Simple Plan has released 4 studio albums and have been around for more than 10 years now, while their styles and lyrics have changed, their plan to entertain is still simple!
#1: Maintain that punk rock look
With the exception of lead guitarist Jeff Stinco, all they have to do is keep their hair, style it, and stick to their t-shirt, jeans and sneakers. Or maybe even add a piercing or some tattoos! This look works on both girls and guys – most girls swoon at their hair and find tattoos and/or piercings sexy, while the guys like the overall laidback punk look.
#2: Tell fans they’re looking for a girlfriend
This worked on the girls that attended the concert on Jan 15 – all bassist David Desrosiers had to say was “I don’t have a Singapore girlfriend yet!” and they screamed and jumped.
Their lives are pretty much kept private but Bouvier did say, “You have a girlfriend!” in front of the crowd that night. Desrosiers was quick enough to repeat that he doesn’t have a Singaporean girlfriend yet. Meanwhile, rumour has it that Bouvier is engaged to his longtime girlfriend Lachelle Farrar, and the couple now has a baby girl.
#3: Play a mixture of old songs and new songs
One way to work the crowd is to interact with them and get them to sing with you. – meaning mix up the set list with old and new songs. That’s just what the band did, playing a fair share of songs from their previous as well as their latest album.
The concertgoers included people of different age groups: there were parents with tweenagers, adolescents, and those in their early twenties. So it was a good strategy to keep their audience excited by playing the band’s older songs first. In an interview with The Alter Press, Bouvier mentioned that “there’s definitely an element of ‘fun’ that was present on their previous albums” and it’s reflected in classics like ‘Addicted’ and ‘My Alien’, which was a crowd pleaser. While the crowd was pumped up and enthusiastic, Simple Plan took the opportunity to play their newer songs.
When it was time for ‘Astronaut’, Bouvier urged the audience to take out their mobile phones and wave them in the air, so that the light coming from them would look like stars shining. What resulted was a sea of glowing orbs like constellations in the night sky.
Another thing they did differently than a punk rock band would on a promotional tour was play a medley of 3 different songs in between the 4 songs from their latest album. The band played CeeLo Green, Taio Cruz, and Pink’s top hits like ‘F*ck You’, ‘Dynamite’, and ‘Raise Your Glass’. These genres were of course very different from their own, but the audience were delighted.
There wasn’t a clear structure or pattern in the order of songs they chose to play, but it worked, grabbing the audience’s attention with their picks, the sequence they were played in, and a dose of band-audience interaction.
Ending the concert with another classic, everyone was hyped when they recognised the riff of “I’d Do Anything”, screaming the lyrics and jumping so much they shook the grounds of the venue. Of course, it didn’t end there. After chants of “Encore! Encore! Encore!”, Simple Plan came back on stage with a song from their new album before pleasing the crowd once more with another familiar song.
They say familiarity breeds contempt, but I say it brings back memories.