Saturday night, we took a break from cleaning to go see Avril Lavigne at Foret National in Brussels.
It’s always nice to see Canadian performers here in Belgium but I must admit I was a bit concerned as I eyed the crowd outside the arena. I don’t really pay much attention to music demographics. I like what I like. I hadn’t really thought much about Avril’s fan base in Belgium and let me just say, when I eyed the crowd I started feeling really old.
I had forgotten that the concert was general seating so we had to brave the Belgian shove to get inside. As most of the crowd was piling onto the floor, we headed up into the bleachers. We ended up front row center of the upper bowl and the view was perfect. As I looked at the crowd below me I noticed the average age of the Avril fans was somewhere around 14, and let me tell you, 14-year-old girls can make a lot of noise. Andrew and I weren’t the oldest couple there – but we were among the oldest people that didn’t arrive with a 9-year-old daughter.
When the opening act came out, my heart sank. I was starting to think that we blew 80€ on a crap concert. The ‘band’ The Jonas Brothers, was received with shrieking applause. Andrew and I sank further into our seats. They looked to be about 14, although I’ve hit the age where everyone under 20 looks 14 to me so who knows. Andrew commented that they sounded just like Hanson. All I could think was that the lead ‘singer’ reminded me of Joey Jeremiah…
When the trauma was over, we had to sit through a half hour set change full of screaming. “Oh my god it’s a roadie AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” “Look they are tuning a guitar AHHHHHHHHHH!” “Look they adjusted a light WAAAAAHHHHHHH!” Oh my ears.
When Avril came out any excitement I had left was shattered. The first two numbers all I could think was A) who the hell choreographed this? And B) Avril should NOT ‘dance. The ‘dancing’ involved walking back and forth and a few arm moves in sync with the dancers. It looked forced and silly and not at all ‘Avril.’
Once that silliness was over though, the concert quickly turned around and Avril did what she does best – sing. My favourite part was when they brought out a stool and she just sat and
sang a few numbers with an acoustic guitar for backup. She sounded awesome. The crowd kept up the enthusiasm right to the end and Avril’s crowd interaction was great. Despite the rocky start I’m really glad we went.
Here are a couple of videos from the Brussels show. They aren’t mine. I waded through a lot of videos to find these. 14-year-old girls aren’t the greatest videographers. The first is my second favourite song from the new album which she sang from the stool. The second video was shot sideways but despite that was one of the better captures I came across. It really shows her interacting with the crowd. So, tilt your head to the side and enjoy!