Arts in NYC
Music & Formal Analysis                 [B+     JMS]

My Nickelback Concert Experience:
Some individuals have an appreciation for music. There are those who occasionally listen to music and finally there are those who worship music. I am one of those people that absolutely loves music. I cannot drive somewhere without the radio on, cannot do homework or write papers without music playing in the background. Basically I could not live or function without music. Like most people, I am a fan of all different kinds of music. Of course there are types of music that drive me crazy such as heavy metal however, for the most part, I listen to just about anything. This being said, I can’t really say that I have ever had a favorite band, but there are bands that never fail to disappoint when their new songs come out. Nickelback is one of those bands. I have been listening to Nickelback for as long as I can remember. I suppose you could consider me a big fan.
I suppose it shouldn’t have been such a shock when my mother surprised me with tickets to go see the Canadian Rock band live. Although I could have seen it coming, I just thought it was so amazing that she got the tickets. Nickelback was touring the U.S and they happened to be having a concert at the Nikon theatre near Jones beach. It was a Friday afternoon. The weather was beautiful, a sunny day in the mid 70’s and the theatre was spectacular. We had seats in the middle of the theatre. Directly in front of us was the stage and directly behind the stage was a gorgeous view of the ocean in the distance. The stage itself was raised over a small lake. In fact, Papa Roach, another Rock performer ran off of the stage after his performance and jumped into the water.
Since Nickelback was touring with some other groups, they were the grand finale. The concert lasted approximately four hours. During the first two hours, Hinder, Papa Roach and Saving Abel performed some of their songs. My mother and I were amused, but not all that impressed. There was a long wait and it was rather obvious that although Hinder, Papa Roach and Saving Abel were a great addition, everyone was waiting to see Nickelback. The concert started at 7 PM when it was light out. When it came time for Nickelback to perform it had become dark. There was a 20-minute intermission before Nickelback actually took the stage. Drum rolls and organized cheering took place during this time.
A count down and then fireworks above and on the stage signaled Nickelback’s grand entrance and they immediately took the stage playing one of their most famous songs. The main instruments used included chordophones (guitars) and membranophones (drums). Together, the group sang in harmony with the most emphasis on the main vocalist who by the way has an incredible range. The most meaningful song to me however, came a bit later into the concert.
Directly after the first song, the band addressed the audience. They told us how glad they were to be there and spoke about how they loved their fans as much as the fans love them. Their individual personalities seemed to be as impressive as their music, which said a lot about them. They did not consider themselves anything special, but instead, expressed their gratitude for being so lucky to be successful and performing for the people they loved.
They continued with their concert performing more of their hits as the crowd cheered, swayed and sang along with them. As my mother and I danced in front of our seats, sang along with them and watched the crowd around us, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of connection. I felt a strong bond toward my mother as I recounted all the times in the past when we sang together to Nickelback as they played on the radio. I found that before I had ever even gone to see them, they had provided me with so many great memories that would stay with me forever. This resulted in my feeling of connection to the band itself. Although this was the first time that I’d seen Nickelback, I felt as if I had known each member of the group individually for years. I suppose in some minimal sense I had. Finally I felt connected to everyone in the crowd. We were all there because we all shared something special; a common bond. We all had a profound love for the music we were being presented with. It definitely seemed as though we were familiar with the music. At one point in between songs, the lead singer made a comment about how we seemed to know the words to the songs better than his own band. The humor between the songs gave the group a bit of a break and was much appreciated by the crowd. This was a chance to get to know the performers better.
The most important song of the night for me however was “photograph”. The song photograph is about how time is fleeting and how life just passes us by in the blink of an eye. The idea behind looking at the photograph is that it is timeless. Some of the lyrics include: “Look at this photograph everytime I do it makes me laugh how did our eyes get so red and what the hell is on Joey’s head.” I suppose the reason that the song was so special in this instance was because the song was actually based on photographs of the band together when they were younger. With the lyrics they had a slideshow in the background of the photos as they performed the song. I just thought it was so cool to have the story and get to see the physical pictures that made the song. It symbolized something special about the group. I felt as if they were genuine.
The song is not only special because of the clever story and underlying message, it also has a very catchy rhythm. A captivating and unique melody is employed that I haven’t ever experienced before in any other song. The song features much heterophony, and the overall aural elements just blow me away time and time again. Even if you have heard the song before, it is a special experience every time you hear it again. The song starts off with a mild amplitude and soon becomes significantly stronger. The general form and flow tie into the perfect duration. Nickelback songs are never too long. Sometimes I feel they are short, but this could just be because I am eager to hear more. The drummer is also extremely talented. In this song as well as many of the rest he sets the perfect tempo and often changes it in the middle of the song, which adds spice or flavor to the music.
It takes a truly talented group to impress me as much as Nickelback does. My mother and I were extremely happy that we got to attend the concert because we shared a spectacular night that left us with a whole new set of memories. I also ran into a bunch of friends on the way out. The concert left us with much to talk about in the days to come.