It was a night of all grown up emo kids at Algonquin Commons Theatre on Wednesday evening when Montreal’s golden boys Simple Plan brought their 15th anniversary tour of ‘No Pads No Helmets Just Balls ..’ to Ottawa. The band has been touring all over US, Europe and Canada this year, and are heading over to Japan in October.
To open the show, were Missisauga’s Selfish Things, and Kitchener’s Courage My Love who both put on wildly energetic shows to make sure the crowd was warmed up for the night’s highly anticipated headliner. Selfish Things, who just released an album this spring, is a young group with lots to say. Singer Alex Biro poured his heart and soul on stage to the audience and left a lasting impression regardless of their short set.
Out of the three bands playing to the full theatre, it was Courage My Love that completely stole my heart. The power trio consisting of the charismatic front woman Mercedes Arn-Horn, her twin sister Phoenix on drums and bassist Brandon Lockwood won me over within the first three songs, which left me in awe before I climbed up to my seat on the balcony to let the rest of the band’s show to sink in.
The band has received lots of attention within the past few years including ‘Top 100 Bands You Need To Know’ by Alternative Press Magazine and were nominated for ‘Best breakthrough group of the year’ in the 2014 Juno Awards. They have just released their second full length album this year and we can’t wait to hear more of this band!
The audience could hardly hold their excitement until Simple Plan finally climbed on stage. The band has been touring extensively in 2017 commemorating the 15th anniversary of their album ‘No Pads No Helmets Just Balls…’, and regardless of the band now being family men and being together for close to twenty years, they sure still had endless amount of energy for their over an hour long show.
They kicked off their set with I’d do Anything, Worst Day Ever and You Don’t Mean Anything, and it was like no years had passed as the crowd religiously sang every single word. The sea of Simple Plan shirts and cell phones swayed back and forth as the band broke into one of their biggest hits, Addicted, jumped up and down with singer Pierre Bouvier, and screamed the closer the audience he got.
The beach balls came out during One Day and Bouvier tossed bunch of shirts to the audience for the hyper excited fans to catch, and as the band was starting Grow Up, Bouvier switched to behind the drum kit. After the band and the crowd urged the drummer Chuck Comeau to stage dive, he jumped in the audience to crowd surf to the delight of the excited fans.
The band closed the regular set with Perfect, and soon returned on stage for their seven song encore. After Shut Up, Jump and Boom, Bouvier made a point to let the fans know how band’s bassist, David Desrosiers is doing, as he has dropped out of the band’s tour this year to treat his severe depression he’s been battling for years. Bouvier assured Desrosiers is doing better and still very much part of the band.
The blunder of the night was when the sound was lost soon after Summer Paradise started, but the band continued regardless and the crowd happily finished the song for Bouvier. Soon after an excited fan ran on stage to hug Bouvier and was shortly escorted off the stage. Bouvier disappeared for a moment, until he appeared again at the sound booth at the back of the theatre to give credit to fans and finished their hit song Crazy. The night ended with Welcome To My Life and you could see the audience was still not ready to let go.
Simple Plan has gotten better with age and who knows if they’ll put another 15-20 years on the meter. One thing is for sure, the fans will follow, no matter what.
By Laura Collins