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Music DVD Review: Nickelback – Live At Sturgis

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Nicely timed to follow their new album Dark Horse, Nickelback's latest DVD, Live At Sturgis, which has been on the books for ages, has now reached its moment in the sun. Filmed two years ago at the Rockin' The Rally show at the infamous Sturgis bike rally, it's a snappy twelve track blast highlighting everything that is good and bad about Nickelback.

Now, don't get me wrong. I like Nickelback. I remember buying a ticket to see them play a club show at the Glasgow Garage just as Silver Side Up came out. The show was moved to the bigger Barrowlands, and I was completely blown away by the still relatively unknown Canadians. Even then they were unashamed of putting on a show, playing to the crowd and wanton in their use of flashbombs and pyro — just what I want in a live rock 'n' roll show.

Seen here at a 40,000-strong biker rally, they demonstrate that still know how to work a crowd. And with fifteen high-definition cameras filming, they allow viewers to be right in the middle of the show, which features songs from Silver Side Up, The Long Road and All The Right Reasons.

They kick things off with "Animals," a by-the-numbers, post-grunge song which is dull in the extreme, and one of the problems I have with Nickelback. For every great song, there is a deathly stale one lurking around. So it's a relief when they follow up with the infinitely better "Woke Up This Morning" and "Photograph." The latter is a fine demonstration of the blue-collar rock sound that the American Midwest rightly laps up.

Yet for every "Never Again" there also remains a "Someday," and it's this kind of inconsistency that infuriates me. However, the Sturgis crowd, fueled on a week of bikes, booze and breasts, are more than up for the show.

It looks and sounds fabulous, and if you've got a fancy sound system, you're going to love the audio mix. The Dimebag Darrell tribute "Side Of A Bullet" features video of the man himself and the one-two knockout punch of "How You Remind Me" and "Too Bad" is ample proof of why folks love Nickelback, regardless of what critics might say.

Away from the too brief festival show, you get the usual behind the scenes documentary where too many people are wearing shades indoors to be taken seriously, as well as a five minute advertorial for the Sturgis rally, a photo gallery and the video for "Rock Star."

Despite my slight reservations, Live At Sturgis still an excellent concert DVD. However, if you're thinking about buying this for the 12 year old Nickelback fan in your life, be warned. There is a surfeit of potty mouth from Chad and a large number of naked breasts on display. Although, depending on you, that may just count as a bonus!

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About Stuart A Hamilton

  • Jordan Richardson

    There are great Nickelback songs?

  • zingzing

    a “great” nickelback song is like a “wonderful” wet willy. or a “rad” rape. or something. seriously, it would take being someone who just sat on 140 decibels for 8 hours (as it would be at a motorcycle rally, i suppose) to not be horribly offended by this canadian poop-rock.

    if your wife gives you this for christmas, you’re getting divorced; if your friend gives you this for christmas, your friend is fucking your wife; if your father gives you this for christmas, next he’s whipping out the belt because you asked for something to cry about, you little shit.

  • http://www.marksaleski.com Mark Saleski

    There are great Nickelback songs?

    yes. they sound just like Linkin Park songs, except that they sing in canadian.

  • zingzing

    no, no mark. linkin park is too girly for nickelback. nickelback is all manly manness. man upon man, in another man, manning up to the man, man. seriously, if there were an “m” chord and an “n” chord, nickelback would only use three chords.

    linkin park, as shitty as they were, were never this bad. at least they had some pop aspirations, even if they did come out as emo-rap-rock squeals.

  • sam

    i am 11 and these songs are good im going to see them live in sheffield in may for a christmas prezent is gunna be awsome

  • the man

    aah hahahaha, the dvd is so shitty it’s sold out on amazon (hmmm…unless they only had 5 copies) I think it’s a safe bet to say that nickelback kicks ass, the only thing i see that could hurt them is mutt lang turning them into something they aren’t. why mess with a good thing mutt? look what u did to shania you dumb ass.

  • todd halverson

    ya, i bought the latest “NICKELBACK” live at sturgis,
    1.) poor editing, meaning, the audio doesn’t sinc
    with video.
    its not my dvd player,check it out.
    watch the drummer shots.
    2.) i love nickelback,there should be more time taking to correct problem with dvd.

    thank you,
    80s drummer / Renegade Roxxs
    TODD MICHEAL DEBREE
    SHEBOYGAN, WISCONSIN