Concert Review: Nickelback at Vector Arena Nov 30
currently: listening to 'This Afternoon' by Nickelback
I could give this concert review post many names. It could be titled:
Sure, it's easy to make fun of Nickelback. The way Chad Kroger sings, the formula they have towards creating rock music, and their general attitudes. I could take the same route with this review by summing up everything as 'Oh Nickelback suck. Worst band ever'. Just making fun of Nickelback because everyone else does.
But then they don't fully deserve that. Because the concert was a lot better than what I could have expected.
Let me begin this review with how exactly I ended up going to this Nickelback concert though...
Around 24 hours before the Nickelback concert in Auckland, I got given two double passes. I liked Nickelback back when I was a young teen. Everyone did then (you know the words to Photograph. Admit it). I saw it as a chance to revisit 14-year-old Mel, and who am I to reject a free concert to Vector.
Four tickets. Three friends required in 24 hours. My hunt began at 5pm. Boyfriend? Busy. Sister? Busy. Then the next five friends that replied to me after that? Busy/didn't like Nickelback.
Finding three friends started to sound impossible so I settled for finding at least one. Hooray for my best friend who told me at 9pm that she decided to flag her semi-set plans for dinner to come join me at Vector Arena. She wasn't even a big fan of Nickelback, she came to join me for the fun and cause the tickets were free.
(This is why we are friends! :))
The second double pass I just gave away to an old school mate of mine. Done.
Walking with best friend from the CBD, we arrived at Vector Arena just before the 6:30pm door opening. The queue for GA was probably 30ish people, while the line for merch was around 15 people. Me and Bestie decided to get ourselves a drink at the bar next door before we headed in. And as best friends do when they catch up, we talked for an hour long drinking our $3.50 Sprites before we realised 'Oh, maybe we should go in and see what's happening.'
Timing was perfect because two minutes after we went in, These Four Walls started their opening act. I have to say at 7:30pm there was just no fight for us to get close to the stage. We got within the first 10-15 rows of people and barely lost our spot throughout the night.
1) Yell out "Auckland" or "New Zealand" and you're bound to get a response.
2) Yell out "Who loves [insert headline act here]"
3) Get your cellphone out and wave the light in the air.
They're a good band and pretty talented.
It was just over a half hour wait between the opening act and Nickelback, which made good surveillance time of the decent crowd that had formed around us. I gather these facts about the Nickelback crowd.
1) Quite a few looked over the age of 40. Many with beer guts.
2) Mullets. They still existed with this Nickelback crowd.
3) The group of young tall guys next to us were fuelling themselves on beer. Lots of beer. My combat boots were already sticking to the ground from what they had managed to spill already.
4) Many people were wearing Nickelback shirts. I didn't know if they had just bought them or if they were from the last 2009 concert.
5) It felt a bit like West Auckland. (No offence to West Aucklanders, but it wasn't like seeing a South Auckland crowd or North Shore crowd there.)
6) This crowd knew the words to Back in Black by AC/DC. And they sang along. In fact they sang along to many of the songs during the intermission. Especially Incredibly Enthusiastic Girl who was carrying all the enthusiasm for her group of friends.
It was good for me and my friend when a song we ACTUALLY knew came up. And I recorded it. Photograph:
I think one of the best things about being in a Nickelback crowd is that no one is hating on Nickelback. I mean sure, Nickelback haters would not be in a Nickelback concert (except for David Farrier) but you wouldn't have pictured that outside the walls of Vector, this crowd supported such a universally despised band. Which made it nice.
And they drank.
(the Red Cup guy then proceeded to hold up his red cup like a trophy and stuff it down his singlet. Class.)
Anyway, Nickelback seemed to do a good mix of songs from new and old albums. Not that I can really tell because I'm not that familiar with their collection, but they did a mix from Silver Side Up, Dark Horse, and whatever albums they have (sorry Nickelback fans, this review is getting ridiculously long and I'm not gonna put heavy research into this.)
Once nice moment was the song 'This Afternoon' where all the people around us began to get chummy with each other and sing each other the lyrics like they were all best friends. Men with arms around each other, women swaying with happiness. It was kinda cute :)
I will admit the biggest disappointment of the night was the lack of Chavril (aka Chad Kroger and his fiancee Avril Lavigne).
The night ended with everyone hugging and walking arm and arm out of Vector Arena at 10:50pm. Me and my best friend were sticky with cheap beer, bit hot from being in the floor crowd, and had suffered temporary partial hearing loss (which I got back after 24 hours yesterday. My hearing was worryingly fuzzy for a while.)
As a post Nickelback concert review we agreed on this:
1) It would take a while for our hearing to go back to normal.
2) We had no clue where we were going as we were leaving Vector Arena.
3) It was all much better an experience than we had thought.
And of course, I missed the joy of having the bass and drum beat pulse through my body, and the feeling of singing and cheering at the top of my lungs.
So you know how it's usually cooler to admit that you don't like Nickelback? I don't care anymore.
I LIKED THE NICKELBACK CONCERT.
And I say that with no shame at all.
EDIT: Someone very impressive has written out the entire set list from this night, so if you're curious -
This Means War
Something in Your Mouth
Trying Not To Love You
Figured You Out
When We Stand Together
How You Remind Me
Gotta Be Somebody
Burn It To The Ground