Nickelback with Default at Kool Haus, February 1. Tickets: $23.50. Attendance: 2,100. Rating: N
the kids in attendance bashed, thrashed and flashed the universal "this rocks!" hand signal while Nickelback roared their way through another of their soulless nu-metal tunes last Friday night at the Kool Haus. Vancouver's Default set the tone for a night of endless four-chord guitar drones and constipated Creed-style vocals, complete with the mean faces and rock posturing common among groups stuck in 1992.
The highlight of their dreadful set came when vocalist Dallas Smith provided some unintentional humour by introducing a number called Seize The Day as a blues song, possibly because halfway through it the band broke into the whitest-ever version of Led Zeppelin's Heartbreaker.
Then came Nickelback's onslaught of generic chord changes and predictable melodies. It was almost a relief to hear their encore, the annoyingly catchy hit single How You Remind Me.
I don't know how the band got a reputation for being great showmen, unless standing on top of the speakers while throwing water on the crowd passes for showmanship these days.
Vocalist/guitarist Chad Kroeger's cringe-worthy stage banter employed not-so-original lines such as "Toronto kicks ass" and "This is a song about weed," and he reminded us repeatedly about his big plans to get drunk and pass out in a bar later on that night. So what's with the pseudo-sensitive lyrics about drunken wife-beaters?
There are times when mediocre rock acts redeem their questionable material by putting on fun and enthusiastic live shows.
This was not one of them.