Simple Plan at Slippery Rock – Review
By Meghan Zonno
Simple Plan can be considered part of the “starter pack” for pop-punk music. They were forerunners in the genre, alongside bands the likes of Blink-182, Sum 41, and Yellowcard. The group has released five studio albums, but found the most success in their earlier years. Their first album includes hits that are still on their set list such as “Addicted,” “I’m Just a Kid,” “I’d Do Anything,” and “Perfect.” They followed this success with their sophomore album that brought us what could possibly be their most widely known song, “Welcome to My Life.” The band is made up of Pierre Bouvier (lead vocals), Chuck Comeau (Drums), David Desrosiers (Bass Guitar) who is currently on hiatus as he recovers from battling depression, Jeff Stinco (Lead Guitar), and Sebastien Lefebvre (Guitar).
The group played a college show at Slippery Rock University on November 2nd. Their opener was a band from Pittsburgh, Punchline. They tried their best to get the crowd moving for Simple Plan, but found little success. However, the crowd’s reaction was not a reflection of the band. From before the opening band to after Simple Plan left the stage, the crowd seemed largely underwhelmed and irritated by one another. Before the show started, people were threatening to throw punches for dancing to the music being played over speakers and angrily berating others for the fact that they had glow stick necklaces and bracelets. With all the aggression before bands even began to play, one would assume that the moshing would get pretty intense. That being said, throughout Simple Plan’s entire set, not a single pit formed. I had seen Simple Plan twice this summer on Warped Tour, and even then, during a thirty minute set, the crowds were still more excited and energized than during a full length show. The lack of movement did not stop the crowd from singing along to every song, so it still felt like a concert, just not a pop-punk concert. After the show had ended, multiple fans were harassing the security guards to give them setlists, picks, and other paraphernalia that was left on stage. They bothered the guards for a about five minutes before they finally took no for an answer and stormed off. Overall, the showgoers took away from the experience of the concert with their unending snarky remarks, mightier-than-thou attitude, and lack of energy and enthusiasm.
Simple Plan, despite the lackluster crowd, put on a great show. The energy exuding off of them was immense, and their joy was so easy to spot; not a single member ever stopped smiling. The camaraderie between the four was undeniable. Pierre, who is almost forty, was attempting (and miserably failing) the dance moves flossing and shooting, which brought laughter from fans and band members alike. They made joke after joke, which mostly poked fun at themselves. They played all of their hits, including “Summer Paradise,” reminding everyone who waited outside in the cold what the summer months are like; “Jump,” which was the only time throughout the show where people were actually moving; and “Boom,” one of my favorites, and a more recent release. In the middle of their set, they played a song that is very rarely heard live, “Untitled.” This one always resonates with me because of the music video that accompanies it, which features a family and the culprit coping with the aftermath of a drunk driving accident. The show closed, as it so often does, with “Perfect.” Forever a fan favorite, this song shows the emotional honesty people often forget the band has after all their goofy antics. “Perfect” leaves Pierre alone on stage with a guitar as he sings the heartbreaking lyrics about a son who believes he will never be good enough in his father’s eyes. The band comes back in after the first verse and brings energy back to the venue, ending the concert on a high note.
Simple Plan took the pop-punk world by storm in 2002 and do not plan on stopping anytime soon, as Stinco revealed the news that they have begun working on their sixth album. In the recent past, they have collaborated with Rivers Cuomo, Natasha Bedingfield, Alex Gaskarth, Frank Iero, and many others, leaving fans asking who they will collaborate with next. Hopefully, the new album brings a combination of their upbeat, angsty songs that often gain the most traction, alongside their sadder, more emotionally vulnerable tracks. After touring for an entire year in celebration of fifteen years of No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls, and then spending all summer on Vans Warped tour, they are taking a break from touring and heading back to the studio.
Edited by Candace Graham