Gig Review

Simple Plan
We The Kings
Manchester, HMV Ritz
2nd May 2012

Simple Plan         We The Kings


The HMV Ritz has performed quite the turnaround in recent years, from sticky floored, bizarre club night venue, to one of Manchester’s finest live music venues. Steeped in history and revamped ready for the future, tonight it plays host to two of pop-punks finest exports, Floridian new kids on the block, We The Kings and Canadian veterans Simple Plan.

Openers We The Kings are yet to prove that they have the staying power of tonight’s headliners, but what they lack in experience, they certainly make up for in unabashed enthusiasm. Entering the stage to palpable excitement, they seem to thrive off the hoards screaming back every lyric and bouncing along to every beat. It may be paint-by-numbers pop punk, but it sure is fun. Frontman Travis Clark pulls off a flawless performance, boasting an astounding vocal range, ducking and diving between registers as if it were the easiest thing in the world. Older tracks ‘Check Yes Juliet’ and ‘Secret Valentine’ unsurprisingly get the biggest reactions of the evening, and along with a cover of Jimmy Eat World’s ‘The Middle’ they leave the stage ensuring that they have gained a few new followers tonight, whilst keeping their old ones sweet.

Almost a decade and a half as a band is quite some achievement. By their own admittance tonight’s headliners should be over as a band given today’s standards. Front men taking on solo-projects, high profile feuds, or simply their time passing, you name it, we’ve seen it all. So what is it about Simple Plan that keeps them going?

The ‘Get Your Heart On!’ tour may be named after their 2011 release, but this particular European stint isn’t really promoting any album at all. Yet, night after night, Simple Plan manage to sell out to fifteen hundred adoring fans, all wanting their slice of pop-punk pie. And tonight they are not disappointed. Offering a huge back catalogue of songs, Simple Plan are able to put on a show where there is something for everyone, regardless of whether you have been there since the beginning or not.

From the off Pierre (Bouvier, vocals) parades the stage while the crowd takes the opportunity to put the building’s foundations through their paces. Many years as a touring band certainly shows, Simple Plan are slick, tight and highly entertaining. Songs from their first release No Pads, No Helmets…Just Balls certainly resonate with the crowd, nostalgia takes over and everyone is thirteen again, bounding around like excitable, pubescent teenagers.

Tonight Simple Plan are pretty much faultless. They were there to put on a show, and no-one seemed to be having more fun than themselves. A combination of a party-like atmosphere and summery songs ensures that everyone is left grinning from ear to ear as they pour onto the streets at the end of the evening. Standing the test of time doesn’t seem to be an issue to the band, but there’s one thing that is guaranteed - they’ll be around as long as you are.

We The Kings 3/5
Simple Plan 4/5

Review By Ben Connell

 Simple Plan

Pierre Bouvier
Chuck Comeau
David Desrosiers
Sebastien Lefebvre
Jeff Stinco

 We The Kings


 Band Related Links
Simple Plan Facebook
We The Kings Facebook
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?