Will Phoenix's Nickelback Protest Heal America?

Nickelback is one of the most hated bands in America, if not the entire world.

So much so that there are scores of Facebook pages, Reddit discussions, and (of course) memes devoted to detesting the Canadian-born pop rock and alternative metal act. (They’re even hated in their native land, as cops in the small Prince Edward Island town of Kensington reportedly threatened to torture DUI suspects by playing Nickelback songs while they're in custody.)

Next to hating on Juggalos and the Insane Clown Posse, it’s become one of the biggest and most well-worn tropes in the music world.

And this weekend, Valley residents who happen to hate Nickelback with every fiber of their being can protest the band before its concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion on Saturday, September 9.

You read that right. Someone’s actually planning a Nickelback protest.

Local comedian Mike Lee is organizing the event, which will take place near the 83rd Avenue entrance to Ak-Chin Pavillion and include a candlelight vigil. He recently told Phoenix New Times via Facebook chat that he wanted to protest Nickelback because he feels it's an important issue.

“I felt a moral obligation to unite with other Phoenix residents and protest this concert, especially as children will be in attendance at this show and they need to know that this bloated corporate arena slop is not rock and roll,” Lee says. “Nickelback hasn't done anything personally to me. I just believe they represent a growing dissent [among] Americans... a desire for genuineness. A social revolt, so to speak.”

He also feels like hating on Nickelback could potentially heal our fractured and divided society.

“I believe that Nickelback has the potential to be THE wedge issue that wakes people up from their Wal-mart-induced haze and refocus their attentions on making the world a better place,” Lee says. “By helping our neighbors and finding common ground instead of ways to split us, hating Nickelback may be the one way to unite our country and get Americans to think collaboratively again.”

The protest, which will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., will also raise awareness for local artists and raise funds for charity. Local comedians including Erick Biez will perform, and Lee is requesting that participants bring Nickelback CDs, merch, and swag to the event, all of which will be sold. The proceeds will be given to local charities devoted to helping the homeless.

“We have a silent donor who will be accepting these items and then converting them to donations,” Lee says.

He also asks that participants bring signs, flags, and plenty of anti-nausea medication with them, just in case.

“And earplugs,” Lee says. “For God’s sake people, don't forget the earplugs!”

The candlelight vigil and a moment of silence ("In remembrance of the death of rock and roll," Lee says) will happen at dusk.

Some folks might say that there are more important issues in the world to protest these days. Lee, possibly in tongue-in-cheek fashion, feels that Nickelback is a far more important cause.

“The beauty of this protest is that the raw hatred of Nickelback and everything they represent crosses all ethnic, political, and generational gaps,” he says. “We are binding Americans together with one common thread; Nickelback is dangerous and should not be ignored.”

The Nickelback protest will take place starting at 5:30 p.m. along 83rd Avenue near the entrance to Ak-Chin Pavilion. It's free to participate.

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