Wednesday night one of the most anticipated rock concerts of the year landed with both feet on the Idaho Center in Nampa. Four bands spread over four-and-a-half hours, for a night of great hard rock.
Because it was a weeknight the show started early, at 6 PM. As usual, Idaho Center staff were ill-prepared to get the concert attendees into the facility in an expedient manner. So thousands of fans missed out on most or all of the evening’s opening act, Toronto’s My Darkest Days. As is typical for most opening acts on a major bill, My Darkest Days were given very few lights, so anyone other than fans standing on the floor could even see them. However, they did a good job of getting the crowd pumped up, and made sure their presence was known. They closed their short set with their two most notable hits, “Casual Sex” from their recent release Sick and Twisted Affair, followed by “Porn Star Dancing” from their 2010 self-titled debut.
Pretoria, South Africa’s Seether took the stage next to deliver 30 minutes of the trio’s most notable hits. They ran through a set-list that included; “Gasoline”, “Fine Again”, “Broken”, “Tonight”, “Country Song”, “Rise Above This”, “Fake It” and “Remedy”. The band’s musical performance was strong. However, the constant and intentional feedback between songs, along with the jerky, disturbing pictures shown on the jumbo screens throughout their set, were distracting and off-putting. Add to this, the band had almost no access to lighting, so the majority of the audience could not see them, which made it a bit disappointing.
By the time London’s Bush cranked it up, most of the gear had been removed from the stage, and the band was allotted more lighting, and of course, more performance time. The band tore through eight songs, which started off with the hit “Machinehead” from their 1994 debut album Sixteen Stone. From the same album they also played “Everything Zen”, “Glycerine”, and the show’s closing song, “Comedown”. Bush also played a cover of The Beatles “Come Together”, as well as their most recent hit, “Afterlife”, off their 2011 album, The Sea Of Memories. The latter two tracks were performed midway through the set while frontman, Gavin Rossdale made a circle of the arena, through the crowd, to the delight of the fans.
Offered Boise resident, Shawn Hawk:
“Bush was the best band of the night. They killed it!”
At 9 PM, Alberta, Canada rock troupe, Nickelback took the stage in a dazzling display or lights and pyrotechnics. From the opening track, “This Means War”, to the closing encore, “Figured You Out”, Nickelback kept a high energy pace. The quartet drove through 15 songs, all hits, including three from their new album, Here and Now. For the newest single, “Lullaby”, guitarist Ryan Peake played piano. Near the end of the show, drummer Daniel Adair also threw down a bone-rattling solo.
Midway into the set the entire band moved to a mini-stage in the center of the arena which lowered from the lighting truss. While the circular stage hovered above the crowd, they performed four songs, including a rousing version of “Rockstar”.
Bringing the main set to a close, the band hit a home run with their anthem, “Burn It to the Ground”. Two encores later it seemed the show was over much too soon. At just under 90 minutes and only 15 songs, it certainly felt that way. “I thought it would go longer,” offered Julie Brusch of Kuna. “They still had a bunch of hits to play.”
Such is the heartache of every band and every fan. There is just never enough time to play every song each fan might want to hear. Notably absent from the set-list were; “Too Bad”, “This Afternoon”, “If Everyone Cared”, and “Feeling Way Too Damn Good”.
Hawk was less impressed, stating, “They played too many slow songs, and not enough heavy stuff. In the past they used to play a cover of Pantera’s “Cowboys from Hell” or Megadeth. Now it all seems to be for the girls. The show was good, but I was disappointed.”
Crystal Pettit of Boise felt the round, rotating stage portion of the show was the highlight, and enthused about the concert:
“They put on a very good show and seemed very enthusiastic to be here in Boise.”
Indeed, frontman Chad Kroeger noted that while he was aware the show was in Nampa, he announced he would be calling us “Boise” all night. Nickelback is one of the few major rock touring acts to hit the Treasure Valley consistently. As a reward, the crowd was loud, boisterous, and appreciative.
A great crowd and great music made for a fantastic Boise summer concert. Were you at the show? Sound off below with your thoughts.
Full set-list from Boise/Nampa show:
1. This Means War 2. Something in Your Mouth 3. Never Again 4. Photograph 5. Far Away
From round stage center of arena: 6. Bottoms Up 7. Animals 8. Rockstar 9. Someday
10. Lullaby 11. When We Stand Together (Drum Solo) 12. How You Remind Me 13. Burn It to the Ground
Encores: 14. Gotta Be Somebody 15. Figured You Out