I still can’t believe that I went for my second concert in 3 days (Jay Chou was on 3rd Sep) and it’s my first time seeing and hearing them “Live” since the first time I saw Pierre (the lead singer) in their I’m Just a Kid MV on MTV channel 14 years ago (2002).
Sorry for diluting the content in my blog away from travels but sometimes there will be memories that I would love to archive for future references.
“I’m just a kid” was a song that I could identify with at that young age as I was truly a kid. I am not familiar with the music genre but Simple Plan is regarded as Pop Punk music which is like a combination between rock and pop. There were other bands of the similar genre back then but only Simple Plan caught my attention and I loved every single song from their first album “No Pads, No Helmets. Just Balls..” Back then, the album title sounded ridiculous to me (still do now), but the songs were all that matter. It was refreshing to hear them perform 3 songs from their first ever album; the album’s first song “I’d do anything”, their first debut single “I’m just a kid” and the album’s last song “Perfect”, which was also their finale song for the concert. I can’t help but reminisce the days where I struggled so hard to find more information about them. Those were the days that we visit CD-Rama or other CD shops to just look for their albums, take it out and stare at the front cover and scrutinize the song titles on the back cover and put it back again because we couldn’t afford it.
I guess the kids/teenagers today will never know the anticipation of tuning into the radio everyday just to hope the DJ plays your favourite song.
Back then, we always flip magazines like “Teens” and “Teenage” to see if they have any exclusive interviews or posters of our favourite idols/celebrities. Not sure if they still have it but there used to be a giant 2-fold double-sided poster in the middle of the magazine. Apart from the giant poster, they also have random single page “poster” of singers/celebrities and I swear I have one from Simple Plan where I tore it out of a magazine and put it as the first page of my box file. I might just have that file somewhere in my room since I’m such a hoarder. Apart from that, I used to waste a lot of paper by printing lyrics of my favourite songs from azlyrics.com or something. I had a file (maybe 2 to 3 clear folder files) where I display the lyrics out like how my brother use such files for his guitar chords. After which, I will bring the file to school everyday and in my school bus, I will flip it and sing the song in my head or out loud if there was a friend beside me. Those were the days without smart phones, without pokemon go but we still had many happy memories. I guess that’s the reason why I knew the lyrics of all the songs in their first album that they sang earlier during the concert.
So my singers/bands of interest during the early 2000s belonged to A1 and Simple Plan. A1 kind of disappeared after 2002 so I guess my favourite was Simple Plan in 2002-2004, before I got interested in Mandopop. In 2004, Simple Plan got really popular and I think it was also the year they visited Singapore for MTV Asia Award. They were nominated for the Favourite Pop Act category but they only won the award in 2005. With the release of their second album “Still not getting any..” which included several hit songs like “Welcome to my Life” and “Untitled”.
In case you don’t know, the band writes the lyrics and music for most (if not all) their songs. Furthermore, they are one of the few bands that are still together with the same original members since 1999 (First album was in 2002). Off my mind, the only other band I know close to this achievment is Mayday. Their journey over the past 14 years has been pretty amazing and I cannot understand how Pierre can sound so similar despite singing the same song 14 years later. Even though all of them are already in their 30s, they are still able to sing songs about teenage angst with youthful emotions, despite being long over that phase. It’s also nice to know that they are aware that the songs they write can make people relate well with the lyrics. I guess that’s the reason why the style of their songs remain somewhat similar over the many years. While reading their interviews online, they do mention that their albums are “still not getting any” good reviews from critique. I guess to put things bluntly, it is true that the songs sound similar from the first track to the last track but I guess that’s what people like them for and.. why change? Haha this suddenly reminds me of Jay Chou and his struggle to change his music style.
Similar to Jay Chou, Simple Plan self-composes their own music and lyrics and write songs to raise awareness for certain causes. In their hit single “Untitled” from their second album, they told the story of innocent victims from Drink Driving. On a side note, Untitled was not performed during the concert.
“I open my eyes
I try to see but I’m blinded by the white light
I can’t remember how, I can’t remember why
I’m lying here tonight
And I can’t stand the pain
And I can’t make it go away
No, I can’t stand the pain
How could this happen to me? I’ve made my mistakes
Got nowhere to run, the night goes on
As I’m fading away, I’m sick of this life
I just wanna scream, how could this happen to me?”
