Nickelback, Gig Review. Echo Arena, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 9/10

The gaze of the music lover as they stare into the image, the dramatic pose of the Rock musician as they ply their trade on stage may leave some baffled, bemused by the adoration and respect dished out as songs about sex, abandonment, alcohol and heroism are played out before an arena’s audience; no band perhaps has caused that bemusement more to manifest in the eyes of eyes of a large percentage of the population than Nickelback.

Yet the minority of the population who see the worth, the spirit that fills the room, are not wrong, just like in a referendum, there are some that have never investigated beyond what they see on social media, they take the position of professor incarnate in their own comfortable chairs and decry the popularity of the Canadian band and yes they may straddle the border between heavy Rock and more at ease Metal, their abundant and right on female fan base providing the delicate balance between the two, there can be no label of tension, of disrespect shown from the band to deserve the general kicking they get.

Like behemoths they take it and it is too their enormous credit that they came to Liverpool’s Echo Arena with huge smiles and good old fashioned Rock attached to their sleeves and their guitars, the sound of the audience testament to their craft and their enjoyment of the night. In the end what it boils down to if those who pay to see a band, who part with their cash in a world that is very much in the red on credit, take pleasure in what they have witnessed on stage; they are the ultimate judges, if that is true then the crowd, strong denim and the musk of T-shirt pulled out of retirement sitting heavily in the air, not only enjoyed the night, they revelled in the task of proving many people wrong.

A muscular set but performed with charm, guile and the odd moment of ensued laughter set the scene for some heavily laid down Canadian Rock, Nickelback strode forth with confidence, no cares, a seamless and arguably subtle display of caressing the hands of those that take stock in the narrative played out. Whatever the crowd’s poison or passion, you have to admire the way they stuck doggedly to the words and the themes performed inside the Echo Arena.

There are many labels you can throw at the band, they have been used ad nauseum but as the foursome played tracks such as the opener Edge of a Revolution, Animals, Photograph, Lullaby, Figured You Out, Try Not To Love You and Hero, the crowd would have fought to the death if the words not entertaining had been whispered anywhere inside the venue.

A great night of Rock, whether it changes anything in people’s minds is one thing but to the strong contingent of fans inside the Echo it was a small piece of Heaven in a city that is a musical paradise.

Ian D. Hall