Live review

Wembley Arena, London : 2.12.2002

Before even entering the venue, clues as to what to expect from this show were already given away from signs on entrance doors warning the audience of pyrotechnics being used . . .
    Opening was another Canadian band, Default (who's album The Fallout was produced by Nickelback's Chad Kroeger), who are on the rise in Canada and the States in the same way Nickelback were only two short years ago. Songs such as Live A Lie, Seize The Day, Let You Down and Deny, underlined Default's live capabilities, and also demonstrated the unique vocals of the young and handsome Dallas Smith.

Nickelback - Click to enlargeApart from being labelled as a 'grunge by numbers' band from the moment their breakthrough hit How You Remind Me turned them into a household name, Nickelback have actually managed to work their way into the hearts of millions.
    As the band begin with the precision riffing of Woke Up This Morning, Chad (vocalist/guitarist), Mike Kroeger (bassist), and Ryan Peake (guitarist/co-vocalist) are backed by a series of flames, ignited to the rhythm of the music. During the show Chad offers the crowd a truckload of beer; however the closest thing we actually get is hose-sprayed water to cool us down.
    Chad then introduces ballad Leader Of Men by referring to it as the song about 'mushrooms'. He then tells the younger audience in the arena that he was referring to the toppings as used on pizzas! At a later point he also comments on how he has plenty of weed backstage, and then instructs parents to cover the ears of their children. More crowd interaction from Chad takes place as he tells the crowd to shout "Nickelback fucking rock!" while videoing us on his camcorder. This, he insists, is so he can show his child - if he has one - in 20 years time from now how cool he once was! At a later point Chad also announces a challenge to a boxing match with a certain contributor of Kerrang! magazine with proceeds going to a charity of the audience's choice.

By the time the band get to finish with the anthems Never Again and Too Bad, the crowd are in a frenzy as yet more flames and water are let loose.
    For the encore, Nickelback play an acoustic version of the track Hero, taken from the Spider-Man soundtrack. Following is an acoustic version of How You Remind Me, which was then played again with the use of electric guitars, and then finally repeated with the last of the pyrotechnics going off in the background.

:: Ben Lewis

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