For the fifteenth anniversary of their album No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls the Canadian rockers played a one-off show at O2 Forum Kentish Town and it was as much a party as it should have been.
If you’re into pop-punk and you weren’t at the Forum on Friday night you sure missed one hell of an anniversary celebration as Simple Plan played their legendary album in full and added a few gems on top.
As you’d expect with an album anniversary tour, the band played their debut album in full and front to back. Yet, there’s always something special about these kind of shows, because the band will play songs fans haven’t heard live in years and the die-hard fans know exactly which song is next. Kicking off with I’d Do Anything is not just a great choice being the first song on the record but also because it’s essentially embodies 2002 Simple Plan in one song. The youthful energy, the early noughties pop-punk lyrics and the, plain and simple, fun all wrapped into one. The set finishes with an acoustic rendition of Perfect performed by frontman Pierre Bouvier.
With an eight-song encore, Simple Plan give their audience a whole extra half hour of all the hits, so to speak. There isn’t much left to be desired with tracks like Shut Up, Boom!, Your Love Is A Lie, Summer Paradise and Crazy. And when a girl passes out in the crowd the band stop their show and don’t resume until they make sure she’s okay. It’s just one more thing that proves what a great bunch of guys these Canadian rockers are.
This evening the O2 Forum Kentish Town felt like a big family gathering celebrating a birthday or wedding anniversary – just with a lot more music. The intimate atmosphere, the different relationships each audience member has with Simple Plan’s songs, is what makes tonight even more special. And with a roof-raising performance of Welcome To My Life the band sends the room off into the night with big smiles on their faces, and their pop-punk hearts bursting.
Throughout the show, Pierre repeatedly makes it clear how much London means to the band and how much they enjoy playing in this town. And it’s easy to see why, with a crowd this dedicated, whether they’ve been a fan since 2002 or just recently discovered the tunes of Simple Plan, every person in this place is sharing the love.
And one thing is clear, there ain’t no pop-punk party like a Simple Plan party.