MAQUOKETA, Iowa – It’s the kind of thing that happens once in a lifetime, but in Mitch Paulsen’s case it happened twice.
“It was the Jones County Fair back in 2017,” Paulsen remembers. “I got to sing ‘Rockstar’ with them.”
He sang with Nickelback once at the Jones County Fair and now a played guitar with them for a second time at the Mississippi Valley Fair Saturday night.
“I went from vocals to guitar last night,” Paulsen explains.
Out of 28,000 fans at the Nickelback concert Saturday night, Paulsen was the lucky one. But it wouldn’t have been possible without his creative idea that paid off, literally.
“Here’s the sign I made up,” he explains. “It says “1 Canadian nickel each if I can play ‘Animals’ with you”.”
Paulsen has played the guitar for 20 years and last week he practiced Nickelback’s song ‘Animal’ 24 times to live his dream once again.
“Once I got up on that stage and got that guitar strapped on me, it just all went away,” Paulsen says.
The band may not remember Paulsen from the first time he debuted with them, but everyone in Saturday night’s crowd will.
“At one point they even said my name,” reminisces Paulsen. “Hearing 28,000 people say “let’s go Mitch” was very powerful.”
For now, he’s taking his claim to fame with a new nickname.
“I’m calling myself “Mitch from Nickelback” just because it sounds funny – if it catches on it catches on,” Paulsen comments.
Paulsen says his advice if you want to get on stage with Nickelback is: get up front, grab their attention, bring a neon green sign, and carry some Canadian nickels.