CenturyLink Center was packed for a Friday night concert on July 21. It was a long time coming for Nickelback, having to cancel not once, but twice in the past couple years, having been five years (2012) since they’ve came back. And they brought with them two good rock bands in Daughtry and Shaman’s Harvest.
Shaman’s Harvest for Jefferson City, Missouri opened up the show. This was my third time seeing them, after seeing them play River Riot in 2015 and opening up for In This Moment in Lincoln last year, so I knew what I was getting into. Playing some tracks from their upcoming album that is coming out July 28, Red Hands Black Deeds, their southern rock sound captivated the CenturyLink crowd. The audience grooved to the music. My favorite song that they played is Country as F***. It’s a heavy, fast, twangy song that gets you moving. I also loved Nathan Hunt’s, singer, microphone stand. It had, what it look like to me, a pronghorn antelope skull, with it’s spine as the stand, making it a badass stage prop. It’s crazy to think that they played the tiny stage of Shamrock’s Bar and Grill in 2014 to the CenturyLink Center this year. They trajectory is rising in stardom and I couldn’t be more proud for these midwesterners.
Daughtry was the direct support of the night. I remember seeing Chris Daughtry on the fifth season of American Idol. He was a really good singer. He kicked off the set with “Go Down”, a fist pumper. All the ladies loved Chris Daughtry. What a crooner, that man is. He moving all over that stage. He also did an amazing cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” with just his keyboard player. It seemed like he played more power ballads than rockers in his set, which was ok, for the most part. They also played a new song called “Back Bone” that will be on their upcoming album. It seemed many people in the crowd knew his music, which really helps the direct support if you do. He closed his set with the song “Over You”, letting the crowd sing the chorus to warm up the crowd for Nickelback. Daughtry was a great direct support for the Nickelback crowd, as he mentioned he and his band loved coming to Omaha.
Finally, the moment everyone had been waiting for, the return of Nickelback. Their stage production was interesting. They had a metallic looking drum riser/back platform as this was the Feed the Machine tour. They also brought many LED lights to the production. They opened up with “Feed the Machine”, the title track of their new album that was released in June of this year, which I think is one of their heaviest songs they’ve ever written. What amazed me was how Chad Kroeger sounded just like he does on the records. Even on the older material, he still sounded the same. Like Daughtry, they played more of the mellower songs than the heavy material. They also did some special things during their set. One of them was after they performed “Lullaby”, Chad Kroeger points to sky and says, “That one’s for you Chester!” In case you didn’t know, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park took his own life the day before, so it was a very heartfelt moment of the night. Another cool thing that happen was none other than Chris Daughtry join them for “Savin’ Me”. It was also a very special night for three girls in the audience as they were handpicked by Nickelback to help sing their hit song “Rockstar”. They ended their main set with “How You Remind Me”, with an encore of “Gotta Be Somebody”, “This Afternoon”, and, one of my favorites, “Burn It to the Ground”. I like to call myself a “closeted fan” of Nickelback, as they always give a negative tone to people, but I throughly enjoyed the show they put on. I like to think of them as the Def Leppard of the new millennium, because like Def Leppard, they have this pop metal feel to them that draws not just men, but women as well, building a strong fanbase to them.
Nickelback Setlist – July 21, 2017
Feed the Machine | Woke Up This Morning | Photograph | Far Away | Too Bad | Someday | Lullaby | Because of You | If Today Was Your Last Day | Something in Your Mouth | Rockstar | When We Stand | Together | Animals | Figured You Out | How You Remind Me
Gotta Be Somebody | This Afternoon | Burn It to the Ground
All photos are © 2017 Robert Chadwick Photography.