Despite the seemingly worldwide hatred of Nickelback, the Canadian band managed to pull 10 000 people to their show last night in Brisbane alone. Stopping by on their ‘No Fixed Address’ Tour, the band treated the Brisbane audience on a Wednesday night to a stellar set of songs, and some great banter along the way. I hadn’t listened to Nickelback since I was in primary school, but I was surprised to find that I knew almost all of the songs they played. They have had a lot of hits.
They came on stage while the lights were down and the massive screen behind them was projecting space-like beams behind the stage. The screen turned into a fast display of comets streaming past the band as they tore into Million Miles an Hour. The crowd was much livelier than the night prior for Motley Crue, and Nickelback sounded fierce on stage. Chad Kroeger frequently asked the crowd to drink “copious amounts of alcohol”, and joked that the more they drink, the better the band will sound. The set was relentless. Hit after hit was played, and even Kroger’s Hero made the setlist. Chad Kroeger had a winning personality, and it made me question why the band was even ‘unpopular’ (despite selling over 8 million tickets worldwide), because Kroeger was funny, and they were good live.
The band treated the crowd to a sing-a-long in the form of Hotel California and Summer of ’69, to which the band earnestly stated that Brisbane had been the best so far on their Australian tour. The band was supported by Monster Truck, a fellow Canadian band making their debut in Australia. Chad Kroeger poked fun at their support by mentioning that there was a band called Muscle Car, and that it would be funny to get them to open before Monster Truck. “Fuck, if we were hated before… Imagine the shit we’d get after that,” Chad Kroeger laughed, brushing off the ill will that the general public claims to have.
They played a two song encore that surprised the audience. Foo Fighters classic Everlong was the opener for their encore, and the crowd went off at the sound of Nickelback reworking the hit. They closed their set with a bang, playing the heavier Burn It To The Ground which left the crowd in a seething mess. Nickelback were great, there was no denying that. They proved to the masses that they are just as relevant and battle-ready as they were almost 20 years ago.