[still having the sniffles. currently listening to sleep now in the fire.]

this 34-year old rocker git had unashamedly bought two front standing tix for avril lavigne a few months back (ash, you missed a great gig! *rubbing it in*). i did, for a moment, thought how weird it would be like attending a gig filled with screaming teenage girls (and their parents), but then again, i did see this girl woman perform a few months back, and that’s another story.

Gig ad. Sheffield's the last date in the European leg of her tour.

another little worry i had was whether or not she could give a good, rocking show. forget the fact whether she is really a skater/hardcore/punker or not. if anyone remembered her rendition of metallica’s fuel at MTVicon a year ago, you’ll know what i mean. she can sing, but god, did she look nervous (then again, try performing any metallica song in the presence of metallica themselves!).

Simple Plan rawking it out.her support act was simple plan, a pop/punk band from montreal. i’ve heard of them, when i went back to kl early this year (saw ’em perform on the MTV asia music awards on the telly). typical radio-friendly pop/punk fare, especially with the current climate of bandwagon-jumping bands (regardless of genre), i wasn’t surprised. i’d say they were more bowling for soup, with a pinch of sum 41 thrown into the mix, as opposed to blink 182. the only recognisable tunes as far as i was concerned were addicted, perfect and i’d do anything. they were really good, not mind-blowingly original, but good. and i noticed that they use cornford amps, but amps will be a subject to talk about another day!

a large screen was dropped as the crew was sorting out simple plan’s gear. when the lights go off prior to a headliner’s performance, i’d usually hear:

aaaAAAAARRGGHH!!!! yeaaahhhh!!!!!woooHOOOOOOOO!peeeeee-wiiiiit![band name here]!!!!

however, when the lights went off this time it was:

[in the highest decibel register you can think of!]

the unmistakable silhouette of miss lavigne playing a tele was projected on the said screen, with her playing the opening riffs to he wasn’t. the screen dropped to the ground, and surprisingly enough, the crowd went nuts but in a milder british manner. hehe. evan taubenfeld was nowhere to be seen on the guitar (apparently he left the band in september). and, boy, they rocked big time. avril looked so petite onstage. thank god for the platforms they had in front of the stage. it didn’t help when, as usual, that i carry the jinx of always getting a bleedin’ 7-foot wookiee standing right in front of me at gigs.


clad in a simple black tee and jeans, she belted out a few of her current stuff, including take me away and my happy ending in the first half hour of the show. it’s when she got going on her material from let go, that i noticed a certain friend of ours was singing sk8er boi word-for-word. shock! horror! unlike some artistes (yes. them.), avril does seem to not wield musical instruments as mere accessories. she ain’t no liberace, but when she played forgotten on the piano, she played well (unlike this woman. hahaha.). she also played how does it feel, i’m with you and anything but ordinary solo on the acoustic gibson. for me, when it comes to music, if the musician plays decently and honestly, (s)he will be in my good books. no virtuosity, albeit impressive, needed. apart from a slight out-of-key moment due to her in-ear monitor, her singing was up to mark.

Avril and her many musical instruments.

for the encore, the band had avril on the drums, belting out an excellent rendition of blur’s song 2, with david desrosiers (simple plan’s bassist) on vocals. the second cover of the evening (the first being simple plan doing the darkness’ i believe in a thing called love), the crowd lapped it up with much fervour. avril then sung the ever-popular complicated and finishing off the show with the sombre slipped away on her piano.

whilst i may not rush (we’ll see. hehe) to get gig tix the next time she comes to town, i had a great time. it made me forget my revision for a good couple of hours, and that’s a good enough indication.

[the bottom two pics are courtesy of black. for more pics of the show go here.]