Nickelback “Feed the Machine” Tour featuring Daughtry

By Hazen Witemeyer @Hazengirl

Walking around the Verizon Amphitheater in Atlanta, Georgia, half-listening to Shaman’s Harvest (the opening act of Nickelback’s Feed the Machine Tour), it could have been 2017, 2007 or 2001. Nothing about the crowd (except maybe the age) provided a clue: people attired in the timeless fashion of rock concerts including tour shirts, distressed denim, Flashdance-esque torn up tees. And huge smiles. There’s something irresistible about a good, old-fashioned rock concert with hard-hitting vocals, over-amped guitar and very drunk fans.

Daughtry came on between the opener and the headliner, and was truthfully my favorite part of the concert. He was humble, funny, and of course, magnificently talented as anyone who saw him on American Idol will remember. Although the sound on his instruments was mixed horribly, his voice and passion carried through in every song from hits like “Home“, “Over You and “Waiting for Superman, to unreleased tracks from his upcoming album. His unforgettable version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters was the best performance of this night.

I confess, until preparing for the show, I had not purchased/downloaded/listened to a Nickelback song since Silver Side Up, their 2001 breakthrough album. Their newer music features many of the same characteristics that made them popular then: emotional and relatable vocals sung in Chad Kroeger’s rich tones, a heady bass line, screaming lead guitar and a feel-good vibe. The guys are surprisingly sexy and youthful for having been Rock Stars for two decades, and they still act like they are 18 on stage cracking plenty of jokes about drinking and sex.

They opened with “Feed the Machine“, a rousing anthem to light up the crowd. The set comprised a good mix of newer and classic tracks. My favorites were those early classics like “Too Bad“, “Far Away, and “How You Remind Me. That said, I only remembered about 65% of the words so trying to sing along was awkward! There were plenty of newer tunes that bigger fans than I sang word for word like “Woke Up this Morning, “If Today Were Your Last Day“, “Something in Your Mouth“, and “When We Stand Together“.

Highlights of the night included “Rock Star Karaoke” where two audience members joined the band onstage to be vocalists for the hit song. They didn’t remember the song any better than me but they had a great time! I had fun on a “Hotel California” sing-along, and when Daughtry, joined them on stage for “Save Me“, the crowd roared.

For my companion, a serious fan of both Daughtry and Nickelback, it was a must-see. For me it was fun – and I never knock an opportunity for a selfie with a rock star!