Live Review: Avril Lavigne and supports at Cardiff Castle

Lizi went to relive her childhood a Avril
Lavigne and Simple Plan performed in Cardiff Castle with support from Phem!

My latest show had an interesting venue in the form of Cardiff Castle as Avril Lavigne and Simple Plan were ready to bring us all back to our childhoods.

First up, is a relatively new artist in Phem. She put on a fantastic half hour set with tracks including my favourite American Beauty and the insanely catchy Silly Putty, alongside new single Donut. Phem put on a great performance, commanding the large stage well and showing off not only her vocal talents and skills with the guitar, but also her drumming, taking to the kit for a cover of Teenage Dirtbag. As someone who’s been a fan for the past couple of years, it was great to finally see Phem live.

It was well and truly party time next as Simple Plan (coming on to the Main Theme from Star Wars) powered through hit after hit including the likes of I’d Do Anything, Shut Up, Jump and Welcome to My Life. They also brought out Airxyel for a fantastic rendition of the catchy Jet Lag.

It is true that no one (well except maybe Bowling For Soup) brings a party to the stage like Simple Plan and of course there was a lot of fun, with a bombardment of beach balls for Summer Paradise and five Scooby Doos joining them on stage for What’s New Scooby Doo?! Drummer Chuck also had his moment in the spotlight, jumping into the crowd to crowd surf in I’m Just a Kid whilst frontman Pierre took to the drums. The song was introduced with a speech about listening to the song as a kid and parents saying it’s just a phase. It was a great set that got the crowd hyped up, especially with the covers of All Star and Mr Brightside.

When it was time for Avril Lavigne to take to the stage, she kicked straight into Girlfriend, with the crowd immediately shouting every word back. It was clear from the start that she was struggling with some tech issues, but powered through and didn’t let it affect the show.

Throughout the show – which included classic hits such as Complicated, her personal favourite Losing Grip and Sk8er Boi – she mentioned how happy she was to be here and thanked the crowd for supporting her for all these years.

There were also more recent classics like Here’s to Never Growing Up, Bite Me and Love it When You Hate Me, the latter saw Avril down into the photo pit to greet fans, signing autographs whilst performing.

A fun ‘Facetime’ with Simple Plan recalled the band to the stage to perform their hit Addicted alongside Avril whilst four lucky fans were brought on stage to receive signed skate decks and a chance to sing along.

After the monumental hit Sk8er Boi, Avril and her band left the stage with chants of ‘Avril’ going through the crowd. After a few minutes, a visually beautiful montage played on the screen before Avril re-emerged in a white flowing dress for an emotional three-song encore of Head Above Water, When You’re Gone and I’m With You.

During Addicted, Avril and Pierre mentioned that they toured together in Cardiff 20 years ago and it was roughly the last time either had played in the city. I sure do hope they don’t leave it so long next time as it was a fantastic show!

Elizabeth Birt

July 3, 2024

Band management assistant. Goth princess and lover of all things music and sport.


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