Home World Avril Lavigne opens Shoreline concert season with cool show

Avril Lavigne opens Shoreline concert season with cool show


A voice of a generation doesn’t need to be so complicated.

It can be straightforward, direct and, alternately, fun and poignant. It can be like overhearing a conversation from the teen next door, who is going through some life situations and simply trying to figure things out.

It can be Avril Lavigne.

Thus who scoff at that notion certainly weren’t at the opening night concert of the 2024 Shoreline Amphitheatre season, when Lavigne drew a huge crowd of mostly 30-and-40-somethings who grew up on her music and still deeply adore her music.

Not only adore, but clearly feel like her music still speaks to them.

That could be seen — heard — throughout this delightful Mountain View stop on Lavigne’s Greatest Hits Tour, as thousands sang along with passion and purpose to one likeable number after another. Yet, the moment that really crystalized the whole view came when the singer unleashed the massive 2002 smash “Complicated” and fans got behind every single word like their were belting out the anthem to their lives.

Although it’s been more than a decade since Lavigne had a top 20 song in the U.S. (“Here’s to Never Growing Up” in 2013), the Canadian star’s continued influence on pop culture should not be denied.

She rose out of a small city in Ontario in 2002 with the full-length debut “Let’s Go” — built from a batch of songs she’d penned as a 16-year old — and proceeded to conquer the world with one bouncy fun tune after another.

She was peddling a radio-friendly pop-punk sound — with a heavy emphasis on the pop — and presenting a down-to-earth young skater image that stood in direct contrast to what was being portrayed by the so-called pop princesses of the era. Some labeled her “the anti-Britney,” although Lavigne wouldn’t embrace that title. In all, it’s hard to imagine what the inventory of such teen-focused mall shops like Hot Topic would look like today without Lavigne’s mighty influence.

The testament to that lasting influence came with the giant turnout, which filled up all the seats as well as much of the massive lawn area at Shoreline. (The only unofficial attendance figure I heard was in the 13,000 range, although the crowd felt like even bigger.)

Of course, it’s been a long time since Avril was a 17-year-old star sitting on top of the charts — and the world — with her debut album. And she seems perfectly OK with that.

“I’m 39 — 39 and living my best life,” Lavigne said.

That definitely appeared to be the case during this roughly 90-minute Shoreline show, which kicked off with a high-energy version of “Girlfriend” (from 2007’s “The Best Damn Thing”) and quickly continued through “What the Hell,” “Complicated” and “Smile.”

Lavigne’s vocals were as strong as ever — benefitting from the Mountain View stop coming early on in this Greatest Hits tour — as she led the crowd in sing-alongs of “My Happy Ending,” “He Wasn’t” and “Don’t Tell Me.”

She’d touch upon all seven of her studio albums — including the most recent offering, 2022’s “Love Sux” — during the 17-song set. Yet — befitting the Greatest Hits Tour moniker — the show drew most strongly from the early blockbuster albums, “Let’s Go” and “Under My Skin,” both of which have been certified multiplatinum.

It was unfussy pop-punk pretty much from start to finish, with a bit of straightforward rock (particularly on “He Wasn’t”), without much special effects or production elements used (or needed) to sell it. Mainly, it was just Lavigne singing and chatting to the crowd, backed by a pretty solid five-piece band.

One of the more fun moments came when she called out Alex Gaskarth and Jack Barakat — from one of the evening’s opening acts, All Time Low — to perform with her onstage. They’d rip through “Fake as Hell,” the collaboration with Lavigne featured on All Time Low’s 2023 album, “Tell Me I’m Alive.”

After that All Time Low highlight, Lavigne kept the party right on rolling along as such closed up the main set with such favorites as “Love It When You Hate Me” and “Sk8er Boi,” before returning to close out the night with a two-song encore of “Head Above Water” and “I’m With You.”

1. “Girlfriend”
2. “What the Hell”
3. “Complicated”
4. “Smile”
5. “Here’s to Never Growing Up”
6. “My Happy Ending”
7. “He Wasn’t”
8. “Don’t Tell Me”
9. “Losing Grip”
10. “When You’re Gone”
11. “Fake as Hell”
12. “Bite Me”
13. “Love It When You Hate Me”
14. “Best Damn Thing”
15. “Sk8er Boi”
16. “Head Above Water”
17. “I’m With You”









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