Simple Plan

support Silverstein
author PP date 23/01/06 venue Store Vega, Copenhagen, DEN

It wasn't surprising to find the entrance to Store Vega, Copenhagen crowded by teenage girls (and boys!) already 1? hours before the doors opened. The outdoor temperature was close to -10 degrees Celsius but yet all of the eager fans were awaiting by the tour buses to see even the slightest glimpse of their idols Simple Plan. Sometimes being a music fan is crazy indeed, and I was more than happy about being allowed to wait inside with KS for the Silverstein guys to finish their soundcheck before the interview. Before I commence this review, I must admit that Simple Plan doesn't belong into my favorite bands by a long shot. In fact, it is unlikely I would have come and see the show if it wasn't for the free entry via the guestlist. But boy, am I glad I did. The headliners Simple Plan surprised me more than I ever thought possible. Read on to find out why.

Silverstein

As the guys in Silverstein hinted us in the interview, they had reordered their setlist to place some of their softer songs first, in order not to freak out the Simple Plan fans straight away. After all, the Canadian emo/screamo act isn't exactly from the softest end of the spectrum, and to a 10-12 year old Simple Plan fan or the accompanying parent, Shane's screams might have been just a little bit too much in the beginning. It is also for this reason I felt that Silverstein started out a little bit slow. Not much was going on onstage in the first two songs, but once Neil and Josh broke into the opening riffs of "Your Sword Vs. My Dagger" all hell broke lose. Well, in one corner of the crowd at least. I think I counted about 20 out of the 1100 fans who displayed any knowledge to Silverstein whatsoever, and the few of us had all gathered into one front corner to create at least a moderate circle pit. Screams of small girls "STOP IT! STOP PUSHING" could be heard everywhere as soon as the pit started. This, to me, was also the real starting point of Silverstein's gig. We had gotten the obligatory soft songs (though not by any means bad songs) out of the way and we were approaching the climax of the gig. "Giving Up" (which was dedicated to me and KS by the way!), "My Heroine", and "Already Dead" were screamed along so loudly and passionately that the expressions on the Simple Plan fans' faces was indescribable. It was that of fear, respect and confusion, all mixed together. 'How could anybody be so passionate about music like this?' shined from their faces. Well, Dear Readers, that's what a 'trendy' movement does to you. The emo movement has been growing exponentially in the last few years and is reaching incredible heights as we speak.

During the screamed out parts Shane often leaned back with one hand behind his back, as if to fortify his lungs to bring out the maximum volume and passion. And indeed, the screams were even more brutal than the polished, well produced versions on the album, which certainly didn't calm down the part of the crowd where myself and KS found ourselves standing. As an example of the intensity in the pit: I lost my Digital Camera from my tight pockets during "Smashed Into Pieces" and once I found it, the screen had turned GREEN. How ironic. Very good and lively set from Silverstein, though the slow beginning pulls down the grade a little bit.

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Simple Plan

From the moment Simple Plan got on stage and the first notes of one of their most famous songs "Shut Up" resonated from their amps, I understood why everyone was so excited to see them. From the very first minute it was clear that Simple Plan are rockstars in the traditional sense: Pierre (vocalist) and David (bassist) know how to handle a crowd. They made the whole show interactive to the fans by constantly asking the obvious but undeniably important questions like "How are we all doing tonight?" in between of their songs. The show was clearly tailored to girls, though, who made up roughly a 70% majority in the crowd, as Pierre more than once announced "Damn there are many hot girls here tonight. I wanna have sex with ALL of you right now, I don't care about the sweat". My ears were about to explode from the high pitched screams that followed the previous statement. But aside of all of the cheesy stuff, their liveshow was awesome. Shane and Paul of Silverstein definitely weren't lying when they said Simple Plan is one of the best live acts they've toured with. If you've ever seen Fall Out Boy live, you'll have a great idea of what Simple Plan look like live. The stage is full of simultaneous jumps, running around, bright coloured lights and the band members are using the instruments almost as if they were hula-hulas. More often than not, their songs were finished by three or more members standing on the elevated parts of the stage with their instruments high up in air: it's almost as if it's taken straight from the ABC of how to be a huge rock star.

The music was well balanced between the fast paced pop punk and the slower, more anthemic songs. During the faster songs I could swear that the floor wasn't a floor but a trampoline, and during the slow ones like "Crazy" the room was lit by the mobile phones and lighters. The good thing about their set was that all of their songs were easy to learn. I could swear that by never having heard the songs before, already by the second chorus I knew the lyrics to it. Arguably, this can be a bad thing sometimes, but tonight the poppy songs just made everyone in a good mood and to dance to the songs. Usually at gigs, you only see the first few rows bouncing up and down passionately, but in Vega even the rows furthest back by the bar were doing it. All in all, it was one of the most positive surprises I've ever experienced live. I had come with the preconception of a major label style show where the band stands still and not much is happening on stage, but contrary to my beliefs, there wasn't a single moment where I would've been bored or wanted to leave. Good job Simple Plan.

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