Elec­tri­fy­ing Lav­i­gne

Cana­dian pop star Avril Lav­i­gne ended her Black Star world tour in Kuala Lumpur with a bang last week­end.

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - FRONT PAGE - By TER­ENCE TOH en­ter­tain­ment@thes­tar.com.my

IHAVE a con­fes­sion to make: I have the big­gest crush on Avril Lav­i­gne. What can I say? Her style and her mu­sic ap­pealed to me since I was a teenager. I love her songs, which are melodic and spir­ited, and it helps that the singer is easy on the eyes, par­tic­u­larly in her Un­der My Skin black tutu phase.

Posters of her adorned my be­d­room walls dur­ing my for­ma­tive years, and I of­ten drove my fam­ily mad with my many tune­less shower ren­di­tions of My Happy End­ing.

While, as time pro­gressed, I have fallen for oth­ers (celebrity and non-celebrity, re­quited and un­re­quited alike), there has al­ways been a spe­cial place in my heart for the spunky Cana­dian pop princess. And af­ter watch­ing her spir­ited per­for­mance at her con­cert at Sta­dium Merdeka last Satur­day, gosh darn it, I think I have fallen for her again.

The show was pre­sented by Tune Talk and JS Con­cert Pro­duc­tions here. Per­form­ing in Kuala Lumpur as the last stop (the 57th show) of her Black Star world tour, Lav­i­gne put on an elec­tri­fy­ing per­for­mance, de­light­ing with her in­fec­tious en­ergy and catchy tunes. About 14,000 fans turned up for the show, many queu­ing out­side the sta­dium hours be­fore it started, de­spite ear­lier show­ers. The at­ten­dance was a slight dip from Lav­i­gne’s 2008 Best Damn Tour con­cert, which saw crowds of around 15,000 at the same venue. But credit to Lav­i­gne for hold­ing her own (again!) at Sta­dium Merdeka, which is not one of the eas­i­est venues in town to keep the party pump­ing be­cause of its size. In the last 10 years, Linkin Park, Mariah Carey, Ce­line Dion, My Chem­i­cal Ro­mance and Justin Bieber were some of the ma­jor in­ter­na­tional names to take on Sta­dium Merdeka.

Keep­ing the fans en­ter­tained be­fore the show was DJ Na­dine Ann Thomas, Miss Uni­verse Malaysia 2010, who spun pop­u­lar club hits such as Duck Sauce’s Bar­bra Streisand and LMFAO’S Sexy And I Know It.

The con­cert venue proved ad­e­quate, with more than enough space for all the fans. A mi­nor gripe, how­ever, is that the pro­jec­tion screens dis­play­ing the stage per­for­mances were per­haps a lit­tle small for the sta­dium, es­pe­cially since many fans were seated rather far away.

Lav­i­gne made her en­trance on stage dressed in a low-cut T-shirt, jeans and boots, wav­ing a green star-shaped glow­stick while singing Black Star. She soon launched into a spir­ited ren­di­tion of What The Hell, the first sin­gle from her re­cent al­bum Good­bye Lul­laby, and the re­ac­tion from the fans at this point was deaf­en­ing.

The singer de­lighted with her up­beat en­ergy and coy mis­chief, and had the au­di­ence eat­ing out of her hand the whole night.

“Are you guys go­ing to be crazy out there?” she called out at one point. “OK, you guys are go­ing to jump! Let’s jump!”

“This song goes out to ev­ery­one out there who al­ways gets what they want!” said Lav­i­gne with a laugh­ter as she per­formed the catchy I Al­ways Get What I Want.

The Black Star tour had pre­vi­ously been de­scribed by Lav­i­gne as “more in­ti­mate” than her pre­vi­ous tours, and so was de­void of back-up dancers, fancy spe­cial ef­fects or any­thing of the sort, mostly be­ing just Lav­i­gne rock­ing out with her band – a seven-piece unit.

This did not mean that the con­cert was less en­ter­tain­ing how­ever, if any­thing, it added to the show’s ap­peal, show­cas­ing Lav­i­gne’s prow­ess as a per­former.

Born in the small town of Belleville, On­tario, Lav­i­gne, now 27, has come a long way as a livewire per­former since she made the charts with her de­but al­bum Let Go in 2002.

Her cat­a­logue, fea­tur­ing four stu­dio al­bums, has given her an all ages fan-base. And whether it was fast­paced num­bers such as Girl­friend and Sk8ter Boi, or slower pieces such as When You’re Gone or Wish You Were Here, Lav­i­gne gen­er­ally did well at Sta­dium Merdeka, although her vo­cals were oc­ca­sion­ally over­pow­ered by her band’s loud mu­sic. She seemed to be shout­ing on a few songs, such as Alice and Don’t Tell Me, but re­gard­less, she gen­er­ally sounded great through­out.

The singer ended her 14-song set with I’m With You, per­haps one of the high­lights of the night. Lav­i­gne oc­ca­sion­ally stopped her band’s mu­sic to have the fans sing along to the cho­rus, and lis­ten­ing to the crowd singing this emo­tional bal­lad felt al­most mag­i­cal.

The en­thu­si­as­tic au­di­ence, how­ever, clearly couldn’t get enough of their idol. Af­ter re­peated shouts of “We want more! We want more!” Lav­i­gne soon reap­peared for an en­core, spark­ing loud cheers and ap­plause.

Her first num­ber was com­pletely un­ex­pected as Lav­i­gne de­cided to switch her band mem­bers around, as­sign­ing them to dif­fer­ent in­stru­ments from their usual.

“I don’t know what we’re do­ing,” said Lav­i­gne with a charm­ing smile. “But we’re go­ing to give you guys some­thing f***ing spec­tac­u­lar!”

And so they did, as her lead gui­tarist Jimmy Mc­gor­man stepped up to per­form Amer­i­can in­die band Foster the Peo­ple’s Pumped Up Kicks, while Lav­i­gne backed him up on gui­tar. The re­ac­tion from the crowd was deaf­en­ing.

While Mc­gor­man’s per­for­mance was great, it was Lav­i­gne the fans were truly ra­bid for, and she did not dis­ap­point, end­ing the night with per­for­mances of Black Star and Complicated, her de­but sin­gle. “I’ve had the best time,” pro­claimed Lav­i­gne as the night ended. “We’ve been ev­ery­where, and we’re so happy that we could come here tonight and end the tour.”

Judg­ing from the ap­plause, most fans were happy to have had her come as well. And who wouldn’t be, given Lav­i­gne’s charms and big voice?

A fun con­cert over­all, which was also a nice per­sonal re­in­force­ment of my celebrity crush. Here’s hop­ing you come over to KL a third time, Avril!

And call me this time!

Strike a pose: avril Lav­i­gne milk­ing the mo­ment dur­ing her con­cert at Sta­dium Merdeka.

Pumped up: The young masses were all revved for the avril Lav­i­gne con­cert last Satur­day. a crowd of 14,000 turned up – proof of the singer’s pop­u­lar­ity in Malaysia.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.