We’ve been reporting on Sam Proctor’s adventure to meet Nickelback having won a special eBay charity auction before Christmas. The day finally arrived and Sam went off to New York to meet the band and see the exclusive show. You can see her live photos of the band HERE and pictures of her meeting them HERE. Read on for the lowdown… Meeting Nickelback in New York í¢äåäóì The World, 1501 Broadway, New York, 21st January 2003 – by Sam Proctor Well, it was finally here. After over a month of waiting, I was actually in New York and I was going to meet Nickelback in the matter of few hours. I’d actually arrived in New York a few days earlier with my boyfriend and we’d taken in all the usual tourist sights including Central Park, The Empire State Building, the Chrysler Building and the New York Public Library. The first place we went to find though was 1501 Broadway located right in Times Square. This was the location of The World, a bar/club/gig venue situated in the basement of the massive Paramount Building. It was here that we would meet Nickelback and their crew. The morning of 21st January 2003 í¢äåäóì a huge wave of excitement hit me as soon as I opened my eyes on that morning, closely followed by feelings of intense nerves! How the hell was I going to be later on? Anyway, we wondered up and down 5th Avenue for most of the morning, had lunch and made our way back to the hotel. We just relaxed and watched TV for the afternoon í¢äåäóì it was nice to actually be inside after walking around outside such a lot. It was bitterly cold in New York. Temperatures were the coldest they’d had in ten years! On average it was about í¢äåäóì6 during the day and as cold as í¢äåäóì18 at night! Anyway, I started to get ready for the night’s event far too early, so ended up having quite a few beverages from the hotel bar to pass the time. I called Treana (Ryan Peake’s wife) at 6pm and we arranged to meet at the venue for 8pm. Originally it was going to be 7pm, but the guys were still doing press interviews so everything was running a little later than planned. Back to the hotel bar! 7.45pm arrived and we hauled ourselves into a black stretch limo to take us down to the venue. Our hotel was only a few minutes up the road from The World, so we got the driver to take us round the block a few times. Just before 8pm we pulled up outside The World, thanked the driver and got out. Even though Nickelback’s gig was kept fairly quiet, there were loads of people hanging around and queuing up down the side of the building. Obviously, people on the guest list from Roadrunner and other associated companies got straight in. The others in the queue, we presumed, were just there on the off chance they were going to be let in. At just after 8pm we met up with Treana and a guy called Clay, who was part of the band’s security crew. Treana was absolutely fantastic. She instantly made us feel relaxed and together with Clay, they took us into the venue. We chatted for ages about all sorts of things, including the new album, the tour and the expected new arrival in the Nickelback camp later on in the year! We met up with several of the crew, including Hawk, Chief and Donnie. All great guys and a pleasure to talk to. We also met a lovely lady called Lynda Kusnetz who is the Senior Director of Creative Services & Music Video Production at Roadrunner in the US. She thought it was great that we’d come all the way from the UK and donated so much money to charity all because of Nickelback. Treana gave us some Nickleback T-Shirts, hats and plectrums and then went off to check what time we would meet Nickelback. Not long after, she came back and took us to the ‘Meet n Greet’ area. There were only a few people there, but Treana said that we’d wait until everyone had gone. This would give us the most time with the band. By this time, the support band were on stage í¢äåäóì a group called Oleander. They sounded pretty good. A few minutes later, Treana said ‘Right, are you ready to meet the guys?’. I think my heart skipped a few beats at that question! We walked behind the curtain and there they were í¢äåäóì Nickelback í¢äåäóì in all their glory. Big smiles on their faces and eyes sparkling, they greeted us with such warmth. Obviously, me being me, I instantly gravitated towards Chad and he was the first one to get a great big hug :-)(I’d already admitted to Treana that I had a bit of a soft spot for Chad). WOW! He’s very tall, very sexy and very down to earth. He’s definitely not Villian of the Year (take note Kerrang! Readers). Ryan P was sporting rather more facial hair than normal, but it suited him and he was wonderfully charming. Ryan V had that cheeky school boy look about him and Mike was just the hallmark of laid back cool in his Jaguar baseball cap. They all thanked us for making such a large donation to the ICA childrens charity and said it was a really generous thing to do. We then remembered that we’d actually brought some stuff with us for them to sign. We said that we’d seen them in the UK a few times and that they might remember my banner. As soon as Ryan and Chad saw it they remembered me being right at the front of both the Birmingham and Manchester gigs í¢äåäóì most excellent! They all signed it and then got to work signing all my Nickelback CDs, my 2002 tour programme and some photos of the band that I’d taken during their Birmingham and Manchester gigs. I think by this point, I’d actually entered some sort of dream state, because I really can’t remember all the things that we talked about, or even if I said much at all. I just know that it was an amazing experience and I still can’t believe I was that close to Chad! There I was, next to the guy whose voice I’d fallen in love with about 12 months before! The first time I heard Nickelback I didn’t know who they were or what they looked like. I just knew that they had a great sound and that the singer was absolutely awesome. When I did find out who they were and saw Chad for the first time, I was completely gob smacked! WOW í¢äåäóì what a guy í¢äåäóì I was in love From that point on I knew that this was the band I’d been waiting for and I guess the rest is history! Several UK gigs later and a victory in an eBay auction, and there I was, next to the guy who started me on this crazy path! I’ve even started to learn guitar because of Nickelback! Obviously, we got some pictures taken with the band, just to remind us of the event in case we ever forget, but I doubt that’ll happen. