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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why Detroit Football Fans Are Protesting Nickelback Performance

The band Nickelback. (James Anderson)

Nickelback, the Canadian rock band and five-time Grammy Award nominee, is kicking off the release of its seventh album, “Here and Now,” with a live performance at the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers football game on Thanksgiving Day.

But this Turkey Day’s halftime show has not been without controversy. Earlier this month, more than 50,000 people signed an online petition against the band’s appearance at the game.

The petition creator, 22 year-old Dennis Guttman, wrote, “Detroit is home to so many great musicians and they chose Nickelback… The Lions ought to think about their fans before choosing such an awful band to play at halftime.”

Petitioners supported Guttman’s position, adding comments such as: “Haven’t the good people of Detroit been through enough?”

So we asked, why does Nickelback have some people plugging their ears? Even though the band has sold more than 45 million records worldwide and their last album went triple-platinum, critics deride their music and detractors are in abundance.


  • Maura Johnston, music critic for The Village Voice

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  • Wes

    Way to ruin a perfectly good Wednesday, Here and Now. If I could go the whole rest of my life without hearing another Nickelback song, I’d die a happy man.

  • Anonymous

    Nickelback sounds like Pearl Jam from 1991.  They should be protesting that lack of any measurable progress in Rock since Kurt Cobain died.  Though I agree they do write a catchy formula anthem tune.  I sing along even though I only hear their music on other people’s speakers.  That is the definition of catchy and predictable.

  • Jbhenehan

    Having Canadians perform is brilliant. It leaves Americans free to celebrate Thanksgiving!

    • Anonymous

      I had that same exact thought!  I figured they probably couldn’t book an American Band because they were all busy celebrating Turkey Day and since Canadian Thanksgiving is on a different day Canadian bands would be available.

  • Anonymous

    I kinda like what I heard here. One trick pony?- well AC/DC also has a pretty narrow range and I love them.  I think maybe the backlash might have something to do with being radio-friendly corporate rock.  In the age of iPods and Youtube, we can find and get unique, quirky, very individualized music and don’t need vanilla, generic, mass-marketed bands.  BTW  It seems to me that “nickleback” is a pun on “nickle bag”- a cheap, $5 amount of marijuana. They apparently have a different “official” explanation for the name, but I’m not buying it.

  • All_in_for_Michigan

    I signed the petition because Michigan is thought of as a down and out state by other states and this could have been the perfect opportunity to showcase Michigan artists! Oh, and because their music is just horrible in a generic way. If they were terrible for something outrageous, that would be one thing, but they are just…meh. And that’s the worst kind of bad music.

  • Matamblyn

    If anyone wants to sell their ticket to the game because Nickelback is doing the half time show let me know!!!  I kind of thought people buy tickets to the game because they are a football fan and want  to SEE THE GAME….not because of who is doing the halftime show.  You guys have nothing better to do????  Get a grip!

    • Nate

      I agree wholeheartedly.  I’ve been to two Cowboys Thanksgiving games, and never cared to find out who was playing until I was in the stadium.  I ended up seeing Carrie Underwood and The Jonas Brothers… I disliked both. It’s something like 3 songs in a terrible acoustic setting with half the stadium getting food or in the bathroom.  It just doesn’t matter.

    • Eel119

      as a born and raised detroiter, i share some unfavorable detroit personality traits… overly judgmental, partly sheltered, pseudo cultured, experience lacking opinions. it’s just a sad way of trying to gain a discriminating identity, by voicing strong judgement. I escaped Detroit 16 years ago and – Look! I’m doing it now

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mark-Moore/100003192247456 Mark Moore

    Check This Motown Tribute To Nickelback –> http://youtu.be/3KzP4bC1Ypg?hd=1

  • Stan

    This only verifies what Americans are concerned about.

    Feed us more SEX, SCREEN and SPORT.

    Bread and circuses is all that matters. The empire crumbles, but who cares? Give me my 3 “S’s”.

    “We’ve turned into this nation of overfed clowns, riding around in clown cars, eating clown food, watching clown shows. We’ve become a nation of cringing, craven f*ckups.”  James Howard Kunstler, author of “The Long Emergency”

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