Upon arrival to the Hordern Pavilion, it was clear to anybody who would pass by that the night was going to be one to remember. Fans were lined up so far back it took nearly five minutes to walk from the front of the queue to the back.
Due to the popularity of Simple Plan and We The Kings, this line was slow moving as the security let people through the gates in groups of thirty, making it easier for the guards to check bags before allowing people through the gates. This was not one of the finer ways that the security could have handled this situation, as due to this; many of the fans had to miss the first supporting act The Never Ever.
Their pop-punk/electro style excited some of the younger fans who were in the crowd. The older people stood back or were conversing with one another as they played. Others were at the merch table which had been consistently busy since the doors had opened, or finding something to eat or drink. However these areas were so highly popular that there was always a long waiting line for these sections. As The Never Ever drew their set to a close on their popular song “Hey KT”, the crowd fell silent again before turning to converse with each other once more.
The tech crew for the second supporting band We The Kings began to set the stage in preparation. After a short wait, the crowd went wild with screams and cheers for the band as the starting notes played to their high energy opening song, ”She Takes Me High”.
The band were bursting with energy – especially lead singer Travis Clark, who took it upon himself to involve the crowd at any given opportunity, whether it be in shouting something back to him, or doing a particular movement in unison, it was a fantastic display that captured the attention of the audience of all ages.
As the set continued, things slowed down from the usual upbeat, bouncy tunes when Clark and keys/guitarist Coley O’Toole performed “Heaven Can Wait”, harmonising together beautifully to fit with the slow, clean acoustics. The set was brought to close with their highly popular song (that has featured on Australian television and commercial radio airplay), “Check Yes Juliet”. The crowd erupted with excitement as the song was performed.
As the set drew to a close, the crowd piled in, ready for Simple Plan to take the stage. After what seemed like a long wait, the lights turned off, the overhead music stopped and the silhouetted members of the band appeared as an LED screen displayed images of a broken heart and the band’s name. The LED screen at the sides and back of the stage were active the whole night, which enhanced the experience for all.
Every member of Simple Plan were bursting with energy and took turns in speaking to the audience, making the crowd feel appreciated as they were reminded of how happy the band was to be here and for their support throughout their career.
The band played a good combination of old and new songs, with the former exciting fans more – perhaps for the sense of nostalgia. Half-way through their setlist, the boys covered three popular songs “Moves Like Jagger”, “Dynamite” and “Sexy and I Know It”, in which they danced around as though nobody was watching and encouraged the audience to join them.
A disappointing factor to this night, however, was that some of the jokes, comments and language was not all ages appropriate for some of the young children in attendance. Another curdling moment saw Christina Parie, of last year’s popular talent competition, X Factor, joined in to sing during ”Jet Lag”, her strong voice attempting to dominate the lead vocals, which was a bad combination – making the song sound a little messy.
However, towards the end of the night, the band announced that their albums Jet Lag and Summer Paradise had both gone double platinum, and their newest album Get Your Heart On went gold; before bringing the crowd back in and drawing the night to a close with one of their older favourites, “Perfect”.
- Heather McNab