By Stefny At The Disco
Oh my glob, I wish I had a photographer last night because I would frame and hang every single picture in my house. I’d make wallpaper out of it. WHAT A SHOW.
Yes, it was at Germania Amphitheater. Yes, it’s still August. Yes, it’s still 1000º. It seems that the doors, or at least the start time, got pushed back from its original time by about 30 minutes. By the time we parked and got to the box office, it was almost 7 and there were still TONS of people coming in, parking, going through security, etc. The place was absolutely PACKED. Pit was full, seats were full, pretty sure even the lawn was full, although I couldn’t really see that far back because there were SO MANY PEOPLE.
Sum 41 came out around 7:30. As you may or may not know, they have announced plans to disband after the release of their next album next year. I thought this might be my last chance to see them, but lead singer Deryck Whibley assured us that they would be coming through on one last tour.
This set was like the soundtrack to my summers in middle school, practicing gymnastics on my trampoline. They started off with “Motivation” from 2001’s All Killer No Filler, followed by “The Hell Song” and “Over My Head (Better Off Dead)” from 2002’s Does This Look Infected?
Deryck was very concerned with getting circle pits going the entire show. It was pretty cool to still see people rocking out so hard. Plus, there was a guy in front of me who was losing his absolute mind, but I think he might have also been on something.
They really chose to play all the hits here, because next was “We’re All To Blame” from 2004’s Chuck (an excellent birthday present to myself, might I add). “Walking Disaster” from 2007’s Underclass Hero was actually the newest song they played, which they followed up with a legendary rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You” with significantly more instrumentation.
The band went back to All Killer No Filler with the MMUSA (yes, they predate Fuse) classics “In Too Deep” and “Fat Lip” and finished with “Still Waiting,” the lead single from Does This Look Infected? My cousins and I used to sit in the back room of our grandparents’ house and watch this video and pretend to be the different band members. I probably forced them into letting me be Deryck, idk.
Simple Plan took the stage to the Star Wars theme. Felt like I was at ACL when they open the gates for a second.
I was supposed to see Simple Plan 16 years ago, but I had a panic attack before their set and had to leave the venue. So this was a long time coming.
They started their set with “I’d Do Anything” from 2002’s No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls. This is the first song I remember hearing from them, although they did have a single beforehand which I’ll mention later. Next were “Shut Up!” and “Jump” from the 2004 follow-up Still Not Getting Any… (they really like ellipses don’t they?).
Once again, it warmed my heart to see so many people unapologetically headbanging and dancing around to Simple Plan. I feel like when I was a kid, you got positively lambasted if you admitted to that. Times have changed.
After that, they went back to the beginning with “Addicted,” the song that got us all to sing along and say the word “dick” with the radio and in our parents’ presence.
While “Welcome To My Life” might not be the song that most people first think of when they hear Simple Plan, it’s most certainly one of their most ~emo. Check out these lyrics: “Do you ever feel like breakin’ down? Do you ever feel out of place like somehow you just don’t belong and no one understands you? Do you ever wanna run away? Do you lock yourself in your room with the radio on turned up so loud that no one hears your screamin’?” TEENAGE ME FELT THAT IN MY BONES.
Then, Simple Plan blessed us with a new song. They actually put out a new album last year titled Harder Than It Looks (and finally lost the ellipses) but oddly enough, “Iconic” wasn’t even one of the singles. They DID have a single called “Ruin My Life” that featured Deryck from Sum 41, so I’m a little disappointed they didn’t play that, but “Iconic” absolutely whipped. The entire time they were playing it, my brain was thinking “Did they use this in the Stanley Cup Playoffs?” It just sounded like a playoff hockey song. Well, I just looked it up, and HNIC and the Pittsburgh Penguins did in fact use it. Go me.
After that, lead singer Pierre Bouvier said they wanted to party. And party they did. They brought out a bunch of massive beach balls for the crowd and played a medley of such party hits as “All Star,” “Sk8er Boi,” and “Mr. Brightside.” It was pretty… iconic.
Next, and I am 100% not joking, they played “What’s New Scooby Doo,” the theme song that they really, actually performed for the 2002 cartoon. Also, a person in a Scooby costume came out with a t-shirt gun. It was insane.
Then Pierre told a story about how he got into music and decided that he wanted to spend every day at concerts, introducing the song “Where I Belong.” This song was released in 2019 and features fellow pop-punkers State Champs and We The Kings.
Their actual first single, “I’m Just A Kid,” was next. This song was featured in the Austin-filmed movie “The New Guy,” as well as “Grind” and “Cheaper By The Dozen.” This song really made the rounds in the early aughts. Although the video features clips from and the stars of “The New Guy,” the video itself was filmed in Long Beach, CA. Although the illustrious Austin background actor Jesse Heiman does feature.
Finally, it was time for the most emo of emo songs. This is probably the song most people associate with Simple Plan, and the lyrics revolve around the daddy issues many kids face. “And now I try hard to make it, I just wanna make you proud. I’m never gonna be good enough for you,” and “I’m sorry I can’t be perfect.” My inner tween is tearing up just thinking about those lyrics.
Between bands, The Offspring had the most interactive downtime I’ve ever seen. It was like a sports game. They had Offspring Trivia, a Kiss Cam, and a Booty Cam! There was some dude inexplicably dressed as a gorilla! It was wild.
The Offspring put on an unequivocally bananas show. Not only was the performance epic, but the visuals were exciting, and Dexter and Noodles were SO ENGAGING. They spent like half the show just riffing and talking. And yeah, it was 100% all rehearsed, but it was fun! According to Noodles, there were 1,702,001 people in attendance. I don’t know that I believe him, but as I said before, there sure were a lot. They also interacted with the crowd a lot and told us we were a choir of angels. 🥰
They took the stage to “Take On Me,” which was part of the aforementioned fantastic pre-show, and immediately launched into “Come Out And Play,” followed by “All I Want” and “I Want You Bad.”
Next was “Let The Bad Times Roll,” aka the name of this tour, and “Staring At The Sun.” They actually played 19 songs so I will spare naming all of them, but brooooo they played all the hits. Dexter played “Gone Away” solo on a piano. They did a cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop.” They had wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube men that looked like the dork from “Pretty Fly (For A White Guy).” Noodles and the band played snippets of “Iron Man,” “The Trooper,” and “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” plus a stupidly good rendition of “In the Hall of the Mountain King” which is a classical piece from Peer Gynt! Like what?!
I was a little surprised they actually did an encore, although I don’t know why, I really shouldn’t have been. But the encore was “You’re Gonna Go Far, Kid” and “Self Esteem.” What a way to end the show. My goodness.
I would re-live this show every night if I could. Definitely one of the most fun I’ve been to in a long time, maybe even years. And I’ll even forgive them for having it at COTA.