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the band and how they were on that night. Hopefully the pictures will be up in the Gallery by the time everyone reads this. Before I knew it though, the guys were gone and it was time to make our way back to the stage area for the gig. I headed straight to the front whilst my boyfriend stayed with Treana in the sound/lighting control area, in order to take piccies of the whole stage. The guys came out and they kicked off with Woke Up This Morning. At this point, I hadn’t actually managed to get right to the barrier. I’d been stopped in my tracks by two huge blokes who were still wearing their woolly hats and plastic coats! I asked if I could get past and they told me to fuck off as they had got there first! Well, I just hope they weren’t RR staff ’cause it wasn’t really the response I’d expect from record company people! Not to be put off though I just proceeded to have a great time í¢äåäóì jumping up and down, arms in the air and singing away like there was no tomorrow. I was joined by my boyfriend at that point, who’d spotted the fact that not many people were actually jumping around. He’d been talking to one of the crew and they had said that the crowd was full of ‘boring fucks’ and that it needed some more people down the front that were out for a good time! Certainly the two blokes that had been unpleasant to me were just standing there and I was constantly being moaned at by two women for jumping up and down and putting my arms in the air! I had to ask myself the question ‘Why the fuck are you here?’ You’re at a gig! Do what you’re supposed to do at a gig í¢äåäóì have a great time í¢äåäóì throw yourself into it! Well, we both jumped around till we couldn’t jump anymore. At one point it came close to a fight with the two blokes previously mentioned, but after a couple of songs, I managed to get to the barrier and my boyfriend went back to talk to the crew and take some more pictures. Well anyway, I think the boring fucks around me got fed up with my UK spirit in the end and they moved away. The set list was the same as the UK tour. It was great to hear the new track (Figured You Out) again and I’ll never get tired of hearing Leader of Men, One Last Run and Too Bad. Obviously, I had a whale of a time throughout all the songs, and enjoyed seeing the guys in action again. It was a bit strange seeing Mike without his cowboy hat though! Nickelback finished their set with Hero and How You Remind Me. Utterly and completely awesome! After the show we hooked up with Treana and Clay again and talked about the crowd. They agreed that they were pretty poor and not up to the standard of ‘normal’ Nickelback gigs. I guess it’s the difference between a crowd full of genuine fans and a crowd full of ‘industry bods’ who are there because they can, not because they want to be! In addition, we were told by one of the crew that from his experience, New York crowds were always pretty boring! Oh well, they certainly didn’t stop me from having the best time in the World (literally)! Anyway, we stayed for awhile after the gig chatting to Treana and Clay. We also got Hawk, Kris and Timmy to sign my tour programme. Treana thanked us for coming and said that she was sorry we didn’t get more time with the band backstage as originally promised. We didn’t mind too much though, as she said that we would be on the Nickelback guest list in the future! Can’t wait to see the guys, the crew and Treana again. They are an amazing bunch of people who have a genuine love of music and of each other. I think that anyone who slates them should really look further than ‘How You Remind Me’ and the unfounded childish backstabbing in the music press about Chad. Nickelback are so much more than that and Chad certainly doesn’t deserve the crap that’s thrown at him. A single listen to their previous albums and actually meeting Chad and the guys is testament to their great abilities and their wonderful personalities! I’ll certainly continue to support and promote the band as much as possible now and in the future. Finally, approximately 4000 miles and about í£4000 í¢äåäóì was it worth it? Hell yeah! Nickelback fucking rock and I’m gonna make sure everyone knows it! Lyrics from Chad’s song ‘Why Don’t You & I’ which really expresses what I felt on the night: “Since the moment I spotted you I’ve been walking round with little wings on my shoes. My stomach’s filled with the butterflies. oh and its alright. Bouncing round from cloud to cloud Got the feeling that I’m never gonna come down If I said I didn’t like it, then you’d know I’d lied Every time I try to talk to you I get tongue tied Turns out, everything I say to you comes out wrong It never comes out right So I’ll say, Why Don’t’ You & I get together Take on the world, be together forever Heads we win, tails we’ll try again So I’ll say Why Don’t You & I get together Fly to the moon and go straight on to heaven Cause without you they’re never gonna let me iní¢äå_í¢äå_í¢äå_..” Glad you had such an amazing time Sam!