Nickelback @ Genting Arena, Birmingham – Thursday 10th May 2018


Arena rock par excellence…

Online speculation before this show would have had you believe that Nickelback were only playing for an hour (they played two hours and ten minutes) and that the Genting would be less than half full (75% at least). It is fair to say that scheduling regional shows in Birmingham, Nottingham, Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester was perhaps over optimistic given we are only weeks away from festival season but what is undeniable is that the Canadian quartet can still deliver one hell of an Arena rock gig.

Ostensibly touring on the back of last year’s Feed The Machine , in actuality this was a Greatest Hits set with just the title track performed to kick-start the show and the album’s man / machine imagery used as the basis of the production. After the anthemic post-grunge workout of ‘Woke Up This Morning’ Chad Kroeger addressed the crowd for the first of many times during the evening. From berating the tour manager for more alcohol to light hearted banter with some of the front row here is a singer who doesn’t give a flying fuck that his band will never be cool – he is simply having the time of his life.

Kroeger aside, the on stage chemistry and personality between guitarist Ryan Peake and the rhythm section of Mike Kroeger and Daniel Adair is undeniable and they move with ease through huge ballads such as ‘Photograph’ and ‘Far Away’ to the alt-metal riffage of ‘Figured You Out’and ‘Leader of Men’, and even thrown in a couple of set list audibles with the funk workout of ‘She Keeps Me Up’ and monstrous sounding Dimebag tribute ‘Side of a Bullet’. Picking out a couple of audience members to help out on ‘Rockstar’ was the cue for more of Kroeger’s humorous asides and, when compared with Springsteen’s cringe inducing “kid on stage to sing Sunny Day”, proved so much more memorable for all of the right reasons. Breakthrough hit ‘How You Remind Me’ closed the main set before the encore served up a punchy one-two of ‘Gotta Be Somebody’ and ‘Burn It To The Ground’ by which time both band and crowd were drained after an energy sapping two hours plus.

If you are looking for a band that mixes up hard-hitting guitar centric rock with sing-a-long ballads that have mainstream appeal and top off it off with the some of the funniest and unscripted between songs banter you will ever hear then Nickelback tick all of the right boxes.

Feed the Machine
Woke Up This Morning
Far Away
Something in Your Mouth
Figured You Out
Leader of Men
Million Miles an Hour
When We Stand Together
She Keeps Me Up
Side of a Bullet
How You Remind Me
Gotta Be Somebody
Burn It to the Ground