Written by Dave Clements
ImageThere was no fooling anyone about whether Nickelback showed up or not at The Woodlands Pavilion this April 1st!  Lead singer Chad Kroeger and his mates, all from Canada, came south with the notion in mind to entertain their legions of fans. And in this reviewers mind they did just that with no smoke or mirrors.

These guys were clear about their objective for the evening; Let’s give our fans what they paid good money to see…plenty of Nickelback and a little fooling around. They accomplished all that and more.

Right from the start Chad Kroeger did everything he could to gain the support of the crowd.  He shared with the not quite sold out but fairly full pavilion of fans that he was moving to Texas. He was tired of snow, sleet and ice and was so excited about sweating on stage.  He said that he loved being outside versus inside trying to avoid all the cold weather he and the band had experienced during the long winter north of the border. I can relate to weather issues that come with living further north, having done it for many years. Kroeger’s comments caused me, and I’m sure others in the audience, to reflect on just how nice we have it in these parts. God Bless Texas…and I think he yelled that a time or two!

ImageAs the show continued these guys had everyone on their feet.  And the fans stayed upright for the entire evening, most it seemed were singing along to every song. It was in observing these two facts that I concluded Nickelback accomplished their mission: Give the audience a great concert experience.

Personally, I had never seen these musicians live before and I’m now glad I can’t say that anymore.  I was equally pleased that my seat was far enough back to avoid the red solo cups full of beer the band flung into the audience!  It seems there is a tradition associated with their act of ‘sharing’ however it didn’t do much for me. Tee shirts, hats or CD’s would have been my better choices of items to ‘share’ this way.  Or if you’re going to throw me a cold one twenty rows back from the stage at least put a lid on it!

Thankfully in addition to all of that nonsense, Nickelback shared some great music.  They started with Million Miles an Hour, a song I hadn’t heard before but a good place to start. Something In Your Mouth was next (um….no comment), then Photograph, quickly followed by Hero.

In total they did 20 songs and about half way through did Moby Dick, a Led Zeppelin cover.  Shortly after that they covered the Eagles with a Take It Easy / Hotel California medley.  Then they topped that off with fellow Canadian Bryan Adams’ hit Summer of ’69.  (Adams, by the way, is headed south to this venue very soon…can’t wait!)

The band ended the evening with How You Remind Me, my wife’s favorite Nickelback song.  They then gave this crowd an excellent encore that included Everlong ( a Foo Fighter’s cover) and Burn It To The Ground.

ImageThe show was well produced with terrific sound and was fun visually. The lighting on stage was bright and entertaining.  And if you haven’t seen the video projection at The Pavilion you are missing a real treat.  It’s state of the art no matter who is performing or where you are sitting.  Very impressive!  My hat’s off to the team that that puts all of that together.  Job well done every time I’m there and I’m there a lot.

One final note, according to Wiki, in May of 2013 Rolling Stone readers voted  Nickelback the second worse band of the 1990’s, right behind Creed.  This is not an April Fools’ joke but anyone in the audience on this April Fools’ night would beg to differ!

Until next time, remember there’s no time to kill,