Many fans may have been wowed by Nickelback’s pyrotechnics, deafening sound and “flying stage” during a packed show at EnergySolutions Arena on Tuesday night in Salt Lake City. But for others, the blinding effects, excessive drinking or any amount of reminiscing about the glory days of Nickelback could not hide a lackluster performance.
The group kicked off the show with three fast-paced songs: “This Means War,” “Something in Your Mouth” and “Never Again,” which lead vocalist Chad Kroeger shrieked into his microphone to receptive ears.
The chaos turned to swoons for many of the women in the audience when Kroeger announced he would slow it down to sing “Photograph,” and climbed atop a higher stage silhouetted by gleaming white lights.
The concert continued with chart-topping favorites from the band, including “Rockstar,” “Lullaby,” and “How You Remind Me,” all to ridiculously showy effects.
A woman ahead of me joked that you could easily have a better time at the concert playing a drinking game she created. Her rules were as follows: You drink every time the fire canons flared, every time Kroeger said the “f” word (which occurred more than 15 times in his casual dialogue), every time the arena’s big screen featured “slutty-looking” women and every time you wish you had left after the opening acts. Any audience member who was not a huge Nickelback fan likely walked away like I did last night, with a migraine and a sense of regret at the loss of an hour and a half of their life and the $45 spent on the ticket.
It was embarrassing to watch openers Bush outperform the main act by a massive measure. Bush interacted with the audience, kept irrelevant dialogue to a minimum and actually displayed some musical talent, what a concept at a rock concert.
The band’s cover of “Come Together” by The Beatles was a huge crowd pleaser and lead vocalist Gavin Rossdale ran through the arena dancing with groups of fans as he sang.
There were no over-the-top effects in their performance, just guitar solos and singing that could be differentiated from shrieks.
Their hits “Glycerine” and “Comedown” had fans singing along and up on their feet rocking throughout the stadium. Rossdale displayed some classic rock moves with his guitar as he played it behind his head and got on his knees, bending backward to play with even more flare.
Nickelback had no moves like this in their set.
Many would have had a better experience at the concert doing what the group of women to my left did, watching Bush and going home early.