A petition to prevent rock band Nickelback from performing the halftime show at the annual Detroit Lions Thanksgiving game is gaining traction in the days leading up the the event. Dennis Guttman, Detroit resident and noted Nickelback hater, created the petition on the political action-oriented website Change.org.
The petition, which has been signed by about 60,000 people, reads in part: “This game is nationally televised; do we really want the rest of the U.S. to associate Detroit with Nickelback?"
While the official stance is that Nickelback are Canadian and therefore unsuited to celebrate Thanksgiving in a town with such rich musical history, the petition itself, and many of the reactions to it, have turned a spotlight on the prevailing negative attitude towards Nickelback's music. Lead singer Chad Kroeger,for his part, remains outwardly oblivious.
"We always love playing in Detroit, our fans there have been tremendously supportive of us through the years and we can’t wait to come back and celebrate an exciting day for the Lions and the city of Detroit," Kroeger told FMBQ.
Despite being one of the more critically-despised groups of the last decade, Nickelback have sold upwards of 50 million albums worldwide and are the 11th best-selling act of the decade. Detroit resident Robert Jones, in a comment left on the Change.org petition site, had this to say:
"As a professional music producer/engineer/songwriter and lifelong Lions fan, I am disgusted with the choice of Nickelback as a representation of music and culture in Detroit."
"Nickelback? Is Nickelback Detroit? Does Nickelback have songs that reflect what we do in Detroit? What life is like? Nickelback's music doesn't even reflect a musical genre that has ever been popular in the city. It is not rock and roll, it's a nasty hybrid of the worst manufactured music on the planet," Jones concluded.
Despite the protests, representatives for the Detroit Lions confirmed that Nickelback will be featured during the halftime show. The performance is reported to be the culmination of weeks promotional duties for their forthcoming album, "Here and Now", which is due out November 25th.
“We’re four people who love making music, the way we like to make it. We entered the studio this year with a vision, and it all came together," Kroger said. "We’re extremely happy with the results, and can’t wait to share them with our fans.”
The Detroit Lions will face the Green Bay Packers, with or without Nickelback, at 12:30 PM on Thursday the 24th.