Nickelback at Ruoff Music Center on 08 19 23
The Get Rollin' Tour
Photos by Laura Fox (LLFoxphotos)
Review by Dave Fox
Go on and hate Nickelback if you want, but this is one band that’s still kicking out tunes people love and putting on a great live show. And that’s why they completely sold out Ruoff Music Center, Central Indiana’s largest outdoor venue, Saturday night.
With Josh Ross and Brantley Gilbert as openers, the night was a little bit country and a lot of rock and roll. The crowd reflected that; we saw everything including girls in cowboy boots with tight black leather dresses, guys all pierced and tatted up, and wholesome-looking families who were obviously very cool, because they brought their little kids. And everyone got along just fine, because there was no agenda other than coming together to enjoy some fun music on a hot summer night.
And Nickelback provided that. They kicked off the show with their latest hit, “San Quentin,” which ended with “the loudest f*ing percussion of the tour” which frontman/lead guitarist Chad Kroeger said felt like he “was punched in the back.” I think just about everyone jumped at least a little when that happened.
From that point on, Nickelback played all their biggest hits, along with a couple of tunes off their latest album, “Get Rollin’.” They also played a cover of one of my favorite songs, Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road.” Kroeger changed out his sparkly guitar for a mandolin for that one, and the band was joined onstage by Josh Ross, along with Brantley Gilbert and his band. It was just a big ol’ party at that point, and it sounded fantastic!
The lighting was kind of dark, which enhanced the pyro but made it hard to make out the details on the sides and back of the stage. From what I could tell, though, it looked like drummer Dave Adair, bassist Mike Kroeger and vocalist/rhythm guitarist Ryan Peake were having a great time all night. Chad Kroeger certainly was – he did a great job engaging the audience with little comments and stories. He also chatted and joked quite a bit with Peake. Mid-show he did a Jaegerbomb (or so he claimed), which made the crowd cheer wildly.
During “Rockstar,” Kroeger brought one of his buddies “from the U.K.” on stage to sing with him. Unfortunately, we didn’t catch the guy’s name and Kroeger didn’t reveal the name of his band, so we’re not sure who he was. He did a great job, though, and the whole crowd sang along with them.
After 14 songs, Nickelback left the stage, but everyone knew they were going to do an encore. They came back with “Gotta Be Somebody.” While the band was doing their thing, some moron made a vertical leap onto the stage. In the blink of an eye, he was tackled - hard - by one of the tour security guards and shoved off the stage into the pit. I later saw drone footage of the event, and the guy never stood a chance. Ruoff security guards quickly grabbed him and forcibly ejected him from the venue. From what I understand, he will not be welcomed back. Ever.
The whole thing happened so fast that Nickleback just kept playing. There was a little bit of discussion about it afterward, with Kroeger and the rest of the band expressing their gratitude to the security teams. Then it was back to business with the song I was waiting for: “Burn it to the Ground.” The party resumed onstage, in the pavilion, and on the lawn, which was still surprisingly full. It was classic Nickleback, with big pyro, lots of percussion, fists and devil’s horns in the air, and people singing at the tops of their lungs. What a great way to end the night!
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