|Nickelback in concert at the ACC in Toronto in this April 22, 2012, file photo. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)
Is Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger the biggest party animal ever?
Or is his fondness for liquor on stage - in this case at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre in front of a packed house on Wednesday night - just part of his schtick?
After opening with This Means War and Something In Your Mouth, the Hanna, Alta., rocker had been given what he called the “smallest Jager shot ever,” by a roadie before the prophetic third song, Never Again.
By the sixth song, the aptly titled, Bottoms Up, he was screaming: “Pour daddy a drink!”
Admittedly, the crowd seemed to lap it up.
Especially, when the group and their minions threw beer into the audience, often via T-shirt launchers.
Whatever the truth is, it was an impressive turn out for Nickelback, rounded out by guitarist Ryan Peake, bassist Mike Kroeger (Chad’s bro), and drummer Daniel Adair, given the rock quartet were just in Toronto for a show at the Air Canada Centre in late April.
Long the punching bag of critics, they are apparently laughing all the way to the bank on the back of such hits as Photograph, How You Remind Me, Rockstar and Figured You Out, all of which were played on Wednesday night, along with the truly awful newer song, When We Stand Together.
The usual firebursts and explosions accompanied the band’s hour-and-a-half performance on a stage dominated by three large rectangular video screens and a slick lighting show.
And during a quieter moment, Peake even got behind the piano for the ballad, Lullaby, while Adair’s drum solo later in the night went better than most of these things usually do.
Kroeger, sweating mightily on a hot summer night, at one point changed out of his “wet black T-shirt into a dry black T-shirt,” saying that costume change was “as Britney Spears” as he was going to get.
“This must be what Bikram yoga is like,” said the frequent f-bomb dropping Kroeger before adding: “Is that the hot one?”
When two women in the front row weren’t very helpful, he said: “You’ve never been to a yoga class in your life. That makes three of us.”
Still, Kroeger - who now lives in Vancouver - seemed to be thoroughly enjoying himself declaring towards the end of the show that he might even move to Ontario, “to see what all the fuss is about.”
“Buy some property in the Muskokas and see the real estate prices go down as my tour bus pulls up!” he said with glee.
Peake, the more serious foil to Kroeger’s party-hearty character all night, remarked: “I've seen it happen."