Nickelback Sydney Review @ Qudos Bank Arena

  • Written by 
  • Monday, 18 February 2019 12:21
Published in Music News  
Nickelback at Brisbane Entertainment Centre 13 February, 2019. Nickelback at Brisbane Entertainment Centre 13 February, 2019. Image © Erin Taylor

They’re the band people love to hate.

But for thousands in attendance at Qudos Bank Arena last Friday night (15 February), as hard rock stalwarts Nickelback brought their Feed The Machine Tour to town, there was nothing but unadulterated love, laughter and loud, loud music.

Be forewarned, if you’re reading this review with the expectation of some Nickelback bashing you’re not going to get it. Not here anyway, not after the show this humble writer witnessed.

Heavy metal supergroup Bad Wolves were along for the ride, the Los Angeles support act doing an excellent job of warming up the audience for their Canadian brothers.

It may have made more sense for vocalist Tommy Vext to have played a song or two before pushing the crowd to jump, clap, and perform all those other movements of overzealous euphoria. Because, trying to get the crowd to bend to his will from the outset as they broke in with ‘Learn To Live’ was a little cringeworthy.

Bad WolvesBad Wolves at Brisbane Entertainment Centre (13 Feb, 2019) - image © Erin Taylor

By the time ‘Better The Devil’ was performed, with an ardent fervour for their craft and their audience, the crowd was hooked, and Vext had them wrapped around his little finger. Of course, Bad Wolves are perhaps best known for their sublime rendition of ‘Zombies’, a song first made famous by Irish rock band The Cranberries.

The song has become more than a cover for Bad Wolves; it’s a tribute, it’s an anthem for unity, and it’s a homage to Cranberries frontwoman Dolores O’Riordan, a beautiful ballad that when the lights went down and thousands of phone lights and lighters lit up the arena, made an already sensational song, a breathtaking moment to be a part of.

Ultimately, Bad Wolves are performers and good ones at that. They command the stage and convert their crowd and after this performance, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them commanding their own headline tour in Australia sooner rather than later.

And here’s the part many are going to be disappointed by – Nickelback were awesome! Utterly awesome.

The sheer volume of screams and cheers as Nickelback took the stage was flooring. Vocalist Chad Kroger took to his microphone and brought with him an unexpected guest vocalist – the crowd. There wasn’t a single song Nickelback performed that the crowd couldn’t be heard over the raging rhythms and amped up guitars.

Nickelback.3Nickelback at Brisbane Entertainment Centre (13 Feb, 2019) - image © Erin Taylor

Word for word, as clearly as Chad cut through bangers like ‘Photograph’, ‘Hero’, 'Something In Your Mouth’, Animals’, and ‘Rockstar’ (where two lucky fans were brought on stage to sing with the band), Nickelback held their own and more than justified the fandom they’ve marked out for themselves in their 24-year tenure.

Granted, some of the band’s older tracks like ‘Woke Up This Morning’, 'Savin’ Me' and ‘Hangnail’, were gems for the long-time diehard fans, everything Nickelback did was met with a ridiculously raucous response.

Click here to read our recent interview with Nickelback.

Props to Nickelback for their endearing banter. Between Chad and guitarist Ryan Peake, the comedic stand-up made for a relaxed stage presence, an entertainment that one can only hope is a reflection of their true characters.  Between Chad and Ryan, Nickelback made fun of their own lyrics, their own depraved behaviour, and their own antics, past and present.

Coaxed by Chad’s cries of “Sydney…?! Cheers!” before he intermittently downed the Jägermeister and Red Bull concoction he was so kindly provided by his roadie, the audience were given a free pass to have a good time with the band.

Nickelback.2Nickelback at Brisbane Entertainment Centre (13 Feb, 2019) - image © Erin Taylor

It’s typical behaviour from the frontman, and the unabashed realness of wanting to drink and have a good time is not something the audience were going to made to feel bad for.

Nickelback are the ultimate hard-rock band. They write good tunes, they have a legion of adoring fans around the world, and they put on an amazing show.

Click here for photos from Nickelback's recent Brisbane show.

In their two-plus decades of being a band, they’ve written some wonderful songs that cover every area of life – drugs, drink, sex, love, loss, hope – with such uniform melodies and a masterful execution as demonstrated in Sydney, what’s not to like?

Like it or lump it, Nickelback are here to stay and for those of us who were witness to the wonder of their world, we’re damn glad.


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