poor nickelback


nickelback: ryan peake, mike kroeger, chad kroeger and daniel adair. the band performs tonight at rupp arena.

Let us pity poor Nickelback. Has there ever been an arena rock sensation more maligned by the press that has gone on to chart one top selling album after another? Perhaps. But in the world of melodic Canadian post grunge rock, singer Chad Kroeger and pals are unequalled in terms of the flack they get from critics and the unrelenting devotion shown to them by fans.

Here, strictly for humor’s sake, are some of the more extreme reviews of Nickelback’s new, Robert “Mutt” Lange-produced Dark Horse album:

+ “Nickelback are a gnarled, vulgar band reveling in their ignorance of the very notion of taste, lacking either the smarts or savvy to wallow in bad taste so they just get ugly, knocking out knuckle-dragging riffs that seem rarefied in comparison to their thick, boneheaded words.” (allmusic.com)

+ “The ballads, with the exception of the cheeky This Afternoon, define generic: glossy, hollow and insipid. The Skid Row-ish tale of a life wasted is a waste of four minutes you’ll never get back. (Boston Herald)

+ (Kroeger) sings like it hurts. Perhaps pitting his effortful wheeze against his band’s pub rock riffage is harder than it sounds. Alternately, despite having made it his life’s work to celebrate idiocy, maybe he is actually embarrassed.” (The Guardian).

How does Nickelback answer the love? For starters, with bragging rights to having sold 26 million records worldwide before Dark Horse ever got out of the starting gate. Then came Dark Horse‘s initial radio hit, the typically fist pumping Top 20 rocker Gotta Be Somebody and a Top 10 debut in November for the album itself. Three months later, Dark Horse sits at No. 6.

More euphoric replies will undoubtedly blast out of Rupp Arena tonight when Nickelback returns to town. The band made its Lexington debut there in 2001 as an opening act for 3 Doors Down. The concert took place the day after the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

A considerably bigger deal today thanks to subsequent radio hits like How You Remind Me, Too Bad and the grab-bag of singles packed into 2005’s All the Right Reasons album, Nickelback is set to make Rupp its own with its first headlining concert at the arena. Words, as least those slung from reviews, will never hurt these guys.

The South African rock troupe Seether, which has substantially increased its mainstream visibility in recent years with the singles Fake It and Rise Above This will open tonight’s concert along with Mississippi’s Saving Abel.

Nickelback, Seether and Saving Abel perform at 7 tonight at Rupp Arena. Tickets are $41.50-$66.50. Call (859) 233-3535 or (859) 281-6644.

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