Nickelback, Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days @ Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario
Sunday, April 22, 2012
By: Allan Robertson
The Here and Now tour featuring Nickelback, Bush, Seether and My Darkest Days came through the Air Canada Centre on Sunday night to a near capacity crowd. Hometown boys My Darkest Days got things started at 6pm with a short but energetic four-song set. An instrumental jam allowed singer Matt Walst to pour shots of Jagermeister down the throats of his band mates while highlighting the guitar skills of Sal Costa. Before playing “Casual Sex” the band threw out My Darkest Days condoms and later led a “Go Leafs Go” chant with the crowd.
Up next was Seether, currently a three piece originally hailing from South Africa. Other than thanking the crowd and giving props to the other bands, front man Shaun Morgan was a man of few words during their 40-minute set. On either side of John Humphrey’s drum kit housed two massive oversized amps. “Broken” was performed with just Shaun, along with bassist Dale Stewart, on a second guitar. The diverse hit “Country Song” changed things up before closing with “Remedy” At the end, Shaun swung his guitar all around before exiting the stage.
After disbanding in 2002 and then reuniting in 2010, Bush finally returned back to Toronto to play after over a decade. Singer/Guitarist Gavin Rossdale, along with drummer Robin Goodridge, are original members and are now joined by Chris Traynor on lead guitar and bassist Corey Britz. Other than “The Sound Of Winter,” the band stuck to older material including five taken from their debut ‘Sixteen Stone,’ which was sure to please the most diehard Bush fan. For the Beatles cover of “Come Together,” Gavin went out into the crowd to sing it as he walked around the entire lower bowl of the arena before returning to the stage. “Glycerine,” near the end of the 45-minute set, featured a mostly solo performance from Rossdale.
Shortly after 9pm Alberta’s Nickelback took to the big stage and entertained for 90 minutes. They brought a new stage production with them including two moving treadmill ramps, VIP tables on the sides and lots of LED displays and video screens all over the multi-tiered stage. Massive flames were burning hot with the opening tune “This Means War” from 2011’s ‘Here And Now’ release. Singer Chad Kroeger wandered over to a microphone located behind the drums to sing “Photograph.” If you’ve seen the band perform live before, then you would know who Timmy is. Chad announced Timmy has moved on with his own band and in his place was his younger brother Rob Dawson to fill in on guitar. “Let’s all pretend you’re 13 and I’m Justin Fuckin’ Bieber” Chad shouted to the girls for a reaction before playing “Far Away” for them. Some of the women reacted by flashing the band throughout the show. There was also a portable video camera the singer used a couple times to display the crowd on the screens.
For the drinking song “Bottoms Up,” a circular, transparent mini stage dropped from the rafters and transported the band above the crowd until it landed in front of the soundboard. This was the highlight of the show and even rotated while they were playing. “We decided to bring Nickelback Airlines to the A.C.C.” Kroeger joked as they played another 2 songs before flying back to the main stage during “Animals.”
“Lullaby” featured guitarist Ryan Peake on the piano and some falling red fireworks. The lyric “and the drum beat carries on,” provided a perfect segue into a drum solo performed by Daniel Adair. Bassist Mike Kroeger made use of the ramps to get up close to the crowd.
With Nickelback comes the tradition of the beer toss and t-shirt cannons and tonight was no exception. It seems really pointless with the toss, as nobody ever catches the beer, but instead ends up wearing it. “We saved the best for last!” Chad exclaimed before playing “Burn It To The Ground” to finish off the main set. Back from the encore “Gotta Be Somebody” featured a great blue and white lighting sequence. “Let’s do something we’ve never done before,” Chad stated, which led to Ryan Peake singing the opening line and a latter verse during “Figured You Out.”
We got the traditional, “This is how Nickelback says Goodnight!” while fireworks, flames and bombs went off to conclude the night. Love them or hate them, this band sure knows how to put on a big rock show.
This Means War
Something In Your Mouth
When We Stand Together
How You Remind Me
Beer Toss & T-Shirt Cannons (Instrumental snippets of Side of a Bullet and Because Of You)
Burn It To The Ground
Gotta Be Somebody
Figured You Out
The Sound Of Winter
The Chemicals Between Us
Come Together (The Beatles cover)
Rise Above This
My Darkest Days:
Sick And Twisted Affair
Move Your Body
Porn Star Dancing
We would like to thank Candace Valain from the Livenation Canada for helping BackstageAxxess.com to review the show.