Monday, April 12, 2010

Concert Review - Nickelback in Montreal April 9th 2010

So I was at the Bell Center in Montreal for the Nickelback concert on April 9th, 2010 and what a show it was. Talk about a line up:

- Sick Puppies
- Shinedown
- Breaking Benjamin
- Nickelback

One of the problems with the show was that it started way too early though with 4 bands, I guess it would have been hard to put it on any other way.

Sick Puppies was on first and they started at roughly 6:15 PM which has to be the earliest I've ever seen a band play at the Bell Center. They started strong with "War" and as usual put on a fantastic show. The only negative is that 4 songs later, they were off the stage. Talk about a short set ...

Shinedown came on and I was really excited as they are one of my favorite bands. They played a good 30 minute set full of the radio hits and a few off their new album which rocked. Best part of it was the acoustic version of "Simple Man" mid way showing off the singer's incredible voice. He impressed me as a front man and did try to get the crowd going but I was personally embarassed at how relaxed the crowd was during the set. I understand most came for the headliner but man, you're at a rock show. It's ok to get into the opening bands!

Breaking Benjamin was next playing a good 30-40 minute set again with all the radio hits and mixing it up with a few songs from each album. Same problem with the crowd though. I don't know if technology is hurting concert goers where they just text and play games while waiting for the only band they paid the ticket for but man, once again, I bowed my head down in shame looking at the crowd response to such a great live band.

The sound overall for the openers was to be desired but the same goes for a lot of opening acts. They won't get the same juice from the PA as the headliners so they are quite limited, let's not even talk about the 10% of lighting they get next to headliners.

Nickelback was next and from the start, the sound was amazing, pyro was going off everywhere, light show was half descent, you felt the rock show started after that. The crowd was 100% behind Chad's every word and singing along all night.

They must be the tightest band I've ever seen live. I'd be impressed if you could point out a mistake musically or vocally. They are all just spot on. Incredible. I was impressed by the small amount of sequences used also. Usually, you have rock bands go on and you hear 12 violins, back vocals, and hundred of sounds in the back to fill it up but they were very transparent with Nickelback to the point where in some songs, I couldn't guarantee that they used any at all.

All the radio hits were played and as they've been around for a little time and have a few hit albums out, hits pretty much made up their entire 2 hour set. Chad did a great job of interacting with the crowd and the show was built up to be very fun and entertaining.

There was a drum solo 3 quarters in. Now he may be a very tight drummer but I was a little dissapointed with the drum solo. A lot of it was rythm patterns as opposed to showing off and doing something impressive to the drummers in the room. Like most drum solos, people just went crazy anyways anytime there was double bass and a lot of noise regardless if it was at some of the simpler parts during the solo. I give it a 6/10 from all drum solos I've seen live. Far from the worst but no where near a top 10 drum solo.

Overall, the show was awesome and I recommend checking Nickelback out any time they are in your area and headlining. Easily the tightest band I've seen live and one of the best vocals too. I know people like to give them a hard time but if you can't appreciate a Nickelback show, you're just being ignorant cause it's really hard to say it was anything but a great rock show. Good job guys! See you at the next one.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Chris Cornell Concert Review - Montreal 23/11/08

I'm a rock singer so if you are even only in the slightest familiar with Chris Cornell's music and career so far, you can guess it was practically mandatory for me to go check out the show last night at the Metropolis in Montreal, November 23, 2008.

Mobile was the opening act. The music was rocking. Awesome band, very tight. Both guitarists used great effects keeping things interesting and adding new flavours throughout their set. I was surprised on how little backing tracks they used since they made most of the atmospheric sounds you hear on the albums live instead of sampling most of it.

The singer of Mobile though was not having a good night. I'm being very fair. This was the last show of the tour and his voice was used up. From the first song, you can feel every line was hurting and practically more raspy than Eddie Vedder when he usually sings very clean. After the second song, he already went through at least one bottle of water and someone brought out 4-5 more which were gone pretty quickly. It seemed as though he put in 100% of what he had into singing the songs even though you couldn't help to feel for him on some of the higher notes, or even when he tried talking to the audience. By the end of the set, it was the guitarist interacting with the crowd between songs and pretty much saying, 'Our singer isn't feeling too hot tonight but give it up, he's still singing like crazy'. I really like their music so it's a show I'd like to go check out again and hopefully land on a better night for the singer.

