“POP PUNK IS NOT DEAD!” shouted Simple Plan lead singer, Pierre Bouvier, on Monday at The Fillmore. Seeing the crowd that night, hearing them scream every single word, I can say for certain that Pop Punk is alive and well.
Simple Plan kicked off the night with a burst of boyish energy. Bouvier ran about, bouncing around the stage, hopping up on speakers, as if it were their first performance. In reality, it’s been 20 years since Simple Plan released their debut album, No Pads, No Helmets… Just Balls. Monday, they celebrated their anniversary by performing a number of their debut songs, including “I’m Just A Kid” and “Perfect”, wrapping the audience in nostalgia for a time when they were filled with anger, but they were free.
Not to be trapped in the past, Simple Plan announced the release of their upcoming album, Harder Than It Looks, followed by a performance of their new single, “Wake Me Up (When This Nightmare’s Over)”.
After a short break, there was an explosion of green smoke and red light. Sum 41 sprinted on stage, launching into a performance of “Motivation”. Following them through a cloud of smoke, guitar held high, was lead singer, Deryck Whibley. Sharp, volatile, and loud – with a streak of cockiness – Whibley is the personification of 2000’s teenage angst.
Like Simple Plan, Sum 41 was celebrating 20 years of their debut, pop punk album, All Killer No Filler. Playing hits like “In Too Deep” and “Fat Lip” from that album, and even earlier work like the punk rock “T.H.T”, Sum 41 used the night to showcase their earliest, most nostalgic, sound.
Sum 41 has evolved into a more heavy/alt metal and punk rock sound over the last decade, so seeing them embrace pop punk once more at The Fillmore was a treat. However, Whibley mentioned that Sum 41’s upcoming album, Heaven and Hell, will feature a return to their early pop punk sound.
Pictures were taken by me, Theodore Zinn.
Simple Plan and Sum 41 co-headline the Blame Canada Tour. Information on upcoming tour dates can be found on Sum 41’s website.