As I write this post, I’m listening to their first album on Spotify and it definitely brings the emotions back from long ago and how I used to imagine that every single word of the lyrics can be put in the context of my life back then. Teenage angst. Heh.
Another song that I could somewhat identify with was “Grow Up” which was for the Scooby Doo movie soundtrack. They also wrote and sang “Don’t wanna think about you” for Scooby Doo 2 movie and I clearly remembered that this song was on my loop for infinite times during a period of my life which I can’t remember why anymore..
I was really lucky to have stumbled upon Simple Plan’s promotional poster at Paya Lebar MRT somewhere in July. Without it, I don’t think I would know that they are having a concert.. I don’t exactly listen to radio these days and I don’t have close friends who are still into them. To be honest, I only found out today that they had visited Singapore 4 years ago for a concert at Fort Canning. I would have gone for the concert 4 years ago if I knew but it doesn’t matter anymore since the past cannot be undone. Well, I’ve followed them on Instagram, Facebook and I’m pretty sure I’ll be well informed if they do visit again. Hopefully, it won’t take them another 5 years to produce their next album. I’m pretty sure that school fees for their kids ain’t cheap and they need to do more tours to earn the money (they are not shy to admit that they play music for a living).
Simple Plan was really 10/10 for Fan Service! Pierre & David went down the stage a few times to get closer to the screaming fans and Pierre even invited a fan up to stage after seeing her holding a paper or sign which says “My Childhood Dream is to Go up to Stage and Hug Simple Plan!” (I’m not sure about the exact wording but it was something like that.) I guess this girl was strategically positioned right in the middle and Pierre actually repeated the words a couple of times before finally inviting her up on stage before “I’m Just a Kid”. I can remember the part so clearly as Jeff (Lead Guitarist) had to play the melody of the introduction of I’m Just a Kid for a good whole 3 to 5 minutes as the girl jumped up and hugged Pierre twice! He even invited the photographer up to take a photo of them with the squealing fan girl. Jeff was really fantastic with the guitar and displayed true professionalism for this 100% Live Music Performance.
Pierre even collected a fan gift up to stage during a performance and Chuck prepared drum sticks (6 pieces) to throw to the fans at the end of the concert! They threw quite a number of towels down, together with uncapped bottles of half-drunk water where the fans were more than willing to be splashed with.. To be honest, in all the concerts that I have attended (this is my first rock concert), this was one of the best fan service i’ve ever seen. Somehow I really wonder if someone were to hold a Polaroid (a kpop thing) up, will they take a selife with it too?
Although the stage setup was simple and fuss free (more emphasis were placed on the lights and the smoke effect), the team really rocked the stage well with their frequent jumping (or rather bouncing) up and down the Amplifier Flight Case (not sure if this is the correct term for it). They spoke praises about Singapore – from the cleanliness, the beauty and the swimming pool; plus an awkard statment on the ban of chewing gum (I guess our nation will forever be known as the only country in the world that bans chewing gum).
In the final song “Perfect”, Pierre took out an acoustic guitar and played solo to the first verse of Perfect. It was kind of like my first time hearing and watching him play and sing at the same time. Well, I’ve never watched any of their live performance videos, only their MVs so it was kind of like a highlight for me. It’s nice to know that he still plays the guitar so well even though he sings like 99% of the time.
The song that brought Simple Plan to me
That’s it for tonight (I can’t believe it is 2:26am right now) Sorry for the poor quality photos and videos. They were taken on my iPhone 5S.
Just needed an outlet to express all my immediate emotions before I forget them. Thanks for reading, no matter who you are 😉
Setlist for Simple Plan “Taking One For The Team Tour” Singapore (Southeast Asia) Stop
- Opinion Overload
- Jet Lag
- I’d Do Anything
- Welcome to my Life
- Kiss Me
- Your love is a Lie
- Singing in the Rain
- (Cover) Uptown Funk
- (Cover) Can’t feel my face
- Can’t keep my Hands off You
- Summer Paradise
- I’m just a Kid
- Shut Up
- Perfect World
- This Song Saved My Life