drum kit. “Gotta Be Somebody” was the first song of the encore and the energy in the arena was as strong as it was at the start of the event. Ending the set with “Burn it to the Ground” left the foundations of the venue shaking with the amount of people bouncing along.
Although the tour was called “Feed the Machine”, it did feel a little more like a greatest hits tour. However this didn’t dampen the quality of the gig as the members of Nickelback definitely know how to keep an arena entertained!
Photos by Jack Barker Photography