Saturday Night: Nickelback & Bush at Toyota Center

Nickelback, Bush, Seether, My Darkest Days Toyota Center June 2, 2012

While the rest of the Rocks Off crew at Summer Fest was settling in for a long night of Snoop Dogg, Flaming Lips, and more, this guy was leaving the Fest and making the short trip over to the Toyota Center for Saturday night's big rock show featuring Nickelback, Bush, Seether, and My Darkest Days.

From the top of the building on down to the special $400-plus per ticket VIP section it was packed, with only a handful of empty seats in the building. It was a crowd that showed up excited, almost giddy, at the chance to see the biggest band in North America live and in person.

They got a show that was full to the brim of with your standard rock clichés, from the opening act mentioning the headliner for a cheap pop all the way to the big rock drum solo.

They loved every minute of it.

The life of a blogger's festival weekend is fun but exhausting. It involves long hours in the sun, multiple bottles of water, and a lot of scribbling in a notebook.

If you're reading this blog, you probably already know how you feel about Nickelback. Since my job in this instance is to report back what I observed, rather than try and change your opinion of the band, I'm dumping the entire contents of my notebook here for your reading pleasure.

35 Things I Wrote Down During A Nickelback Concert:


1. So far we have a leather vest, a Mohawk, and some wallet chains. Did these guys buy a "generic rock band fashion" starter pack somewhere?

2. These guys could stand to be a bit more confident in themselves. Mentioning the headliner before your first song is over is a sign of weakness, whether the audience realizes it or not.

3. On the plus side, they're promoting safe sex by tossing condoms out in to the crowd.

4. These guys have the easiest gig in rock: they're signed to Chad Kroeger's production company so they've got the might of Nickelback behind them, the label paid to have Zakk Wylde and Ludacris guest on their first single, and they only have to play 4 songs a night on this tour.

5. Still, they write perfectly acceptable radio-rock that works in this setting. They'll do well as a replacement for when Theory of a Deadman doesn't have a single out.


6. Nickelback has a commercial playing between acts that advertises their merch. I'm not sure what the target audience for this is. Are people at a rock concert unaware that there are goods they can purchase with the band's logo on it?

7. Still, a baby with a bottle trying to sell me a Nickelback onesie while "Bottoms Up" plays in the background is kind of adorable. Awkward, but adorable.


8. They played videos in the side screens while the band was performing that had nothing to do with any of the songs themselves. They were like a weird combination of Tool music video, Silent Hill cut scene, and Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark illustration, with the occasional clown. Weird call.

9. Shaun Morgan has some pipes on him. What he lacks in stage presence he makes up with great vocals.

10. Toyota Center was almost completely full about halfway into their set, bucking that whole "people only show up for the headliner" theory. Probably the most shocking thing all weekend.

11. The true sign that a crowd is in a good mood: they're pumping their fists during the second bands set without any prompting.

12. Nice move to give each member of the band a moment to shine during "Remedy". These guys are way more talented than they get credit for.

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Cory Garcia is a Contributing Editor for the Houston Press. He once won an award for his writing, but he doesn't like to brag about it. If you're reading this sentence, odds are good it's because he wrote a concert review you don't like or he wanted to talk pro wrestling.
Contact: Cory Garcia