Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Bluesfest Day 2: Ottawa councillor Tim Tierney meets Nickelback

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Ottawa councillor Tim Tierney was thrilled to meet the members of Nickelback, the band whose name is tattooed on his forearm, in person for the first time at Bluesfest on Friday after decades of worshipping the Alberta rockers. 

The encounter took place before the band’s mainstage show in a sitting area set up between trailers behind the main stage at LeBreton Flats Park. It looked to be a friendly exchange between rock stars and a super-fan, complete with a round of photos.

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Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger and two of his bandmates met Tierney and his wife, Jenny, who said she refused to believe the tattoo was real until recently. A good-natured Kroeger seemed to want to confirm its authenticity, too, and everyone was surprised it wasn’t an air-brushed job. 

Tim Tierney (L) got to meet Chad Kroeger (R) and the Nickelback band backstage at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia

For Tierney, who’s 49 and grew up in Constance Bay, the moment was not unlike meeting Santa Claus, as one observer put it. Looking spiffy in his blue-tinted, rock-star glasses and hipster jeans, the decade-plus member of city council was grinning like a demon in the presence of his favourite band. 

He brought with him a plaque signed by Mayor Mark Sutcliffe declaring Nickelback the official band of Beacon Hill-Cyrville, the ward that Tierney represents. Beaming from ear to ear, he showed it to Kroeger. 

Capping off the most awesome day of Tierney’s life was the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to introduce the band to the vast crowd. 

Then came an obnoxiously loud concert full of profanity that will be remembered for the number of times Chad asked for another shot of liquor. I counted three. 

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“I’m at a rock concert,” the singer-guitarist said, rationalizing the indulgence. “I want to party, too.” 

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Nickelback concert on the main stage at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia

There was no argument from the thousands of people stretched across the plaza, including a fair number in cowboy hats, a detail that illustrated the crossover appeal of rock and country music these days. 

No matter what the genre, Nickelback fans came to hear the hits and the band delivered, punctuating the show with explosive blasts of pyro and an extra layer of grit on Kroeger’s distinctive voice.

At one point, the gruff singer formerly married to Avril Lavigne called for a giant campfire singalong on Photograph, then called up the opening act, Warren Zeiders, a hot country rocker from the US, to join in a countrified take on Rock Star. 

Rounding out the set was the smash hit, How You Remind Me, unfurling to its natural heights on the sound of more than 25,000 voices singing along. 

MORE PHOTOS FROM BLUESFEST ON FRIDAY NIGHT

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Tim Tierney on the main stage prior to the Nickelback concert at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
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Nickelback concert on the main stage at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
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Fans during the Nickelback concert on the main stage at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
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Artichoke Hearts at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
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Riverstage crowd at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
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Mia Kelly takes the stage at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
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Riverstage crowd at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia
Bluesfest
Riverstage crowd at Bluesfest in Ottawa, July 05, 2024. Photo by Jean Levac /Postmedia

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