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