If you were in middle or high school in the early '00s, you definitely listened to Simple Plan at some point -- don't lie, you know the lyrics to "I'm Just a Kid" have been your AIM away message for at least a few days. For those of us who are about to feel really old, the Montreal-based band is currently on tour to commemorate the 15th anniversary of their debut album, No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls, and landed at NYC's PlayStation Theater on Saturday, March 25. (Please note: this is the second time the band is appearing in NYC on this tour; they first performed on March 10).
The setlist consisted of the entire album front to back, with a seven-song encore of popular titles from their subsequent LPs. Everyone in the audience knew every single word, screaming them out almost as loudly as the band was playing. The concertgoers truly embraced the culture of the pop-punk show, with multiple mosh pits emerging throughout the crowd, and an endless stream of crowd-surfers making their way to the photo pit, where the band members high-fived them on the way back to their seats.
Frontman Pierre Bouvier MC'd most of the show, greeting the crowd by saying, "15 f--king years, can you believe it?! Any time I say it, it just makes me feel really f--king old. But that's okay, because I still have my hair." This set the tone for the rest of the show, allowing the audience to bask in the memories these songs carried through their childhood and adolescence. The five members (Bouvier, Jeff Stinco, Sebastien Lefebvre, David Desrosiers, and Chuck Comeau) were unapologetically themselves throughout the show, roasting each other in between songs and jumping up on the platforms scattered throughout the stage.
A highlight was when drummer Comeau hopped off the drums, allowing Bouvier to take his place on the kit, and came to the front of the stage to give a heartfelt speech. "I never get to talk but I just wanted to say this: We started this band in my mom's basement in Montreal," he began. "We were just five best friends from high school, we barely spoke English, and we just had a dream to have people singing along to our songs, to travel the world, and to play in New York f--king city! It is such an honor to come up here and do this for all of you."
He ended by saying, "Let's take this back to 2002," at which point he ran and stage-dove into the crowd, who caught him and passed him through the length of the floor until he made his way back up to the stage.
Bouvier closed the show saying, "It's been an incredible ride. We've been doing this for almost half our lives. We've been to some amazing places, played some beautiful crowds just like you. The only reason why, 15 years later, we can still do this - play these places, continue to make music - is all because of you. Thank you all so much, and here's to another 15 years!"
I'd Do Anything
The Worst Day Ever
You Don't Mean Anything
I'm Just a Kid
When I'm With You
Meet You There
God Must Hate Me
I Won't Be There
Your Love is a Lie
This Song Saved My Life
Welcome to My Life