DALLAS – Eleven people were offered a free ticket, which was a fantastic seat, and eleven people said no. Excuses ranged from, “Something’s already planned”, and “Gotta get ready for my kid’s birthday party”, which were all equally lame yet wholly credible.
The most common reason to reject an approximately $230 ticket to a free rock concert was, “Dude, it’s Nickelback; they suck.”
For the vast majority of the 15,000 who attended the Nickelback show in Dallas on June 1 the notion of anyone rejecting a free seat to this show was offensive.
They weren’t here for free. There are people who love Chad Kroeger, and his band.
I attended the show to determine how a group that has sold so many records, made truckloads of cash, cranked out a number of No. 1s, thrives despite being roundly despised, mocked and ridiculed.
It is far more cool to bag on Nickelback than to like Nickelback. You can hate their music, but give them this - they put on a good show, interract with the crowd, know who they are, know who their fans are (think NASCAR), and don't take themselves too seriously.
They put on a show that lasts about 2 hours, and cover their hits from Photogragh, Rockstar, Someday, Never Again, etc. Yes, they are totally guilty of a lot of their music sounding exactly the same. I'm not sure where Photograph ended and Far Away started.
This is what I found: Nickelback is guilty of being a guilty pleasure. With regards to this band, you fall into one of two categories:
a.) Are out of the closet and comfortable in your own skin to admit that you know the lyrics to Photograph.
b.) Or you are a member of the rock and roll elite who hate that Springsteen sold out, believe David Gilmour “didn’t get it” and would rather listen to Ashley Simpson than attend a free Nickelback show.
If you are in the "b" category this means you have no interest in attending the new Tom Cruise movie, Rock of Ages. The popularity of this movie is anchored around a nostalgic soundtrack featuring 80's bands Styx, Foreigner, Twisted Sister, Poison, Def Leppard, etc.
Back in the day, a lot of this music from this soundtrack was bagged on as garbage by bands who churned out music that "all sounds the same". These were the same people who insisted that what Poision was doing to rock and roll was offensive to Chuck Berry, Jimmy Page and Johnny Van Zant.
Def Leppard's "Photograph" is no more or less a piece of fun garbage than Nickelback's "Photograph".
It's rock and roll, not Mozart ... or even Stevie Ray or Roger Waters.
I came to Nickelback expecting a $10 cheeseburger and fries and a beer, not a $75 porterhouse. That's what they deliver.
Me? In limited doses, I'm OK with Nickelback, and only now can I admit I know the words to Photograph.
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