Nickelback bring their European tour to a close at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle.

Over the band’s twenty-year career, Nickelback have endured their fair share of critics, but that doesn’t appear to phase the band, nor does this seem to bother their loyal army of fans who are out en masse to witness the return of the Canadian hard rockers to Tyneside.

Tonight’s show is very much a Canadian affair, as fellow countrymen Monster Truck kick off the proceedings. The band released their sophomore album, Sittin’ Heavy, earlier this year, and aren’t they just. The band look comfortable in an arena setting, as they hit Tyneside with a high-energy 45-minute set during which guitarist Jeremy Widerman covers almost every inch of the stage.

Monster Truck open with the frantic “Why Are You Not Rocking”, a song which carries the message, “Rock and roll might save your life, might save your life tonight”, and who can argue with that proclamation from frontman Jon Harvey.

Nickelback’s Ryan Peake joins the band onstage during “For The People” which features some great vocal harmonies and backing dancers from the road crew. Monster Truck slow things down with “For The Sun” allowing the band to spread out and jam.

As Monster Truck head into the final strides of their set, they unleash some of their earlier material, including the psychedelic “Sweet Mountain River” and the fist-pumping “Righteous Smoke”. They close with “The Lion” which has a heavy groove.

Monster Truck are not your usual opening act; they mean business and play like a headliner, a trait which wins over many new fans. The band are one of the most explosive opening acts we’ve witnessed this year.

It’s been almost four years since the last time Nickelback performed in the region, and the crowd at the Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle are more than ready for their return this evening. The band start their career-spanning set with “Edge of a Revolution”, “Something In Your Mouth”, and “Animals”.

With tonight’s show being the last of the current tour or the “last day of school” as frontman Chad Kroeger puts it, there is a party mood in the air. The Jagermeister is free-flowing thanks to the band’s trusty crew member Bradley who keeps the guys hydrated throughout the course of the evening.

Nickelback plays all the hits, as you might want and expect. These include the likes of “Someday”, “If Today Was Your Last Day”, and “When We Stand Together”. But it’s not always about the hard rocking numbers; the band show off their versatility with their slower ballads, including “Photograph” and the beautifully atmospheric number, “Lullaby”, whereby Ryan Peake takes to the piano. Chad Kroeger’s hit song, “Hero” — featured in the Spiderman movie soundtrack — is also included in the set tonight.

Nickelback are both charming, witty and entertaining. As they hit the final stretch of their set, they embark upon karaoke which features a couple of fans who are brought up onstage to sing along to “Rockstar”, much to their pleasing. The lucky pair even managed to grab a now treasured selfie with Chad Kroeger in the process.

Nickelback brings their main set to a close with the melodic “Gotta Be Somebody” and the anthemic “How You Remind Me”, during which the crowd hang on every word. Tonight the band’s fans don’t need any encouragement to sing along.

As Nickelback return to the stage, they finish off the show with a cover of “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters and their drinking song “This Afternoon” before blowing the roof off the arena with an emphatic rendition of “Burn It To The Ground”.

One thing to be said about Nickelback is they do arena rock well; their show has impressive production value, lighting, and visuals. Plus, they have an arsenal of hit songs to back it up.

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About The Author

Adam Kennedy is an experienced music photographer based in northeast England. He has been shooting concerts for several years, predominantly with the band Vintage Trouble. In 2013, he was one of their tour photographers, covering the UK and Ireland tour including the headline shows and as opening act for The Who. As an accomplished concert photographer, Adam's work has been featured in print such as, Classic Rock Blues Magazine, Guitarist Magazine, Blues in Britain magazine, broadcast on the MDA Telethon on ABC Television in the US, used in billboard advertising for Renaissance Hotels in the US, and featured online via music blogs such as Uber Rock and Guitar Planet. He is also the official photographer at Newcastle Rock and Blues Club.

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