Pop Evil started the night out warming the crowd up for Nickelback. I can’t say that I knew too much about this band, knowing only a couple of songs. They gave the audience something headliners Nickelback didn’t, and that’s music that was a little on the harder side. It was a great way to start the night, hard rock that was sometimes melodic. Songs like “Wake The Lion,” the first song on the self-titled album, Pop Evil, or a more in your face, Rage Against The Machine style song in the politically charged “Art Of War,” or the pop style, uplifting song “Be Legendary.” The band’s set struck a balance with a little pop and a touch of evil.
After the set, lead singer Leigh Kakaty still wasn’t done. He was seen wandering the stands just like he did about halfway through their set, energizing the fans, only this time he was talking to fans and taking selfies with them. That was quite refreshing to see as not many bands do that anymore.
Do you like Nickelback or hate them? it really doesn’t matter to them. Yes, they are one of the most hated and meme-blasted bands of all time, and also one of the most popular bands around. Go on say it… “Nickelback sucks!” Actually, they encourage it! Go ahead and buy that ‘Nickelback Sucks’ t-shirt, just know that when you do you’re just feeding the machine. They own the copyright to that design.
Whether you like them or not, they are a fun band to see live. They are engaging, charming, funny, sometimes bratty and definitely a bunch of smarta**es, and yet not too bad at telling a story or two.
Starting out the night and hitting the stage with “Million Miles An Hour,” “Woke Up This Morning” and the song “Photograph” which I’m pretty sure they played third on purpose to tell us Photographers that was our last song.
If you haven’t paid attention, they just might have a song or two that’s about sex, including a song that was written as a joke. Yes, “Something In Your Mouth” was kind of written as a joke, as lead singer Chad Kroeger tells it. He talks about how the band thought, ‘this song will never get played on the radio,’ and ‘much to our surprise,’ they played the crap out of it.
It was a night full of hits along with a couple of surprises, the first was when they pulled a couple of fans up on stage to sing along on the song “Rockstar.” Asking the two fans if they were nervous, ‘No’ was the reply. ‘Remember,’ Kroeger retorted, ‘this will only last a few minutes, but Youtube is forever! Nervous now?’
During the second song of the night, the Minnesota Wild’s Mark Parrish made a guest appearance on the song “Animals”(You can watch the Video Here). As usual, smart-mouthed Chad Kroeger turned to Parrish and said, ‘It doesn’t matter if you can play guitar, you just have to have an awesome “Rock Pose”.’
Amazingly, the night only consisted of one sing-along. Kroeger led the audience in what is probably their most well-known song, “How You Remind Me.” The song led into an elongated waiting time before the band come back and played a two-song encore. The only song I’m surprised they didn’t play was the song raging against domestic abuse, “Never Again”.
Not a bad night for an outdoor concert at Treasure Island, two bands with very different styles of Rock Music, great weather, and even getting out of the notoriously bad parking jam was a breeze.