That.Was.Massive. Love them or hate them, you cannot dispute the size of a crowd that comes to a Nickelback concert. A lot of bands can fill the BEC, but these Canadians do that and so much more. For a Wednesday night, this was mental.
Bad Wolves lead off proceedings with a massive sound and the crowd seems to be as into the support as they are to Nickelback. Drilling out a set list that is a great mix of their own tunes and a few fun covers, it's not long before the crowd is into the swing of things and really throwing their all into the night. With front man Tommy Vext taking a moment to educate the masses on his tumultuous past as a suicide survivor. As the band launches into a brilliant version of Queens Of The Stone Age's ‘No one Knows’, it's evident that these guys are here not only for business but also for a lot of fun. Closing their set with a moving tribute to Dolores O’Riorden, of the song ‘Zombie’, which most would know Bad Wolves for, the whole crowd sings along and i'm sure there is a lot of emotion within the BEC tonight.
There's one thing you need to realise about a Nickelback concert, it's not entirely a concert, but more of a party. There's shots, comedy, banter and plenty of rockin’ tunes. As the band launches immediately into ‘Feed The Machine’, its clear to see that the Canadian 4 piece are sounding better than ever. It's not evident yet, but this is about to be one of the biggest sets that we have seen them perform. The setlist caters to everyone, from the new fans, to the die-hard originals, everyone is satisfied. With a crowd sing along to ‘Photograph’, it's a precursor to how loose the night is about to get.
With a great story about how Tommy Lee gave Chad the inspiration for ‘Something In Your Mouth’ the band downs a shot of Jaeger and this is where the night really kicks into gear. Fan favourite ‘Hero’ gets the whole crowd singing along with Ryan filling in the vocals for Josey Scott's part (to which he does flawlessly). Here is where we meet the ‘messy’ part of the night. After shots a plenty, and showing no signs of fatigue, it's time for the audience participation section of the show. Fans Felicity and ‘Shredder’ are pulled up on stage to join the band in singing ‘Rockstar’. It's rare to see audience participation to this degree but it gives a real sense that the band has not lost touch with the people that got them to where they are.
Now, a shoey is a magical thing that seems to bring people together in the most intoxicating way. So when Chad is ‘forced’ to do a shoey by Ryan it's only fitting that the shoe be provided by a front row fan. A fan by the name of Lindsay happily obliged. As Chad takes a shot from the pediatric receptacle, the look on his face is priceless and it's not long before the favour is returned by young Lindsay taking one from Chads leather boot in epic fashion, securing backstage passes for both himself and a mate to continue the party well after the show. The band uses this point of the show to absolutely belt out a stellar performance of their breakout hit ‘How You Remind Me’ and it just leaves us all screaming and wanting more. As they hit their encore with ‘Burn It To The Ground’, it's truly been a most epic night with our gracious hosts.
Disembarking from the BEC, we are all revelling in the fact that we just witnessed a show that only Nickelback can provide. Let's hope they hit our shores again real soon. Cheeeeeeeeers!!!!!!
Nickelback play Sydney on Friday 15th February at Qudos Bank Arena and Melbourne on Saturday 16th Februrary at Rod Laver Arena
Tickets Through livenation.com.au
Photographs (c) JD Punisher Photography