August 1st was a hot and sunny day in Tampa, FL at the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre. It was even hotter for a nearly sold out show as Nickelback was headlining. The energy around the arena showed the fan’s excitement. People talking about the new album, getting a chance to see them for the first time, and just enjoying themselves. I too was excited to see them and photograph them for the very first time. I’ve been a fan of Nickelback since the “Silver Side Up” album so to finally getting the opportunity to see and hear them live was a thrill.
Nickelback came with some great support for this show as well. The show kicked off early at 6 PM with Shaman’s Harvest taking the stage first. The band from Jefferson City, MO has been rocking since 1996. They’ve been successful over the years releasing 6 studio albums recently releasing ‘Red Hands Black Deeds’ on July 28th. They’re currently touring on this album. The band provided songs that were used as entrance music for WWE wrestlers Drew McIntyre, Wade Barrett, and Bray Wyatt. A number of their singles peaked within the top 35 of the Billboard charts. They also notably released a cover of Michael Jackson’s “Dirty Diana” that peaked at number 28 in 2015. Shaman’s Harvest consists of Nathan Hunt (vocals), Josh Hamler (rhythm guitarist), Matt Fisher (bass), Derrick Shipp (lead guitar), and Adam Zemanek (drums).
The ‘Red Hands Black Deeds’ prelude music opened up as the band came up on stage. Nathan stood behind the horned skull microphone stand (which he mentions on his Facebook page scares the shit out of him) and started off with “Broken Ones” from the new album. Vibrant bass sounds mixed in with high pitched guitars and Nathan’s deep vocals is a great mixture for this song. It was a good opening for the band. They followed up with “The Devil In Our Wake” also from ‘Red Hands Black Deeds’. This one instead has lower sounding guitars and slower drum beats with Nathan pumping up his vocal range. It’s a really nice blues sounding, southern rock style song. It’s probably one of my favorite off this album.
Then came their cover of “Dirty Diana” released on their “Smokin’ Hearts & Broken Guns”. It’s definitely a solid cover of the song. Shaman’s Harvest placed a nice rock edge onto this version and Nathan delivers a nice vocal performance in Shaman’s Harvest style. The fans definitely appreciated it. Some of the other songs they performed in their set included “Blood in the Water”, “Hero”, “In Chains”, and “Dragonfly”. Nathan spoke to the crowd saying how much he loved berig able to perform and tour over the years as they couldn’t do it without the fan support. Shaman’s Harvest provided an excellent opening set and picked up a number of new fans after that performance.
Daughtry was the next performer and did some of his well known singles “Feels Like Tonight”, “Life After You”, It’s Not Over”, “Home”, and “September”. He also performed a cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”.
And before we knew it, the headliners, Nickelback, were ready to take the stage. The band from Hanna, Alberta, Canada was formed back in 1995. They are one of the most successful Canadian bands selling more than 50 million albums worldwide. Though they had released one EP and two albums they found their true success with their 2001 album ‘Silver Side Up’. Their single “How You Remind Me” became number 1 both on the American and Canadian charts. And everything took off from there. Multiple platinum albums, multiple number 1 singles, and 9 studio albums shows no signs of them slowing down. ‘Feed The Machine” the 9th studio album was released on June 16th with this tour supporting the album. Nickelback is Chad Kroeger (vocals, lead guitar), Ryan Peake (rhythm guitar), Mike Kroeger (bass), and Daniel Adair (drums).
Nickelback had this huge LED screen behind them that they used to display pictures and images on the band during the show. They started it off with the wires behind the man on the cover of the recent album showing on the screen and opened up with “Feed The Machine”, the title track from the album. It’s a harder song than most of Nickelback’s music, which I really like for them. This is one of my favorite songs from the album and live it sounded amazing. They followed up with “Woke Up This Morning” from ‘Silver Side Up’. Following that Chad got up on the drum set with Daniel and performed “Photograph” from the 2005 album ‘All The Right Reasons’. They implanted the band numbers in Polaroid pictures on the screen during the performance. It was a well done effect and light show.
The band continued through their set list playing a majority of their singles including “Far Away”, “Too Bad”, “Someday”, and “Lullaby”. Chris Daughtry came out on stage to perform “Savin’ Me” from ‘All The Right Reasons”. I really enjoy this song and Chad and Chris singing it together made a very good harmony with Ryan providing backup vocals. They then performed the second single from ‘Feed The Machine” called “Song on Fire”. Though this song is more aligned to most Nickelback ballads, it has a harder edge to it, which I like. It’s a different take on their ballads lyrically and musically.
I will say that Nickelback likes to have fun with their fans. And they like to party. Numerous times throughout the night the band were taking shots on stage. And some points Chad said how “The train is slowing down” until he was provided with a shot to “energize” him and continue on. Chad and Ryan picked out two fans from the stage to sing “Rockstar” with them on stage. Chad picked out a blonde haired woman and made references to her being “Super MILFy” and which point a fan held up a sign saying “Courgars: The Other White Meat”. Ryan picked a male from the stage who was super excited to meet the band. They basically did Nickelback karaoke with the male having fun singing while the woman just danced on stage. After the song Chad told her friends to ensure she got home safe.
Chad then started to play the opening chords to “Hotel California” and the rest of the band joined in. But, instead of Chad singing, he let the audience sing the song from beginning to end. They continued their set with “Something In Your Mouth”, “When We Stand Together”, and “Animals” (that included images of the black car from ‘All The Right Reasons’). Chad then asked Daniel if he was ready to perform his best Chad Kroeger imitation saying it took shots and a bong hit, at least that’s how Chad did it. Daniel then sang “I like your pants around your feet” the opening to “Figured You Out”.
At that point Chad had said they were at the point in the show where they get to decide what they want to perform next. He decided to do “Hero” that appeared on the 2002 ‘Spider-Man’ soundtrack sung with Josey Scott, former lead singer of Saliva. He chose it for a good friend who was attending the performance. They chose “If Everyone Cared” next that came along with very powerful images and stories on screen of people who overcame terrible tragedies and made a positive impact on our world. Ryan and Chad then chose to do “Never Again” from ‘Silver Side Up’. Chad said it was a few years since they performed it on tour. They finished off the set with “How You Remind Me” also from ‘Silver Side Up’.
The band walked off stage and waited for the fans to call for them to come back. The chant of “Nickelback” began to sound throughout the arena. The band came back on stage and provided an encore with “Gotta Be Somebody”, “This Afternoon”, and “Burn It to the Ground”.
That night Chad had mentioned how much he loved Florida and he would move here in a heartbeat, even with the humidity. I’m sure he gained a few more fans after that comment. But, their performance alone solidified their fan base. Overall it was a solid show that entertained the crowd, engaged them, and left them with something memorable, especially their messages in “If Everyone Cared”. The fans (including me) are definitely looking forward to their return sometime soon.