On Saturday, August 5, Shaman’s Harvest, Daughtry, and Nickelback performed at Hershey Stadium as part of Nickelback’s “Feed the Machine” tour. According to Nickelback lead singer, Chad Kroger, they played to 18,000 people that night, and the show was one for the books.
I have gone to many concerts over the years, but never one quite like this. Anyone somewhat familiar with bands in the rock scene knows that Nickelback doesn’t get that much respect, mainly in part to a lot of their songs sounding similar in sound. Even considering this factor, after witnessing this show, I have a hard time understanding why their songs sounding similar overruns what they put into live performances.
Not only did the band perform for nearly two hours, they did so featuring a six-song encore (adding songs that weren’t even initially on the set list), they brought two fans up on stage with them to help sing their song “Rockstar,” they drank between songs to show how laid back they truly are, and Kroger tossed countless picks for fans in the crowd to catch. At one point, Kroger praised a fan and her elderly mother for being front row, the mother drinking alcohol alongside Kroger at one point. This band truly gives fans the perfect experience, so why so much hate in the music scene?
As mentioned before, a lot of their songs are similar in sound, and I couldn’t imagine following a full tour for them like I could easily do for other artists. That being said, many other artists/bands produce sound that defines them, and there are clearly people who have a taste for Nickelback, if this 18,000-people crowd says anything.
During Daughtry’s set, lead singer Chris Daughtry made it a point to thank the said headliner, mentioning that when his band first started, Nickelback was the first act to bring them along on a tour. Kroger even wrote one of Daughtry’s hits, “Life After You.” Later on, Chris made two appearances back on stage during Nickelback’s set, the first coming out to sing on “Savin’ Me.” Later on, Kroger improvised a jam session, bringing out Chris and lead singer of Shaman’s Harvest, Nathan Hunt.
Was it a little much when fans threw up the rock devil horns during Nickelback’s set? Maybe. Is it still a social death to rock one of Nickelback’s tour shirts post-concert? Arguably so. But after seeing them live, I strongly believe this stigma needs to change. Many people can argue the band isn’t the greatest of all time, but do they deserve the hate? Not at all. They give their fans a 110% experience all artists and bands should give during shows. Kroger even said that if he wasn’t having a good time, he would just go through the songs and be done with it, without any dialogue or added jams mixed in to prolong the experience. Perhaps this is hard to believe, perhaps it isn’t, but I suggest one thing: go to one of their shows before judging the book by its cover.
The three groups still have a few dates left together on the “Feed the Machine” tour, concluding on Sept. 16. Following that, Cheap Trick will take Daughtry’s place for a few dates in Canada, officially concluding Oct. 1. For more information on tickets, go to http://www.nickelback.com/tour.