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NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Written By: Gary Crouthamel, concert photo journalist
*Click images below to view larger versions.
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Chad Kroeger
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Daniel Adair
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Mike Kroeger
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Mike Kroeger
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Ryan Peake
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
NICKELBACK / Shinedown / Sick Puppies
Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ
Saturday, April 3, 2010

 
        For Nickelback's opening night on their second leg of the Dark Horse Tour, I was once again on my way to Atlantic City, N.J., this time to Boardwalk Hall, avenue at which I hadn’t shot before (always nice to go to a new venue). Upon arrival I was greeted at the press entrance by Val McGonigal (Director of Marketing) who provided me with the best hospitality imaginable. She also told me that while Nickelback was in town the prior week before the tour started that the band, management, roadcrew and everyone else with the tour were the absolute best to work with. After briefing me and other photograhers on the shooting arrangements of the night, she escorted us to the pit.
        Up first, Sick Puppies, an Australian trio from Sydney. Their name and new album logo was prominently featured on the huge video screen behind them as they played songs off their three discs, drawing most from their latest album, Tri-Polar.
        Up next, Shinedown. With the general admission floor filling up fast and the reserved seats just about full, the band came on with their name and logo on the video screen as well. Playing songs from their three-disc career, a highlight of their 45-minute set was when singer Brent Smith encouraged everyone to stand up and jump to which they responded well as they sang "Cyanide Sweet Tooth Suicide" from their newest album The Sound of Madness. Now for me, being a huge Lynyrd Skynyrd fan, the best was when Shinedown launched into a cover of "Simple Man," which Smith dedicated to the crowd for being a great audience.
        After a short intermission, lights out, then explosions and fireworks go off before the band hits the stage. Their opening song, "Burn It to the Ground", featured flames that shot up and those close could actually feel the heat. Behind the band, the huge video screen  projected pictures of the band, the audience and clips from their videos. With the second leg of their North American Tour starting in Atlantic City, lead singer Chad Kroeger said there are a few towns that are dangerous for him: Reno, Las Vegas and here. He figured he would be down $200,000 before he even played, so he stayed in his room. Up next the band raced through a variety of hair-metal ballads and grunge-influenced songs including "Hollywood," "Photograph," "Leader Of Men," "Savin' Me,” "Shakin Hands" and "Far Away." Then Kroeger introduced "Something in Your Mouth," in which he talked about women who should not be allowed to eat ice cream cones, lollipops or popsicles.
        After playing "Never Gonna Be Alone," the band made their way down to the end of a ramp that exended out into the general admission floor where a drum kit rose from underneath the ramp and the other members sat on bar stools to play "This Afternoon," "If Today Was Your Last Day" and their acoustically flavored hit "Rockstar" from the middle of the arena. Then back to the main stage where the band played "Flat On The Floor" and "Animals" before exiting the stage to leave drummer Daniel Adair in the spotlight for one amazing drum solo. Cameras mounted all around his kit projected various angles on the video screen as the drum kit rose and rotated before a final explosion of fireworks that brought him back down to the stage and back to Earth, to say the least. The band then returned to the stage and finished their evening set with "Too Bad" and "How You Remind Me."
        With a short and much deserved break, they returned to the stage to play their final three-song encore "Gotta Be Somebody," "Someday" and "Figured You Out" before giving their final bows and waves to the sold-out crowd. Most notable: not a single person had left the arena before the end of the show.
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