Live Review: Nickelback [First Direct Arena, Leeds] November 27, 2013

Nickelback. Don’t hate. Tonight in Leeds, we are treated to one of the finest live shows of our year. Sadly, we had a few problems securing our photopass at the […]

Nickelback. Don’t hate. Tonight in Leeds, we are treated to one of the finest live shows of our year. Sadly, we had a few problems securing our photopass at the beginning of the night (many thanks to staff at First Direct Arena for sorting that stuff out [eventually] for us…), so we miss the mighty Skillet, and tunes like the below – we’re pretty sad about that. We’ll hopefully catch you soon, guys.

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The energy, and the passion from our main eventers cannot be questioned. In all honesty, before this night, we would have liked to be able to question the quality (we don’t really listen to Nickelback records all that often), but alas on viewing the dudes in performance mode, the charming (yes…it’s true) Chad Kroeger who is the host of the evening, we are pretty damn impressed. From ‘Photograph’ through ‘Too Bad’, Nickelback properly set the mood with masses of energy and proper musicianship.

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It’s nice, you know. To be engaged by a band who have millions of followers, and feel like they actually give a monkeys about what we think – Chad and his buds regularly engage in good banter with the audience; everything from beer, to partying and general naughty things comes up. It happens less often than you might like to think in this business with top level acts, which makes monumental hits like ‘Rockstar’ that much harder to dismiss as “radio-friendly pop-rock” within the live arena.

To appreciate them, if you’re not immediately a follower of their music, you gotta see ’em live. Here, there’s pretty much everything you might need; a killer drum solo, a mini-fridge (the band has one stage right, and we are all invited to check out the contents), and some cool visuals on screen (dancing ladies, lyrics and such…). While the harder-edged and “dirty” (that latter word gets used a lot here [by the band members], much to the delight of many women of all ages in the crowd) tracks like ‘Figured You Out’ get the crowd jumping and moving, ballads like ‘Lullaby’ are powerful, feel-good anthems for absolutely everyone. It’s obvious to us now that, there’s nothing wrong with having loads of success (or a smoking hot wife in Avril Lavigne), if you’ve got the quality songs – and can put on a great show – to back it all up. Nickelback are officially on our list of bands to see before you pop your clogs (die…). Total quality, and another great offering from what we refer to as Yorkshire’s finest big gig venue.

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Dom Smith

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