Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Nickelback - PNC Arts Center

As part of our vacation this week, my wife, step-daughter, and I went to see Nickelback at PNC Bank Arts Center. Opening acts were Saving Able, Papa Roach, and Hinder. Expect a full, comprehensive review in the coming weeks (or possibly months). In the meantime, I would like to post some random thoughts and observations.

First, I have to admit how cool it is for me being able to rock out with my step-daughter. Standing next to her and my wife, singing every word to every song, having her sing it with me, it’s a feeling that’s hard to top. It reminds me of days with my Dad when we would sing at the top of our lungs in his car, or in the living room. Those were good times.

I’ve seen a lot of things at concerts over the years; drunkenness, foolishness, and a lot of stupidity. I’ve seen public urination. I’ve seen public urination by women. I’ve seen naked women. I’ve seen naked men. I’ve seen people fall and slide on the lawn. I’ve seen heavily tattooed women want to live like they were twenty years younger than they really are. I have to say, with everything I’ve seen over the years, last night really was the worst I’ve seen in a long time.

Maybe it was because I was attending with my step-daughter and therefore I was sober and more attentive to what was happening around us. Maybe it’s because we were on the lawn where more crazy things are bound to happen. Who knows, but I saw some messed up people last night.

It was raining for a good portion of the night, so the lawn was soaked and muddied by the time we got to the venue. As the night wore on, the fans got drunker, and the stupidness got worse. I saw (both women and men) practically get naked. I witnessed two girls mud wrestle (complete with shirts flying off). I watched a bunch of people wipe out on the muddy lawn. I saw women wear half shirts that had no business wearing such items. There were fights. I saw drunken dancing fools sloshing beer and losing most of it out of their cup. It was quite the wild night.

As for the show itself…another amazing concert. Saving Able opened and played the expected hits. Papa Roach came out and exploded as they always do. It took the Nickelback fans a couple of songs, but I think by the end of their set, Papa Roach made some new fans. I noticed that the drummer was slightly off during Getting Away With Murder, but he kept great time with the rest of the set, so perhaps it took him a little longer to get warmed up.

Hinder gave an excellent performance and by the time they got to Lips Of An Angel the entire audience was on their feet screaming along with Austin Winkler. Hinder is on the verge of launching into the next stratosphere and I have to believe that they will be headlining their own shows by their next release.

Nickelback was, of course, stunning and amazing (as they always are). The big surprise of the night came when Austin Winkler came out on the stage to sing Highway to Hell with the band. Then Jacoby Shaddix joined in (dressed in a Brian Johnson derby) and if that wasn’t enough, the very special surprise guest on guitar was none other than Ace Frehley. As a lifelong Kiss fan I went nuts. My wife and step-daughter looked at me and smiled, they know my love for Kiss and they were happy for me. Ace wailed on that guitar, nailed the solos, and looked extremely happy to be up on stage with the band. That was the performance of the night.

As I mentioned, expect a comprehensive review at some point, but as I’m on vacation this week, I wanted to check in with some random thoughts. Nickelback’s set list is below for anyone wanting to check it out:

Nickelback – Setlist – July 21, 2009
Something In Your Mouth
Because of You
Figured You Out
Savin’ Me
Far Away
Highway to Hell (w/ Austin Winkler, Jacoby Shaddix, and ACE Frehley)
Gotta Be Somebody
If Everyone Cared
Friends In Low Places (A quick verse and chorus only)
If Today Was Your Last Day
Burn It To The Ground
How You Remind Me
Too Bad

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