“Cheers Montreal!” shouted Chad Kroeger several times as he downed yet another of his in between songs Jagermeister shots at last night’s Montreal Nickelback concert. It showed if nothing that his band was having a good time along with the audience who were singing along, playing air guitar or drums, and punching their fists up during a song like Edge Of a Revolution. Interestingly there was a large percentage of Native Americans in the audience last night.
A Nickelback show is known for lasers, explosions and big production with flying mini stages. All of that is gone for this tour. This is a more back to basics show where the music takes centre stage. This tour’s production is a circular screen, some blowing smoke and drummer Daniel Adair’s drum kit atop a machinery grid reminiscent of their latest album, Feed The Machine. One has to keep in mind at the end of the day or I should say night, Nickelback’s strength comes from their crunchy gritty guitar hooks and vocals.
Chad Kroeger and guitarist Ryan Peake don’t really display any major stage moves but they did make sure to walk up the side ramps firing off guitar licks.. Chad talked about having a big stage with an upper ramp that he was going to use for singing Photograph. He also mentioned how things are going good to play an older song but it’s when a band says they’re going to play a new song it makes people go “Awe, a new song? Time for a beer.”
Of all the concerts I’ve ever been to (and it’s many) I’ve never heard more in between song banter than at this one. At times Chad was funny and engaging such as mentioning seeing a young child asleep and how the parents could not find a sitter. At times it was a bit too much such as the consistency of roadie Brad bringing up the shots or forcing Brad on stage to say “Bonjour” to his family from Montreal. With all the talking, the band could have performed an extra song or two.
There were some nice surprises in the setlist. In the middle of Too Bad Nickelback paid tribute to The Tragically Hip with Blow At High Dough. They played a deep album track that was suggested by Ryan for the ‘die-hard fans’ and tore into Where Do You Hide. Later on Chad asked Ryan what they should do next and they broke into an impromptu No Diggity from R&B group, Blackstreet.
The in-between banter and drinks continued on to the point Chad said “Maybe I shouldn’t have done
that last one.” Then came as was mentioned earlier the ‘new songs’. Ryan asked if anyone in the crowd had the new album. Then Chad corrected him by saying he should have asked a batter question which was, Does anyone like the new album? Someone could say they have the new album, but they don’t like it. Then came. “We’re gonna play a new song.” which was Song Of Fire. The only other new song they played all night was the concert’s opener, Feed The Machine. This album may not be the grand achievement they’ve had in the past so for them to joke about the ‘new album songs’ fits perfectly on this tour.
There were several karaoke moments for songs like Photograph and When We Stand Together where the circular screen showed the lyrics to the point the audience could follow for the singalong. The real karaoke moment came when a fan, Rob, was brought up on stage to sing along to Rockstar, and he was good. However no lyrics were needed when Chad encouraged the audience to sing the opening to the final song This Is How You Remind You.
In a recent interview Chad Kroger mentioned how he likes it when things go off the rails at a concert and it get’s improvised because then it’s more special and that certainly was going on a lot at this show. It must have been a good night because even though it’s early in the tour Montreal is the longest show so far.
Feed the Machine
Woke Up This Morning
Where Do I Hide
If Everyone Cared
Edge of a Revolution
When We Stand Together
Song on Fire
Figured You Out
Burn It to the Ground
Gotta Be Somebody
How You Remind Me