December 17 at Halifax Metro Centre
Perhaps no band in the country knows their target audience better than Montreal’s Simple Plan — and their strategy is as straightforward as their name suggests. 1. Design a stage production making such elaborate use of a variety of different pretty lights that it distracts from the quality of the performance. 2. Induce piercing screams from the largely underage audience by commenting on how incredibly hot the girls are. 3. Continuously ask the audience if they “like partying with Simple Plan” and “Are you going to buy our new CD when it comes out next year” and, of course, promise to come back “as soon as we possibly can.” 4. Make use of three different backdrops, the last of which is a giant “SP” adorned with additional lights that variably change colour and flash in different configurations. While response to SP’s set was predictably manic, one had to think Canadian Idol contestant Jacob Hoggard’s opening performance with band Hedley was delivered with an authentic energy that was pleasantly surprising and lacking from the headliners’. Planet Smashers, you were not even in the right neighbourhood.