Nickelback Rock(star)s Ak-Chin Pavilion

Nickelback performs at Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix, AZ on September 9, 2017 (Photo by Greg Cohen)

People either love or hate Nickelback.  I understand the love – people love all kinds of music; generally whatever really moves them.  The woman in the row behind me, for instance, loves Nickelback so much that she chastised me for writing my review on my phone during the show instead of paying attention.  

What’s amazing though, is the depth of dislike that people have for them. I don’t understand that.  Nickelback lead singer Chad Kroeger even alluded to it during the course of the show. It confuses me that people would put so much energy into disliking, what seems to me, a perfectly fine and generally inoffensive band.  Nickelback performed at the Ak-Chin Pavilion on September 9 in a Live Nation produced show. The fans in attendance – and there were plenty of them – love the music, love the band and clearly loved the show. I fact, this was one of the few shows at Ak-Chin that I’ve been to in a while in which the fans have stood for the entire show. 

In what was a great, and very local moment, Nickelback invited local teacher Laura Semkiw and her student Kaleigh up to the stage for Rockstar Karaoke.  Ms. Semkiw and Kaleigh made a deal in September 2016 that Ms. Semkiw would cancel their AP English final if Kaleigh could arrange for Ms. Semkiw to meet Nickelback.  Kaleigh put her plea out on Twitter and, as can happen on Twitter, Nickelback responded in October 2016 with a video promising of tickets, backstage passes and a dedicated song in exchange for Ms. Semkiw honoring the deal and waiving the final exam (

Student Kaleigh asking Nickelback by Twitter for help in getting her teacher Ms. Semkiw to waive her AP English exam (Photo from Twitter).

And sure enough – Nickelback kept their promise.  Instead of dedicating a song to Ms. Semkiw, however, Nickelback invited her and student Kaleigh on stage to sing Rockstar with them.  Kaleigh handled it like a champ but Ms. Semkiw was incredibly nervous at first – until the music started.  Once Ms. Semkiw started singing Rockstar, however, she brought it.  She may have been a bit out of tune, but she certainly knew the words and made the most of the opportunity.  And Kroeger certainly appeared to enjoy his opportunity to finally put a teacher on the hot-seat.

Whether or not you like Nickelback, there are plenty of fans who do and they certainly enjoyed the hell out of the concert from start to finish.  And Rockstar Karaoke with Ms. Semkiw, a very local and seemingly genuine moment, was really quite endearing.



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