Show Review: Nickelback at Credit Union 1 Amphitheater in Tinley Park, IL

I won’t deny it nor will I try to hide it either, Nickelback coming through Chicago this summer was my most anticipated summer concert of the season and each day that went by brought me closer to them playing here. Before you even set foot on the amphitheater property, you could already tell the energy was through the roof as the parking filled up before the gates even opened up and a constant stream of cars poured in seemingly nonstop. Once you finally got inside and looked around, you first noticed the wide assortment of people attending from young to old to people dressed more country to those dressed in full black with combat boots. It didn’t matter what your main jive was, only that you were ready to rock’n roll with the legends in Nickelback.

Opening up the night was rising star Josh Ross who has quickly made a name for himself through his pop-rock-infused country that explores love, work, and play all forged through his own personal experiences. By overcoming barriers, blockades, and restraints, Josh Ross delivers lyrics that have a certain versatility to them, while staying true to his own personal ethos and beliefs on life while creating catchy and memorable songs. Up next was the multi-platinum country music sensation, Brantley Gilbert as he brought his signature soundtrack to your Saturday night, but also your Sunday morning. Originally being seen as the life-of-the-party, Brantley Gilbert has developed over time a more serious, soulful tone to his music when he chooses to making him the perfect balancing act for listeners. More importantly, he’s become the face of an entire massive group of hard-working, fun-loving believers who want to see the electric guitar and southern twang still go together.

I remember spinning my For All the Right Reasons CD I got from my parents’ countless times in middle school absolutely captivated by the catchy choruses, fast-paced post-grungy riffs, and the memorable lyrics and moments so being able to finally see them at 26 was well overdue. Carrying the torch for heavy post-grunge throughout the 2000s, Nickelback quickly became the most famous rockers of this decade dominating the radio waves with songs like “How You Remind Me”, “Photograph”, “Rockstar” and more. Nickelback’s ability to balance slow power ballads like “Someday” or “Photograph” with heavy-hitting, riff-focused bangers such as “Side of a Bullet”, or “Animals” demonstrates their versatility as artists, but also their ability to recognize what fans and listeners want from their music. The ability to find the perfect balance between those emotional tracks that can carry someone through the hardest times alongside the feel-good tracks serving as the soundtrack to your summer or a happy memory has been at the core of Nickelback since day one, which isn’t easy for any band to achieve, let alone put on full display through their live performance.

Met with the deafening roar of a sold-out Tinley Park Amphitheater, Nickelback stormed the stage to their latest track “San Quentin” amping the energy level from it’s already 10 to now 20, following it up with fan-favorite “Saving Me” and “Far Away” transiting into the staple heavy-hitter of the night “Animals” getting everyone up on their feet, dancing and singing along to every word. This was common throughout the whole night where the crowd would scream and sing along to every word whether it was their most popular song or maybe a bit more of a deep cut, it wouldn’t matter, you sang along like it’s 2 AM at your local dive bar demolishing karaoke. The rest of the night would feature other Nickelback staples like “Photography”, “Someday”, “How You Remind Me”, “Burn It to the Ground”, and much more. Of course, they closed out with their most famous and popular track, “Rockstar” as everyone in the amphitheater had their main character moment singing along to every single word, even the ad-libs (myself included). Trying something different on this tour, Nickelback would bring a superfan on-stage for “Rockstar” at each city of the tour spawning some pretty incredible crowd and fan interactions and hilarious online videos.

In the year 2023, if you don’t like Nickelback that’s an automatic red flag and their performance further supported that. An incredible live show matched with well-timed and engaging stage production made for an incredible night, but being surrounded by thousands of fellow fans is what it really special. While I do believe the setlist could have featured a small handful more of fan favorites, the overall amazing concert without a doubt made up for it. From start to finish, Nickelback showcased why and how they’re still kicking and screaming since 1995 playing many of their biggest hits throughout their career. Even crazier that it has been 5 years since their last tour making their current Get Rollin’ tour that much more anticipated and memorable. I think the best part is just how self-aware Nickelback truly is about the jokes toward them fully leaning into it through self-deprecating jokes and references throughout the night. You could tell they really did love being up on stage every minute of it connecting with their fans through not only their performance but through their interactions with each other. Overall, Nickelback further shows the world with this tour that they’re here to stay whether you like it or not. This train left the station a long while ago and if you didn’t somehow get on it already, then that’s your loss.

Nickelback

Brantley Gilbert

Josh Ross

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