Nickelback Shines At The O2 With A Powerful And Heartfelt Performance

While the support, The Lottery Winners, may have their sights aimed at filling the place themselves, for Nickelback this certainly isn’t their first rodeo at The O2, the Greenwich enormodome, the band having conquered this space with ease before.

Nickelback

The O2, London – 21 May 2024

Words: Paul Monkhouse

Photography: Robert Sutton

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

There’s an assurance and swagger here that comes from knowing that they are built for this size place, but this is never at the cost of a real connection with the audience. The obvious respect the band have for every soul in front of them is heartwarming. 

This isn’t ‘just another arena show’ but something to be savoured, cherished and rocked the hell out of.

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

It’s often been said that Nickelback are much heavier live than they’re given credit for, and the sound of Pantera’s anthem Walk blasting at high volume from the PA is a fair indication that they mean business. 

The mighty punch of a grinding San Quentin confirms all this as Kroeger, bassist brother Mike, guitarist Ryan Peake, and drummer Daniel Adair come on like they’re trying to tear the place apart at the seams. 

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

It’s a ballsy and effective first shot and something to be adhered to at the go, from strident rockers like Animals and the utterly bruising Figured You Out to the singalong feels of Far Away. The fact that the band handles all these different facets with aplomb speaks volumes, and the crowd seems more than happy with each new anthem they are presented with.

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Kroeger shows himself to be a lead guitarist of some style, his fiery solos servicing the songs themselves rather than his ego and this attitude is reflected by the rest of the outfit as they blister and woo in equal measure. 

At times, there is a feeling that everyone there is along at a good-natured band practice alongside the retina-roasting, ear-splitting, and bowel-loosening spectacle of the show. The human connection is never lost in the big-budget production. 

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Inviting The Lottery Winners back onstage to join in a boisterous and fulsome singalong through the Oasis standard Don’t Look Back In Anger is another pleasing facet, Rylance taking over lead vocals as the spotlight is firmly placed on the openers as the Canadians step back to let them shine once more. 

Joking afterwards that the audience had better sing their songs as loud as the cover they had just performed, the wonderfully nostalgic Photograph provided the perfect opportunity to do just that, and both the harmonies and songwriting skills of the outfit were shown to gleam once more.

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

With the aforementioned fan, Craig plucked from the audience to join in on a word-perfect Rockstar and the glorious buzz of retro anthem Those Days building things to a peak, it was just down to How You Remind Me to close the main set in a flourish. 

Leaving a reserve of gas in their collective tank, the final salvo of a truly phenomenal Burn It To The Ground brought things to the perfect climax, the heavyweight blitz an adrenaline-fueled and righteous rush to the finish line that sounded like the perfect apocalypse or a call to revolution that could bring down whole countries. 

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

Ladies and gentlemen, this is exactly what electricity was invented for and nights like this are truly ones to forever remember, long after the last note fades.

Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk
Nickelback - The O2, London - 21 May 2024
Nickelback – The O2, London – 21 May 2024. Photo: Robert Sutton/MetalTalk

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