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Avril Lavigne:
Not So Angry Anymore

by Autumn Thatcher
 
 
 
 
photos by Dave Tada
 

he 15th of November proved to be a very exciting Monday night for many young girls in Utah, when Avril Lavigne, with her long hair and darkly painted eyes, graced the Delta Center with her angry-girl voice. In contrast to some of her contemporaries, Lavigne’s performance was startling in that it was actually respectable. Her voice was clear, and it was evident that she was giving a live performance rather than lip-synching to a studio recording.

She began her performance behind a black curtain advertising her tour as backstage lighting enhanced her guitar-playing shadow. Anticipation was dripping from off of the sweaty-faced girls who could hardly wait one more second to see their heroine up-close. The curtain dropped during a “climatic” moment in the opening song, “He Wasn’t”, and the young fans screamed with ecstatic joy over the image of the tiny singer playing her guitar and “rocking” out to her simple lyrics.

Though Lavigne projects the image of an angry and torn punk rocker in the media, the singer appeared to be anything but angry in concert. Wearing a long-sleeved black shirt and black pants, she sang her songs, pausing only to explain the inspiration of certain ones, and constantly thanked her fans for coming out. Sadly for the cynical critic, expectations of juvenile acts of delinquency and a laughable performance were shot down by the surprising amount of maturity that the artist maintained throughout the performance. It was difficult not to like Lavigne because she was so damn cute. Her voice was cheery and sincere as she spoke to her fans, and when she sang, her face projected an honest joy for what she was doing. Lavigne even coordinated sets that included her playing the guitar or piano, revealing that she hasn’t only actually written many of her songs, but is also a multi-instrumentalist.

An Avril Lavigne concert can most easily be described as an act of “guilty pleasure” for anyone who has outgrown those agonizing teenage years. More laughable than anything that Lavigne could have said or done were the various mothers in the audience who were dancing and waving their arms next to their teenaged daughters. While some mothers were dancing and throwing their heads back whilst singing along with Lavigne, others came with their 11-year-old girls and sat in the chairs, clutching their purses and rocking back and forth to the music. Lavigne’s effect on young girls is easily understood, but watching women who are well over 40 try to relate to a 20-year-old single girl was really rather amusing. Lavigne, however, was less concerned with interacting with her fans than she was with trying to give a good performance.

Though her lyrics lack any amount of depth or intensity, Lavigne does a good job performing and proved that she has great taste in music in general by having Butch Walker, who has produced some of the songs on her recent album, open the concert. Between Walker’s killer performance and Lavigne’s delivery of guilty pleasure, the concert proved to be, well, surprisingly enjoyable.

autumn@red-mag.com

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