Nickelback nailed SPAC performance


Hard rocking group Nickelback recently performed to a packed crowd at Saratoga Performing Arts Center. Shaman’s Harvest and former American Idol contestant Daughtry opened. They kicked off the show with “Feed the Machine.” the title track off the new album and “Woke Up This Morning.”

The stage featured a massive screen that often displayed videos created specifically for each song, or just live feeds of the band and crowd. The rest of the stage featured futuristic design details, with the drum riser in particular looking like a machine with glowing hoses and cables coming off of it.

It was a great night for a concert. The temperature was perfect and the rain stayed away until after the show. Front man Chad Kroeger even commented that the weather had been bad for many of their recent shows, saying it was usually “pissing cats and dogs everywhere we go.”

The nostalgia driven “Photograph” had Kroeger performing from the elevated stage behind the drums. A slide show of photographs played on the giant screen of Kroeger with his band mates and friends.

Kroeger usually chatted to (and sometimes with) the audience between songs. He once teased the people in the mezzanine, which is supported by a series of slender columns, when he said in the most sarcastic voice he could muster “I’m sure the integrity of those columns is fine!”

“Far Away,” “Too Bad,” “Someday” and “If Everyone Cared” was next. The latter featured a video montage of people that have made a difference in the world including Live Aid founder Bob Geldoff, Islamic women’s rights advocate Malala Yousafzai, and former political prisoner and South African president Nelson Mandela.

A running gag throughout the show was Kroeger yelling to one of the crew that he was out of Jägermeister, and then a red solo cup would be brought out to him. Once he complained about how little was in the cup, then was flabbergasted by how much was in the next cup. He downed each shot in turn and kept on rockin’. While talking about his beloved Jäger he joked about the reputation Nickelback has among music fans of being one of the worst bands ever. He said “Jäger is like the Nickelback of the drinking world, you either love it or hate it, there ain’t no f*#king in between”! This crowd obviously loved it.

“Where Do I Hide” is about his childhood friend Cory who he was always getting into trouble with, and “If Today Was Your Last Day” were jammed out before Kroeger decided to “call an audible” and throw in a song that wasn’t on the set list. He said he wanted to rock and asked the band if they were up for playing the hard driving “Because of You” which they hadn’t played since winter in Europe. He joked that they might not make it through the song and that the crowd would get to see them “shit the bed for four minutes.” Fortunately, they crushed it just like they had every other song.

Another one off the new album, “Song of Fire” and the not very subtle “Something in Your Mouth” followed. “Rockstar” was next, and for this one Kroeger did some audience participation. He commented how people like to karaoke to it so he asked if anyone knew how to sing it. The band picked four audience members to come up on stage and help sing the song. One of the four was a woman named Dee, and Kroeger teased her that it sounded like a stripper’s name. Her family – including her children were in the crowd. Kroeger said they could watch it next Christmas on YouTube, “this is where he calls mom a stripper!”

They finished up the main set with “When We Stand Together” and fan favorite hits “Animals,” “Figured You Out” and “How You Remind Me.”

When they came back out for the encore Kroeger once again addressed the bands frankly unwarranted reputation. “People ask me ‘does it hurt your feelings what people say about you on the Internet?’ F#*k no! I don’t give a shit! Look at what I get to do!” He then gestured to the capacity crowd who responded with thunderous cheers.

The band rocked through the three song encore of “Gotta Be Somebody,” “This Afternoon” and “Burn it to the Ground.”Nickelback came to party with the fans in Saratoga Springs and they didn’t disappoint. Every song was spot on and the fans loved every minute of it. Kroeger proved to be a charismatic front man who appeared to be having a blast. That energy was definitely felt on a night of rockin’ music that the fans won’t soon forget.

Nickelback continue their tour across the U.S. and Canada through October.




James Suits / The Fuze Magazine
Eric Hall / The Fuze Magazine


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