Kelly Roderick / Lantern photographer
For a moment, the members of Nickelback rose to the sky, almost as if they had left this life and gone on to another one.
Sadly, that wasn’t the case.
The Canadian band performed at the Schottenstein Center Sunday before a far from sold-out crowd of mostly middle-aged moms and dudes with faux-hawks wearing Affliction shirts.
A few songs into its set, a circular apparatus adorned with clock gears, a drum set and a clear, plastic wall descended from the rafters. The band hopped on and the device transported the band in the air from the end of the arena where the main stage was to the other.
While it was a nice touch visually, you can only do so much to disguise a lousy catalogue of songs, which Nickelback certainly has.
Nothing about the show was particularly unexpected – silhouettes of dancing women appeared on the large video screen behind the band, and loud explosions and fireballs constantly erupted from the set, which made watching the about 90-minute show the equivalent of drinking a case of Red Bull while watching Spike TV.
Frontman Chad Kroeger, sans his trademark long hair, which he claims is a real hit with the ladies, offered plenty of Kroeger-like moments. Before playing “Side of a Bullet,” Kroeger told the audience he wanted to play some metal and drink some beer. The former is nothing short of laughable, sure, but at least there was some logic behind the latter.
Summoning his stage hands to toss cups of beer into the crowd was a genius move, one that allowed anyone who caught their remnants to drink away the pain suffered by extended exposure to the wall of noise Nickelback was creating. At the same time, T-shirts were fired into the crowd, as if you wanted some kind of physical reminder of where you were Sunday.
But if you did, you’re in luck. Kroeger said during the show that a camera crew was there filming the show for god-knows-what.
The band played most of its well-known singles, including “Photograph” and “Gotta Be Somebody.” During “How You Remind Me,” Kroeger came in with his vocals at the wrong time, a gaffe 50 times funnier for the simple fact it was Nickelback. Later, when it played “When We Stand Together,” Kroeger asked that the entire planet come together to fix what is wrong with the world.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear as if he thinks Nickelback is one of those problems.
Fans seemed to still be on board, though. Kroeger said he once attended an Ohio State-Michigan game a few years ago, which OSU won, and tried to take credit for it. After a few “O-H … I-Os” and saying, “F—, I love this town,” the already largely hammered crowd was certainly in his favor.
Before its two-song encore, Nickelback played “Burn It To The Ground.” While the pyrotechnic-heavy song might have seared off a few of my facial hairs, I couldn’t help but be disappointed it didn’t melt away the migraine and memories the prior 90 minutes had given me.