I arrived just in time for Daughtry, unfortunately missing shaman’s Harvest. Live Nation produced, “Feed the Machine Tour” stopped in Washington/Oregon as part of their 44 date North American Tour.
I wasn’t an American Idol fan and didn’t see Daughtry perform, rather, I found him after he was on his own. I looked him up after hearing a rumor that there was an unknown guy who turned down an offer to be the front man for Fuel. While it was lighter music than I generally listened to, I really liked it. His voice and words were powerful. So, I was excited to get the approval to cover the show. I found him to be modest and likable, but I spoke with some others who saw part of the show and they felt as if he had a big ego and was kind of arrogant. I think, collectively, his humbleness and love for music overshadowed any perceived cockiness. The sound was louder than the previous shows I’d seen there, and occasionally he’d yell, and it would distort and pierce your eardrums. That was the only bad thing I can say about it. He talked, but not too much, and he played with passion and enthusiasm. Oh, and his voice…it was near perfect to the recordings. Playing old and new songs, the crowd reacted by singing back to him and the band. I especially liked it midway through when he introduced his band…he went through each of them, introducing them by their first and last names…and then he said, “and I’m Chris.” No encore was provided after he ended the set with a rousing question to the audience, “Are you ready for Nickleback?!”
The set change seemed to take a long time, and I used that time to first take a selfie of myself wearing a Nickleback tour shirt to see Nickleback. I’d not seen Nickleback before and wasn’t really a fan except for knowing the words to the “popular” songs on the radio via repetition, but I don’t own any Nickleback. They sort of slipped through the cracks between Jack Johnson and Metallica, and I generally passed over them. I had found a pristine red Nickleback shirt at the local thrift store a few months back and purchased it for $2.99. After that self-indulgent moment, I took time to just look around the crowd. I was sitting by myself in what seemed to be a row dedicated to media, and I was there alone. The rows in front of me and behind me were occupied at this point, and I could only surmise that I was in a media row, since there wasn’t anyone else next to me. I knew the seat next to me was for MIRP’s master photographer, who was buttoning up contracts and getting ready to shoot the headliners, but beyond that, I wasn’t sure why all the seats to the left and right of me were vacant. As I looked around, I noted that it was a much different crowd than the previous weeks Incubus show. 30-40 something year old men and women with beers in their hands (sometimes two). There certainly is a Nickleback fan look. The women were dressed nicely, and the men mostly with bedazzled jeans and button up shirts. I noted how weird that was, how the fans all sort of looked alike. Behind me were two ladies. I use the term ladies loosely. They were dressed as if they were on the prowl, and they were obviously drunk. They kept yelling, “woooooo……woooooo,” and I could see other people around them looked at them with raised eyebrows. I am pretty sure they were Nickleback fans, as their seats were empty for Daughtry.
After about 20 minutes of preparation, what sounded like war and looked like a giant UFO began, and the crowd jumped to their feet. The lights were spectacular darting across the stage and fans in an extravagant fashion. Nickleback came on with full force and the crowd was so loud you couldn’t hear the song for a moment. Playing “Feed the Machine,” also the name of the tour, the band was good. I know it’s popular to hate Nickleback, but while they are commercial, and somehow that is problematic (which is weird because they are popular because fans love them, causing them to be commercial), they are quite talented. No longer the blonde locked front man, Chad Kroeger, blended nicely with his band mates, and no one stood out more than the other. They were “tight” and that first song was a bit heavier than the classic radio songs that made them famous. Their sound was as bright, full, and polished as anything I’ve ever seen, the stage/light show was amazing, and they sounded fantastic. Introducing some new music, they devoted much of the night to the hits, which the fans obviously approved of. They sang loud and knew all the words and nuances of the songs.
Their set consisted of the following songs:
You can’t deny the monster that is Nickleback. They are/have done something right in their career. The members are worth 10s of millions of dollars (Chad Kroeger’s estimated worth is $50,000,000.) They’ve been around for over 20 years, and the crowd on this night proved that not everyone dislikes Nickleback (as seems to be the popular stance in public). I ran some statistics, and Nickleback has had six songs in the top 10 Billboard chart since the start of their career in 1995. Those six songs spent 238 weeks on Billboard’s chart. That is 4.56 years in the Top 10.
An estimated 14,000 people certainly loved Nickleback on this night.