The setup between the two bands was much longer than usual. People were getting restless, me included, but intro music finally came on and things started off with Chris coming on stage and belting out some high notes even in the first song. The stage had awesome 'curtain lights' projecting different abstract scenes which really helped since the band may have moved well, but Chris doesn't really run around very much. It's more of a confident walk from one side of the stage to the other which he still manages to make work.

Like most of the people there, I was waiting for some of the older Soundgarden stuff and was not disappointed. The set included:

- Hunger Strike
- Rusty Cage
- Spoonman
- Outshined
- Fell on Black Days

A few AudioSlave songs were in there as well:

- Be Yourself
- Set it Off
- Like a Stone
- Show me how to Live

A cover of Billy Jean was played solo on an acoustic guitar which totally rocked.

The entire set including a good 30 min encore lasted roughly 2 1/2 hours which is insane. He sounded as good from start to finish though I saw him come with AudioSlave a few years back and found he sounded much better at that show.

Overall, the man can sing like nobody's business. I may be a little bias as he's one of my idols since to be honest, there were out of tune notes a little scattered everywhere but easily forgotten since 99% of it is solid, insane singing.

I haven't heard the new album yet but they played one of their new singles, 'Scream' and I thought it it really rocked. I'm glad I heard the song live cause I was getting worried when I heard he was working with Timberland on this one, but now I'm much more pumped to buy the CD.

If you're looking for a place to download Chris Cornell's new album, or any of your favourite music, be sure to check out our main site at where we review the top legal music download sites on the net.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Avril Lavigne Concert Review

I heard mixed feedback on Avril Lavign's live show and as I love concerts, I needed to check it out for myself.

I was lucky enough to get 4th row tickets for Avril Lavign's show in Montreal April 2nd, 2008 for the 'Best Damn Tour' a few minutes before the show for $25 each which was the highlight of the evening.

When Avril went on, all you hear is the crowd of under 14 year old girls yelling and screaming which was to be expected so no complaints yet. I honestly admire Avril as far as songwriting goes no matter how much of it she does or doesn't do on her own. At the point she's at, I wouldn't complain either if I could have the top writers sitting in with me helping to write a few hit songs.

In any case, the show starts and though I was pumped to check it out, that feeling went away real quickly. I don't want to sound like a Simon but it was so boring. She has a great looking stage, awesome lights, the back up dancers and band are great, but if your band is named after you and you tour the world with loads of loyal fans, at least pretend like you're enjoying yourself when you're in front of thousands of people that paid and took time out of their lives to come see you perform.

The whole show was way too planned, down to every move which I have nothing against choreography, but she was like the hung over cheerleader making each move or gester amost depressing to watch with such a lack of feel. There was no running around, and no emotion in the vocals. She is very solid hitting and holding notes live but there's nothing backing up the notes. No heart put into it. It's too effortless. I agree a good vocalist should be able to run through their set effortlessly but put some heart into it. Sing like you mean what you're saying, not just singing cause you have to. It shouldn't sound like it's easy even if it is, especially for a self proclaimed rocker chick.

A big chunk of her set was done acoustically where she strummed her guitar and sang some nice ballads, but even at that, her legs are crossed as a quick example and one leg is swaying off beat while she's peforming, making it look like she's thinking about how she'll spend the money she's making rather then delivery a heart felt performance.

It doesn't help that she's in Montreal, Quebec and yells out between 2 songs ,'It's great to be back home in Ontario'.

Overall, one of the most dissapointing concerts I've seen. I enjoy a lot of her music. Her songs are great. Some music videos are rocking, but I can't see myself ever paying to see Avril Lavign live again unless she can show some enthusiasm while she's singing maybe at an award show or something that would make me feel like it was just an off night which could very well be.

Again, I think her music is awesome and I'm sure she works like a dog and it can't be easy, but the same could be said to so many bands and acts so it's no excuse, especially with a huge name like she has at this point. If anything, since she is considered a major act, wouldn't that be more of a reason to make sure every show showcases why you are regarded so high as an artist instead of giving people loads of reason to question if you are over-rated?

All the best Avril, I still think you rock.

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