Nickelback• Brantley Gilbert• Josh Ross• July 6, 2023• USANA Amphitheatre

Reviewed and Photographed by Josilyn Wakkuri Lybbert

USANA Amphitheatre was the fullest I’ve ever seen it on Thursday, July 6, 2023! Nickelback, Brantley Gilbert, and Josh Ross drew in the masses for the Get Rollin’ Tour! I noticed how diverse the crowd was as they filed in. From quite young to old, some dressed in Western wear, others dressed in all black, the multitude and variety of people made me think that this was a show not to miss!

Due to some delays getting in, I was sad to miss the first act of the night, Josh Ross. From what I could hear as I waited, he had a country music sound, and really was quite good! The filled amphitheater definitely seemed to think so as each song and comment were met with roaring applause!

Brantley Gilbert

Brantley Gilbert was the second artist on deck for the night, and people were stoked for him to be there! He and his band set the tone for their entire performance from the second they stepped on stage. There were so many of them for one. Multiple guitarists and bassists, and of course, the drummer and Brantley himself. They were so filled with energy and excitement. You could tell that they were as happy as the crowd was to be there. Each member worked the stage by interacting with fans, and with each other, with genuine joy all while some rocking country music played and flames imploded behind them. Brantley Gilbert’s first song, “Kick It In The Sticks,” was followed by, “The Weekend.”

I knew that I knew the name, Brantley Gilbert, and I knew that I would be familiar with some of his songs. But as the setlist played on and on, I was happy to realize that I at least recognized, if not knew, most of the songs! “My Kind of Party,” was played next. It was the perfect hype song to kick it up a notch, even though it really wasn’t needed!

That pattern continued with each song. Whether it was high energy like, “My Kind of Party,” or slower and emotional like, “You Don’t Know Her Like I Do.” When it was more of a party song, the crowd of course partied it up by jumping up and down and singing, or throwing the “rock on” hand sign up. But with the more mellow songs, they were all just as engaged and seemed to feel what was being sung. Especially during, “Hell of an Amen,” as Brantley dedicated it to those who have served or are serving our country. He took a moment to express his gratitude, and the once rowdy crowd showed their appreciation with reverence and applause. 

Brantley Gilbert also favored the audience with his hits including, “Small Town Throwdown,” “Son of the Dirty South,” and, “Country Must Be Country Wide”. He also threw in some covers like, “Blue On Black,” by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and, “A Country Boy Can Survive,” by Hank Williams Jr. It seemed like people loved the variety. He performed the cover songs like they were his own. His voice was powerful and steady throughout the entire time on stage. Gilbert and his band really gave everything they had on that stage, and put on a great show!

Another popular hit, “Bottoms Up,” was next! Then, Brantley said, “You got your ticket and saw my name on it and wondered, ‘Why would Nickelback bring a redneck like him on tour with them?”. He continued, “It’s because I grew up on stuff like this”. Gilbert then proceeded to play covers, “Whatever,” by Godsmack and, “Shine,” by Collective Soul! After they wrapped up that jam session, they finished out the night with, “Take It Outside,” and, “Read Me My Rights.” Brantley Gilbert’s performance was one of the longest opening acts I’ve ever seen. Gilbert and the band played for almost as long as Nickelback would to follow! The set and band were obviously well-loved and thoroughly enjoyed. They got everyone even more hyped for the rest of the night!


The time between Brantley Gilbert and Nickelback flew by. Soon a video of a van traveling across the country began to play and then the stage went dark. The band appeared on stage in the darkness and the party got started! Nickelback started off with the song, “San Quentin,” and followed with, “Savin’ Me.” Everyone was up on their feet and dancing through each song. The graphics that played on the screens behind the band were noticeably impressive and many correlated with the songs being played. Or they were just cool!

The lead vocalist,  Chad Kroeger, said, “She’s a full one tonight!” referring to the packed-out venue! He introduced the next song, “Far Away,” as a song for the ladies. Because it seemed like they liked to sing along to it more than anything. Following that one, Chad said, “Oh hi sweetheart!” as a little girl in the crowd was shown up on the screen. He continued and said, “Uncle Chad is bad with the F-bombs. I’m bad with all the bombs, so just ignore the bad words and sing along. I’m glad your parents brainwashed you to be here. Hopefully, we’ll see you at Nickelback shows for the next twenty years!” Fans got a kick out of that interaction! 

They played another popular Nickelback jam, “Someday”. It was fun to see people in the crowd singing every word, and they did so for nearly every song! While I don’t know a ton about Nickelback, I found myself knowing most of the songs they played. Which always makes a concert extra fun! I listened to them frequently on the radio growing up, and I was impressed that for one, they played hit after hit which isn’t always the case with concerts. And, two, that they sounded so good and almost identical to the Nickelback I remember hearing on the radio twenty years ago. 

When giving the background on the upcoming song, Chad said back in the day he used to write more shocking lyrics that would get them “canceled” nowadays. But added that people had been trying to cancel them for twenty years and hadn’t been successful in doing so! It was clear by the number of attendees and joy portrayed by those attendees that Nickelback is in fact not canceled! The song with the “shocking lyrics,” was, “Figured You Out.”

“Heroes,” which was in Spider-Man 2, came up next. Chad said that instead of picturing a superhero swinging through the streets of Manhattan, he admitted that he was more picturing smoking marijuana with his friends when he wrote it. But it did suit the movie even though that wasn’t his initial thought for the song! 

They also favored the crowd with an awesome cover of Steve Earle’s, “Copperhead Road”. They were joined by both opening acts, Josh Ross and Brantley Gilbert and his band. Which made the song even more of a good time!

A few songs later, they played a more acoustic version of their song, “Photograph”. Everyone sang their hearts out to that well-known song! Soon the expanse of USANA Amphitheatre was filled with flashlights that made the whole area glow! It was a beautiful sight to look back and see nothing but bright lights. It definitely made the setting feel magical!

Next up was another popular hit, “Rockstar!”. They recruited a person named Stephanie to come up on stage and sing with them, and she did a great job! She knew every word and didn’t seem nervous at all! It was another, especially fun one, as it seems like everyone knows, “Rockstar,” and sang/screamed the lyrics! 

Playing through, “Too Bad,” “Those Days,” and then hit, “How You Remind Me,” before exiting the stage prior to an encore. As fans waited they started collectively cheering, “Nickelback!” over and over again until they reappeared! The night ended with popular, “Gotta Be Somebody,” and, “Burn It To The Ground!” 

I was blown away by Nickelback’s performance! Not only were they musically talented, but they also put on a great show by engaging with fans and telling stories!

Josh Ross, Brantley Gilbert, and Nickelback gave concert goers one heck of a good show from their music to their presentation and personalities! I’m happy that I got to be there to be a part of such a memorable night!

3 Replies to “Nickelback”

  1. Thanks for so nicely describing all 3 acts! Nice summary! But how do u REALLY write so others can FEEL that kinda experience?!? We saw the same engagement you describe when we went to the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, June 16th. Absolutely awesome show! Enuf so that I’m taking my sista to Clarkson Pine Knob in a month. They put on an absolutely fantastic show!!!! NB 4eva

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