Avril Lavigne @ HMV Apollo 21st September 2011

This was the first time I had seen Avril Lavigne in concert despite being a fan of her music before Let Go was released in the UK. Once Lavigne announced that she was playing shows in the UK I immediately snapped up a ticket. The Hammersmith date sold out which led to a 2nd date. Even though the 2nd date did sound appealing I’m glad I did not go. A late night the day before only resulted in me getting 3 and a half hours sleep. Leaving my house at 4.45am in the morning is something I rarely do. If you want to be near the front then you have to be willing to do the queueing especially for the gigs with high profile artists. So at 6.30am I reached the steps of HMV Apollo and only 4 people were there. They were all foreign so being the first English fan there was quite something. Anyhow it was going to be a long day thankfully I knew the people who arrived after me. Fast foward 13 hours and the doors finally opened. It was actually really well organised. One fan who had been at the venue since 5am wrote numbers on the early comers hands. Now I have been to gigs before where this system failed but not today. The gate then opened and I went through the 3rd door and got my ticket scanned. Even with me being the 5th one there I was actually the first to get into the theatre. Once in I power walked to the barrier. Security guards say no running but no one took a single bit of notice. They wanted to be as close as possible. 30 minutes later it was onto the support whom were Lawson. They were actually really good well worth to give a second listen to. The band did a cover of Firework by Katy Perry which everyone joined in with singing.

Lawson had their set wrapped up by 8.30pm and it was then a 30 minute wait till Avril Lavigne. Only that didn’t happen. A tannoy announcement said that there had been Mechanical Difficulties and Avril hadn’t arrived at the venue. Around me there were a couple of disgruntled fans as she intended to play a 90 minute set. We now all know that the delay was due to a security breach which left Lavigne scared for her life. At 9.40pm the band took to the stage to play Black Star which serves as the intro to current album Goodbye Lullaby. When Lavigne took to the stage she was waving a wand while delivering the songs couple of lines. The audience was going crazy and it seemed as the wait wasn’t going to dampen the fans experience. She then made a dash offstage only to return moments later. “London I think you guys have been waiting long enough” Lavigne said before powering through Goodbye Lullaby’s first single. This being What The Hell and this song oozed plenty of energy and everyone was singing along to every single lyric of the song. “This song here is for all my crazy b*tches tonight” Lavingne said before launching into the upbeat Smile. I loved the pace of the verses and the chorus was simply amazing. It was then onto a song from the debut album Let Go and this being Sk8er Boi. This song was rather energetic and everyone went crazy. Lavigne even urged people to jump up and down throughout the song. Once over Avril did a one haded cartwheel. “Welcome to the Black Star tour London” Lavigne said before playing a game which involved the sold out crowd putting hands up and down when Avril said to. “Make some f**king noise” she then said before launching into He Wasn’t. I loved its fast paced chorus.

A mash up was next starting off with a singalong of the BOB song Airplanes which was geled with my favourite song from Under My Skin and this being My Happy Ending. The lyrics to this song were so infectious and powerful at the same time. The bonus track to the sophomore album Under My Skin was up next. This being I Always Get What I Want and Avril had the UK crowd in the palm of her hand. Everyone was having such a good time rocking out to every song sung. Why this track only appeared as a bonus I do not know as it is strong enough to make the final cut. The way she held the final note was incredible. Lavigne then went offstage only to return moments later to sit on top of the grand piono for the next three songs of the night. Alice was first up and this taken from the Alice In Wonderland film. Lovely song but I did not take to it straight away. There was a massive singalong for the next song on the night When You’re Gone. Now I adore this song it so emotional and was delivered to perfection. “This is one of my favourite cities. My fans in London are incredible. One of my favourite bands Coldplay is from here” Lavigne said before launching into lovely Fix You. This song was really unique and Avril owned it. Wish You Were Here which is the forthcoming single was next and I adored the lyrics to this song. The chorus is amazing and this song deserves to do well in the charts.

Once over it was then onto a musical interlude while Lavigne went offstage. This being Unwanted/ Freak Out/ Losing Grip. Once back on the stage it was then onto Girlfriend. This song taken from the third album The Best Damn Thing was really infectious and it took me back to the day it was released. I bet every single guy would love it if Lavigne was their Girlfriend. After plenty of screams it was then into the first single from Under My Skin straight away. This being Don’t Tell Me which was another massive singalong. This song was extremely powerful and was delivered to perfection. Ending the night was a song taken from the debut album Let Go. This being the emotional driven I’m With You. This turned out to be the biggest singalong of the night. The band left the stage only to return for the encore. “London, I love you but I’m losing my voice, and I want to sing 5 more songs for you guys. I will sing one more song for you guys” Avril then said to the audience. Even though she said her voice was fading it was still on fine form. Lavigne mentioned that she wanted the audience to help her sing Complicated. Now this song everyone was going to sing along to voice or no voice.


Black Star
What The Hell
Sk8er Boi
He Wasn’t
Airplanes/ My Happy Ending
I Always Get What I Want
When You’re Gone
Fix You
Wish You Were Here
Unwanted/ Musical Piece
Don’t Tell Me
I’m With You



OVERALL: Despite all the problems I was left completely satisfied with what I had witnessed. Avril Lavigne was on form and my first concert was a huge success. Before the show I thought to myself I will only see her the once and that is it. But after standing through 80 minutes of Pop/ Rock songs has given me the urge to want to hear more. Just seeing Avril Lavigne play was the perfect bit of nostalgia. Just seeing her play songs from Let Go, Under Me Skin and The Best Damn Thing took me back to the days when I used to be excited to purchase the CD from Woolworths/ Sainsbury’s or ASDA on the day of release. Lavigne has a huge repetoire of material and the set sung most definately pleased everyone. There may be a few people dishearted with the whole situation but I wasn’t and I turned up at 6.30am just to be front row. The atmosphere was electric and everyone was rocking out when Avril took to the stage. When Lavigne announces when she is next touring in England I’m so there.


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