FEQ 2024| Jour 1 : Nickelback et Arkells

FEQ 2024| Jour 1 : Nickelback et Arkells
FEQ 2024| Jour 1 : Nickelback et Arkells

It was a start of FEQ to the sound of somewhat “corporate” Canadian rock that we were treated to on this Thursday, July 4, 2024. It was the Ontarians of Arkells and the Albertans of Nickelback who opened the plains. A look back at an evening that smelled of Coors Light and sweat.

Nickelback

We’d like to not jump on the bandwagon of critics’ disdain for Nickelback. Over the past twenty years, Chad Kroeger’s band has become so much the face of the band we love to hate that it’s almost become a cliché to do so. So, like the crowd on the Plains yesterday, we’d like to say that the hate is exaggerated and that the band has more substance than it lets on… we’ll try.

This ambiguous report that Nickelback a with his “haters” is also at the heart of a documentary on Netflix whose entire trailer was projected on the giant screens before the start of the concert. A strange choice that suggests a bit of insecurity on the part of the group considering that the people present on the plains had clearly not come to hate them that night. If it is not insecurity, it could also be pure commercialism. After all, following the screening of said trailer, the screens were monopolized to promote the t-shirts and “merch” on sale at the entrance to the plains until the arrival of the group accompanied by outlaw imagery. Let’s just say that we would have found this choice of staging where the members of the group are presented in “wanted” posters less laughable if it had not been preceded by all that.

At least when it comes to music, Albertans have served up their hits very effectively. Whether it’s Savin’ me at the beginning of the show or the very effective continuation of Hero, Photograph, Rockstar et How you remind me In the end, the songs were delivered with energy and well received by the crowd. It was also the occasion to see some guests like Max Kerman of Arkells who came to sing Josey Scott’s verse on Hero and especially Talk who was visibly bored of the plains after his notable passage last year and who came to help Chad on RockstarThe audience appreciated it and, without converting us into fans, the group managed to convince us of the strength of their hit songs.

Nickelback has become nostalgic enough to be appreciated a little less ironically, it seems.

Photo: Stéphane Bourgeois

Arkells

Avant Nickelbackit was Arkells who had the task of warming up the crowd. Efficient and friendly, the Ontario group spoke to the audience a lot in French and took part in crowd baths. In contrast to their successors who hardly moved from the show, the musicians delivered an energetic performance where their repertoire mixed with 9 to 5a cover of Dolly Parton that got the large crowd already gathered on the plains dancing.

Finishing with the very eye-catching double Knocking at the Door et Leather Jacketthe band managed to capture the crowd’s attention long enough to certainly gain a few new fans.

Photo credit: Stephane Bourgeois

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