The Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa. was hardly filled to capacity of Tuesday, April 24 for Nickelback’s Here and Now tour. But thanks to a number of robust performances and a couple of surprises, few left the show disappointed.
Opening to a sparse crowd at 6 p.m., My Darkest Days performed for a brief 20-minute set. Looking somewhat raw and amateurish they nonetheless worked the Wells Fargo diligently closing the appearance with their minor radio hit “Porn Star Dancing.”
The most disappointing aspect of the show came from Seether who took the stage at 6:45 p.m. Playing it safe with little crowd interaction, the band played a ho-hum 45-minute set that included disappointing versions of “Country Song” and “Fake It” both of which sounded forced and somewhat mundane.
Musically, the highlight of the evening came from the British, 90s darling’s Bush. Surprisingly, the band sounded incredibly crisp and provided much needed energy after the Seether set. Lead singer Gavin Rossdale was wonderfully solid at vocals. His engaging manner, intensity, and crowd interaction was warmly welcomed.
At one point, Rossdale (as he does in many of Bush’s shows) left the stage running up and down the stairs of the arena with security in tow while belting out The Beatles “Come Together.”
Admirably the band took a well calculated risk, closing its 45-minute romp with an extended version of “Glycerine” that both stole the show and featured impeccable guitar work by Chris Traynor.
Taking the stage at 9pm and playing for close to ninety minutes, Nickelback flirted, visually dazzled and rocked their way through their bevy of hits. In typical fashion, lead singer Chad Kroeger worked the crowd well while the band played tightly.
“Photograph” and “We Stand Together” were met with applause from adoring fans, however, the Canadian rockers were most in their element when they let loose with such rebel offerings as “Never Again” or “Figured You Out.” Thankfully, there were few lulls in the set as the band kept busy, squeezing in as many of their songs as time would possibly allow.
Billed as having an ‘incredible’ stage show, “Here and Now” didn’t disappoint. The pyrotechnics were dazzling yet not over the top. The crowd was not overwhelmed with an extensive video production. Equipped with a stage that lifted the band above the audience, lifting and eventually placing the band at the other end of the arena, the visual components of the show were simply spectacular.
Endearing itself to the Philadelphia Flyers fans in attendance, Chad Kroeger coaxed approximately half the team who were in attendance to take the stage. As the Flyers shot tee-shirts into the stands Nickelback rocked through a playful guitar-driven two minute segment. It was a moment that was gleefully accepted by the frenzied fans in attendance.
Given the mixed reception the “Here and Now” album has received, the show was energy-filled and very entertaining. For Nickelback, its adoring fans walked away satisfied while Bush reestablished its rock relevance.