Thursday, October 21, 2010

Dark Horse Tour 2010

After my first experience seeing Nickelback live in 2009, I promised if I would ever get the chance to go again I would not let it pass me by. This year I bought tickets before they even went on sale, at a very large price due to the fees and general expensiveness of the show, and waited for 3 months. I was totally prepared after a year of getting more familiar with their albums and knowing the lyrics to all the choruses (and many full songs). At the last minute something happened that almost caused me to miss the concert, but my darling friend Abby so lovingly stepped in and took the extra ticket. It was very important to me to find somebody who legitimately liked the bands, or else my concert experience wouldn't have been as great if I were rocking out all by myself. As a plus, Abby also took oodles of pictures while I chowed down on my cheese fries and ice cream. 

I'm always wary at concerts when the opening bands are pretty kickass but the crowd hasn't gotten excited yet. Buckcherry would've been a great show if they were the main act in a small and more personal venue. I only knew some of their songs, but I took delight in the lead singer's propensity for shaking his ass. In his black skinny jeans and heavily tattooed bare chest, Josh Todd danced around the stage like no other from a rock band that I'VE seen. He shocked the crowd with his obscene gestures and statements, preparing us for the naughtiness that was to come from the next two bands. 

Three Days Grace took it up a notch and immediately refused to play until everybody was on their feet. I appreciated this very much because I wanted everyone to be enthusiastic, and most people were sitting down lazily in their stadium chairs. I enjoyed their relatively hardcore music as I always have, and a lot more people knew their songs. Adam Gontier started in on the traditional crowd singing wars by dividing the room in half and having us repeat his "Oh oh oooh ooh's" in competition to see which side was loudest. Graciously he declared a tie, though to me it sounded like our side should've lost. At one point when people started sitting down again, he went into the crowd and walked all around the arena (with bodyguards) while singing to get them to stand up. Abby and I wanted to sit down just so he would come over to us and we would get a little celebrity attention. 

When Nickelback finally came on, I instantly knew this night was about to get 10,000 times better. During set up they draped a huge curtain over the stage so we couldn't see what they were doing, which obviously meant bigger and greater things were going to happen while they played. A huge wall of digital screen was put up, creating a sort-of jumbo tron behind the band that showed close-ups of them half the time, and various lighting and photo effects the other half. When Nickelback actually came on, 3 VERY loud bangs went off, as if somebody was being shot, and we all jumped about half a foot in our seats. Turns out they were fireworks signaling "Hey, pay attention. Get ready to have your minds blown." And that we did. 

You know those games where someone stands in a clear box and paper money is blown all around while they try to grab as much of it as they can? Imagine your mind being blown to pieces, and then those pieces flying around crazily like the cash in the box, and then sucked all back into your head forcefully, and fast. That's what I felt like after Nickelback performed. Their music is awesome, sure, but pair that with the pyrotechnics and all the lighting and the orgasmic drum solo lasting about 10 minutes, and you have got yourself one entertaining show. I mean, I saw Daniel Adair do the same thing last year where he and his set were raised on a platform about 15-20 feet in the air and slowly rotated 360 degrees while murdering the drums with all hands and feet simultaneously, but I might as well have not ever seen it in my life because it was THAT AMAZING the second time! 

FYI my awesome iPhone took this sucker!

Nickelback is also known for their, shall we say, "friendly" stage presence. The minute Chad Kroeger says "Bring out the booze," all hell breaks loose. I'm not sure if he actually got drunk this time, but the band does drink during the show, and they throw cups of alcohol into the crowd. Of course none of it ends up in anybody's mouth, but free beer flying through the air just makes everyone that much rowdier. At one point the jumbo-tron zoomed in on two chicks in the front enthusiastically making out, and earlier, to set up for "Something In Your Mouth," girls were vying for attention by devouring bananas and lollipops as menacingly as possible to get on screen. Normally this kind of behavior bothers me a lot but I've grown used to it over the span of my growing relationship with rock music. Men AND women behaving like sluts and whores just becomes part of the experience. I just feel bad for all the 10 and 12 year olds whose moms thought taking them to see Nickelback would be a fun family adventure. Oh yeah, it's an adventure alright. If I had seen and understood some of the things when I was that young that I saw last night, I might have been slightly traumatized as a child. 

But no matter. I'm a big girl now and I don't care what people do as long as everyone is having a fun time. I still have to stress my opinion that despite my likeness for Nickelback's music, their show would only have been mediocre if not for their team of professionals who design what goes on behind the music. Flames and fireworks make so much of a difference in getting people excited. I was just super surprised at how we could even feel the heat from the torch guns when we were hundreds of feet away. Conclusion: They were legit. I specifically taped the ending of the show to keep record of how crazy it gets so I can prove to people that it's not just some pansy pop band. For all of those who only know Nickelback's music from the radio, give their real stuff a listen and you'll find out they're not what they are made out to be by the general public. I could probably write a whole essay in defense of my favorite band, but it almost distresses me too much to fight with my friends about it. 

I feel no shame in the amount of money spent on the night of October 20, 2010. Every penny was worth it, and I will proudly wear my new Dark Horse Tour t-shirt to brag to everyone that I was there. To reiterate my FB status on the matter: 

Shannon Sousa Died and was reborn tonight . . . 
Except with a still scratchy throat, and semi-blown eardrums, 
and half-melted face. It feels good :)

And of course, time for pictures. These are the highlights, and it's already a lot, but there are so many more if you want to look at the facebook album. Thanks Abby for helping me out with these! 


Furree Katt said...

hey there,
i came across your blog while randomly clicking on followers of followers of followers, hoping to find something interesting.

i totally get what you mean about listening to the real stuff. (though i don't listen to Nickelback) i listen to Drake (Drizzy), i know most of his songs from his mixtapes and albums, and a lot of my friends just know one or two of his songs that they've heard on the radio, so they arent really aware of his awesomeness.

your blog is really nice! i'm going to try and read all your posts today. :P

Furree Katt

P.S you're really cute!

Furree Katt said...

hey again,
i read all your posts! muahahaha.
you're a good writer, you are SO interesting.
i feel i know you a bit more through the surveys you took!
i followed you. :D

anyway i'm glad i found your blog.


Shannon said...

Hey thanks for paying attention to my blog! Comments are much appreciated and I'm glad you actually enjoy reading my journal of sorts. Haha and I'm impressed you read everything, I've posted a lot.

Furree Katt said...

you're welcome! and yeah well your blog is really cool, your writing motivated me to read everything, i guess!