PHOENIX – The “Get Rollin’ Tour” made a tour stop in Arizona last Wednesday night, featuring Nickelback, Brantley Gilbert, and Josh Ross. The music was a mix of country and rock, and fans of all ages came ready to party. The show was held at Footprint Center, which serves as home to the Phoenix Suns, Phoenix Mercury, and the Rattlers. The arena has had many names since opening in 1996. A few previous names that may sound familiar are Talking Stick Resort Arena, US Airways Center, and America West Arena. It was once the home of the Phoenix Coyotes in the late ’90s. It’s also the venue for various events such as professional wrestling, Disney on Ice, and concerts.
Josh Ross is a Canadian country singer, and he opened the show and warmed up the crowd with his eight-song setlist. His cover of “Iris” by The Goo Goo Dolls had everyone singing along, with their phones’ flashlights waving in the air.
Brantley Gilbert is a country rock singer from Georgia, and he knows how to put on a show with flair. He opened with “Kick It In The Sticks,” and he brought the heat – pyro and fog continuously blasted on stage.
“We live in a world where we can’t punch anyone in the face anymore. I went to my social media, but I forgot my passwords. So, I decided to write the trolls a song instead,” Gilbert said before playing “Bury Me Upside Down” from the album So Help Me God.
Before singing “Son of the Dirty South,” Gilbert explained how he wrote the song with Jelly Roll, and that they both take pride in being boys from the South. He aimed to transform Phoenix into the dirty South for a few moments – a vision readily embraced by the enthusiastic crowd.
Gilbert played seventeen songs in total, including five covers. The audience cheered and sang along with every song. His energetic performance and ability to connect with the audience were amazing. His voice is a perfect blend of rock-infused country music, and fans loved his raw and authentic stage performance.
The Canadian rock band Nickelback formed in 1995 and is still going strong, despite anything their haters might say. Chad Kroeger is the band’s lead vocalist, Ryan Peake is their rhythm guitarist, keyboardist, and backing vocalist, Daniel Adair is the drummer, and Mike Kroeger is the bass guitarist. The tour is supporting their seventh and newest album, Get Rollin’, which was released in September 2022.
Before the band steps on stage, a yellow CGI van with a red stripe appears on the big screen. It’s the symbol of their current tour. Then posters of each band member flash on the big screen with the words “Wanted Dead or Alive.” The crowd is on their feet and screaming when the video ends, and the CGI van turns onto an exit, and the highway signs read, “Phoenix, 12 parsecs.”
The first song is “San Quentin” from their newest album, and the audience is ready to rock out. After the song, Chad Kroeger addresses the crowd, asking, “Let’s see if you remember the words to this one.” They begin to play “Savin’ Me” from their album All The Right Reasons.
The yellow CGI van returns to the screen, racing down a dark road before they play “Animals.” A guitar riff fills the air as a fiery phoenix lands on the CGI van and transforms it into a sexy muscle car. Blasts of pyro pop, and screams are heard all around the arena in excitement. As the song concludes, Chad Kroeger thanks the audience for their energy and excitement. He says, “It’s crowds like you that make me want to do this for the rest of my fucking life. Cheers.” He then drinks a shot with the crowd and adds, “It’s an honor and a fucking privilege to play for you.“
“I’m going to play a song that would probably get us canceled today. But then again, they’ve been trying to cancel us for twenty years,” Chad Kroeger jokes, and they play “Figured You Out” from their album The Long Road.
Nickelback covers Steve Earle’s “Copperhead Road,” and to surprise the audience, Gilbert and Ross return to the stage to sing along. The crowd eats it up, and the dark arena fills with phones filming the three singing and jamming together.
After playing “High Time,” Chad Kroeger chuckles and says, “We snuck a new one in on you. Has anyone heard it?” The fans respond with cheers, affirming their familiarity with the song. Proving after twenty-eight years that their loyal following still listens to and loves them.
Chad Kroeger picks a lucky lady from the audience to come up and sing a fan favorite, “Rockstar.” The woman is starstruck as she is welcomed to the stage and handed a mic. But she soon gets into the song, sings a bit, and dances as the band plays around her.
When playing “Those Days,” movies, TV shows, bands, and MTV logos from the ’80s appear on the big screen as the band reflects on the simpler times of growing up.
Chad Kroeger smiles at the crowd and says, “You’ve got my vote for the best crowd on tour. Phoenix is fucking amazing.” Just before singing “How You Remind Me” from their album Silver Side Up.
The band thanks the crowd and steps off stage for a few minutes while the crowd cheers and cries for an encore. Nickelback returns to applause and cheers before playing “Gotta Be Somebody” from their album Dark Horse.
Chad Kroeger speaks to the crowd a final time, saying, “I’m going to be honest with you, as I normally am, incredibly honest to a fault. Earlier today, we did an interview with somebody from a foreign country, and they just started asking us all these shitty fucking questions, and it absolutely ruined my fucking day until I got on this stage, and I heard you.” He pauses as fans cheer and fists shoot up into the air. He continues, “And you turned it all around. I want to thank you from the bottom of my fucking heart, Phoenix. Thank you. I want to take you with me to every fucking city so you can give lessons on how a rock ‘n roll crowd is supposed to behave. I’m in such a good fucking mood right now. Phoenix! Let’s have some fun!” They wrap up the night with tons of pyro and the powerful song, “Burn It to the Ground.”
The “Get Rollin’ Tour” was fiery and left the audience with memories they’ll treasure for a long time. This tour is the perfect blend of country and rock and should not be missed.
Photography: Kara Blakemore
Nickelback & Brantley Gilbert – Footprint Center 7-12-23
Photography © Electric Eye Photo AZ
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