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Volume 69, Issue 94, Thursday, February 19, 2004

Arts & Entertainment

Two punk sounds please young audience

Entertaining performance lacks maturity, credibility

By Dusti Rhodes
The Daily Cougar

A college student, especially one who had a test the next morning, might not have been looking forward to Tuesday night's show at the 610 Arena, but Simple Plan's appearance was the only thing happening in months for a pair of 16-year-old Allisons from Katy Taylor High School.

"We have been here since five and have been standing here since seven," said Allison Robbins whose teenage body was sandwiched between crowd members and a metal barricade that kept her and her closest companion at distance from the stage. 

Dusti Rhodes/The Daily Cougar

Sebastian Lefebvre and Simple Plan coerced a cell phone vigil out of Tuesday's crowd full of high school students.

"This is the closest we have ever been," said Robbins' best friend, Allison Chandler whose hair and clothes were matted to her skin with sweat. The two had already been through the first three performances for the night but were anxiously awaiting the final performer, Simple Plan.

The band lacks more credibility in today's music scene than Milli Vanilli in the 1980s. Its stage performance was obviously choreographed, and it was hard to tell if lead singer, Pierre Bouvier, was thinking of the next lyric or going over his next dance moves in his head. 

But the band does its job well, and its performance was practically flawless from a technical standpoint. Appreciation was shown with crowd surfing and voices screamed in unison with every one of the band's mediocre masterpieces.

Many might have thought they were seeing the death of rock 'n' roll during the encore when Bouvier suggested the crowd hold up lighted cell phones during the acoustic introduction of "Perfect." Perhaps he was aware the majority of the crowd could not buy cigarettes.

The thing is, even though bands like Simple Plan might not have any credibility amongst today's musicians, it doesn't stop it from creating music that somebody will love, especially people like the Allisons.

"It was awesome," said the sweat-drenched Chandler. "I caught Sebastian's pick and his water bottle, but I'm going to split it in half with Allison because she loves Sebastian."

These girls might not be the fans of the greatest rock band but a following of fans like the Allisons provide some evidence that it must be doing something right, even if it is simple.

MxPx co-headlined the tour with Simple Plan and brought a sense of the old-school to the young fans of punk amateurs. 

Simple Plan/MxPx

610 Arena, 5515 1/2 South Loop East

The verdict: A good show ? for minors.
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