When multi-Platinum rock band Nickelback hit Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena earlier this week on their “Get Rollin’ 2023 Tour,” it was clear the band had a lot of friends in town.
Not only did UMG Nashville newcomer Josh Ross and country rocker Brantley Gilbert open the show, but Nickelback’s set featured multiple special guest spots from country hitmakers. While the band has plenty of access to Music City stars with their management team being Chief Zaruk and Simon Tikhman of The Core Entertainment, it was evident that Nickelback genuinely enjoys country music.
To kick off the night, country riser Ross took the stage. He charmed the audience with performances of “On A Different Night,” “Red Flags,” “Ain’t Doin’ Jack” and his debut radio single, “Trouble.”
The Canada native sounded just as good as his records, and was able to keep the arena-sized audience’s attention throughout his set.
When Gilbert took the stage, any doubt about a Georgia-born country boy opening for one of the top-selling rock bands of all time was dismissed. Gilbert brought the grunge, the pyro, the energy and the volume. He blasted through multiple hits such as “Kick It in the Sticks,” “Small Town Throwdown,” “Bottoms Up” and “Country Must Be Country Wide.” He showed his tender side—and skill as a songwriter—on tunes such as “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do” and “One Hell of an Amen.”
Gilbert brought some buddies out too. Jelly Roll joined him for their collaboration, “Son of the Dirty South,” just before he had to blast off for a concert in Huntsville, Alabama hours later.
Eliciting one of the night’s biggest reactions, Gilbert brought out a long-time friend, Jason Aldean. The two performed two songs Gilbert wrote, the first being his and Colt Ford‘s “Dirt Road Anthem,” which became a Grammy-nominated, multi-Platinum hit for Aldean. They then performed Gilbert’s solely-written “My Kinda Party,” which he recorded before it became a huge career hit for Aldean. The two exchanged thanks for changing each other’s lives with the success of the songs.
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After a rowdy set from Gilbert, the arena was more than ready for Nickelback to take the stage. Once they did, their marathon of hits took fans down memory lane. With ease and joy, Nickelback thrilled fans with 2006’s “Far Away,” 2005’s “Animals,” 2003’s “Someday,” 2002’s “Hero,” 2001’s “How You Remind Me” and more.
They had special guests appearing by song two, when Nashville-based rocker Chris Daughtry joined them for “Savin’ Me.” Gilbert and Ross reappeared to join Nickelback for a cover of Steve Earle‘s “Copperhead Road.”
In a special surprise, Ernest, a friend of the band’s lead singer/guitarist Chad Kroeger, made his way on stage to sing “Flower Shops.” Kroeger sang along to every word. Later on, he invited out country-rocker Hardy to perform his “Sold Out” and was thrilled by the experience. Bailey Zimmerman also joined the band at one point to sing their iconic “Rockstar.”
The night’s top highlight, though, came when the band performed the titanic 2005 hit “Photograph.” Performing a lot of the song acoustically, the Bridgestone Arena crowd singing along was defeating. When we thought the song was over, the group surprised us with another chorus of the enduring hit with the full band, which made for the perfect finale to a lot of fans’ favorite Nickelback song.
After a night of hits and fun collaborations, the band closed the evening up with an encore of “Gotta Be Somebody” and “Burn It to the Ground.” The band plays tomorrow night (Aug. 5) in Milwaukee as the “Get Rollin’ Tour” rolls on.
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