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Hey Hey I Wanna Be A Rockstar!

by JeffK | / Dallas Stars

As Dallas Stars Music Director I’ve had the privilege to work in an environment that embraces two of my favorite things; hockey and music. Every so often a band comes along that fuses these two worlds in perfect harmony. Mixing the know-how to rock, with the skill to pass, shoot and score. At the top of this unique list are the good Canadian boys in a little band called Nickelback.

To say Nickelback are passionate hockey fans is an understatement. The band grew up in a small Canadian town (Hanna, Alberta) worshiping at the altar of Hockey Night In Canada, and young superstars like Lemieux and Gretzky.

Since the bands inception in 1996 they’ve become a worldwide phenomenon, selling over 25 million albums worldwide, winning 9 Junos (Canada’s Grammys) and in 2007 they were inducted into Canada’s Walk Of Fame. All this has allowed Alberta’s favorite sons the latitude to do some really fun hockey-related stuff, including casting Wayne Gretzky in their video for “Rock Star” , Their cover of Elton John’ “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting” was used during CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. Nickelback even skated alongside the Great One during a 2006 stop in Phoenix during a Coyotes’ morning skate.

And if you’re still not convinced, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger had a full size ice rink constructed in the basement of his 20,000 sq ft home… complete with Zamboni, on his 20 acre spread outside Vancouver.

Like a proud papa Chad couldn’t wait to whip out his iPhone and show me pix of the Kroeger Ice Rink

A few months back when we discovered Nickelback would again be in Dallas I sent word to their record label to see if they’d be interested in autographing custom made NICKELBACK 09 Stars jerseys. The hope was to eventually auction them off to benefit the Dallas Stars Foundation. When the band agreed I made arrangements to meet them before their recent show at Center.

It was about that time the band’s tour manager mentioned 20 MORE people had just been added to the meet and greet. Normally this would NOT be allowed…. Except this time it wasn’t just any people. These people were led by Chad Kroeger’s good pal Mark Parrish. Nearly the entire Stars team had ventured out to see their favorite Canadian Rockers!

Seems Parrish and Nickelback go way back… to Parrish’s days in Minny when he joined the band on stage at the Target Center to shoot T-Shirts into the crowd. No formal arrangements were needed and Chad immediately treated the Stars to the finest hospitality.

Following Parrish backstage were Brenden Morrow, Marty Turco, James Neal, Steve Ott, Stephane Robidas, Mike Ribeiro, Joel Lundqvist, Loui Eriksson, Trevor Daley, Matt Niskanen, Brian Sutherby, and Jere Lehtinen, just to name a few. Even former Dallas Stars great Guy Carbonneau was spotted in the crowd enjoying the show.

The backstage banter varied between the legendary Playoff Series between the Stars and Canucks in 2007 to Nickelback’s thoughts on the Canucks chances this post season. The Nickelback boys have full confidence in Roberto Luongo’s ability to get the job done. They were also quite sympathetic to the Stars situation, realizing the Stars were kept from reaching their full potential this season.

Nickelback’s Dark Horse Tour amphitheatre show comes complete with pyro, fire and explosions, a huge video wall and a traveling drum riser. They blew through 2 hours of their hits, including “How You Remind Me”, “Rock Star”, “Photograph”, “Someday”, “Animals”, Savin’ Me”, “If Everyone Cared”, “Gotta Be Somebody”… and they also did a few covers; Filter’s “Hey Man Nice Shot” (featuring Seether’s Shaun Morgan on vocals), and Kings Of Leon’s “Use Somebody”.

On the night after the Stars 2008-09 season ended WAY TOO SOON it would have been understandable for the team to go their separate ways, but the Dallas Stars had one final “team” outing – a celebration of music and friends… and FUN. Nobody deserves it more.
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