LIVE REVIEW: Nickelback, Seether, Genting Arena, Birmingham, 10/05/2018
Rock icons Nickelback hit UK shores for their Feed The Machine tour this month, joined by special guests Seether. We took a trip to the Birmingham leg of the tour to see Kroeger and co perform tracks spanning their impressive back catalogue, all the while providing a reminder of the strength of their music’s natural magnetism.
Huge blood-red letters form over the musicians congregating onstage, as post grunge notes begin to pour out of their instruments to the ragged guitar introduction of Gasoline. Seether are unmistakable in their resolve, with long-time veteran Shaun Morgan’s gravel-scagged vocals delivering as Dale Stewart throws his bass left to right with bellowing strings and backing vocals to accompany his strong stage charisma.
2017’s Poison The Parish album undoubtedly makes an appearance in the form of big single Betray and Degrade, with 2007’s huge chorus corker Fake It quickly bringing up the rear of the very well rounded performance. Each song ending on a full-size musical crescendo, the best is saved for last with Remedy and its enormous rhythm sections. Starting up on the cusp of the millennium, tonight Seether challenge any queries that they are not what they once were and come out completely unscathed, providing a very enjoyable warm up to the main event.
The headliners’ countdown clock hits zero and out they walk, opening on their heavy new album hitter Feed The Machine, which proves the band have been listening and adapted to what their fan base have craved for a long while, which is the return of their 2005 All The Right Reasons‘ big, beefy riffs with an interesting political-based lyrical twist. Bringing Photograph into play three songs into the show, the track is met with a large wave of screams from the vast audience and an image montage digitally manifesting on their enormous backing screen. Big ballads Far Away and Lullaby are shortly met with a similar reception, with Chad Kroeger graciously handing the lead vocal chorus responsibilities over to the crowd (which for a throng of this size, is always impressive to hear).
For the iconic Rockstar, Kroeger brings two guests up from the barrier who, although noticeably nervous, give an acceptable rendition that leaves the lead singer’s earlier remark of “Youtube is forever” to ring out slightly hollow. Kroeger remains a showman throughout the entirety of the band’s set, speaking to the audience and joking in every interval that passes over the series of songs they perform. Even though his monologues grow slightly tedious and consistently awkward as the show progresses, the tracks become increasingly impressive (even if it seems the band members are also growing faintly perturbed by his unusual behaviour).
When We Stand Together may open on the wrong tempo but is laughed off and proves to be a seated section favourite, with many raising from their seats for a restricted shake and dance, while She Keeps Me Up proves surprisingly popular in waking half the attendees up from their mid-show day dreaming – although it’s unfortunate that Porscha Coleman isn’t present she is there in spirit with backing vocals supplied via backing track.
From this point, it seems the group have found their second breath and provide an apt collection of much-loved singles to round off the evening, including How You Remind Me, Burn It To The Ground and even the famed Spiderman 2 soundtrack Hero.
Between finding new ways to tease and torment their manager/drinks mixer, playing songs from all nine albums they’ve created for the UK stretch of their tour and using enough stage lights to light up Vegas, Nickelback provide a refreshing chapter on the strength of their music’s natural magnetism.
Written by: Nathan Roach
Photos by: Nathan Roach