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Simple Plan @ Victoria Warehouse review – a pop-punk force to be reckoned with

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Featured images: Rianna Ram

Simple Plan, renowned pop-punk pioneers since the early 2000’s, brought a high energy and crowd-moving performance to the stage of Victoria Warehouse. State Champs and Mayday Parade have been supporting them on the ‘Hard as Rock’, their opening sets laying the foundations for an action-packed evening. 

First up, Mayday Parade take their place in front of a 3,500-strong crowd who are no strangers to their songs. The atmosphere lights up the second they hit off the set with ‘Oh Well, Oh Well’ and by mid-point ‘Piece of Your Heart’, fans are surfing over the barrier faster than the security staff can handle.

They don’t slow down until the set is complete, powering through a snapshot of their back catalogue as a chorus of lyrics are repeated back, providing an emotional experience for fans.

Next are State Champs, who clearly have a large fanbase populating the audience. The energy fills the room almost instantly as they open with ‘Just Sound’, as frontman Derek DiScanio messes around, pointing and singing directly at fans. At times, it feels just as much like a headliner show as Simple Plan are soon to deliver.

As expected, crowd-surfers are not shy throughout the Champs’ time on stage, especially towards the end during hits like ‘Elevated’. Closer ‘Everybody but You’ sees the crowd sing over Derek’s voice, and it’s clear that ten songs is simply not enough to satisfy Manchester’s appetite. 

Thankfully, however, it’s time for the main event, as Simple Plan take to the stage. Fans roar with excitement as the band appear, coming out from the shadows of moody green and yellow lighting to the Star Wars theme song, sparking laughter between the security staff and the people on the front row. The room fills with an immense feeling as fan’s faces light up and it’s easy to understand why this band have been on the scene for as long as they have. 

They quickly burst into their first song, ‘I’d Do Anything’, then storm through hit after hit – from new songs like ‘Iconic’ and ‘Million Pictures of You’, to fan favourites like ‘Welcome to My Life’. Meanwhile, ‘Jump’ causes the venue to shake as the audience jumps in sync, not one person visibly still, and the energy continues to increase from this point.

The band then announces that they want to “bring the party” to Manchester’s sold-out occasion and follow this with a medley of old school classics, including ‘All Star’ by Smash Mouth and ‘Mr Brightside’ by The Killers. The audience indulge in these moments and even from the back of the huge warehouse venue, the moving does not stop.

The opening of ‘Where I Belong’ begins to echo around the venue, as State Champs’ singer Derek returns to perform alongside Simple Plan. It’s a special moment to witness, with the band showing how passionate they are for the music in the volume of their own voices. 

The band eventually asks “Who likes Scooby-Doo?”, instantly launching into the legendary theme tune of a series we all enjoyed growing up. The stage begins to fill with people dressed in Scooby-Doo outfits, who turn out to be actual gig-goers, and someone even begins to do the ‘worm’ on-stage. 

The lights dim before an imminent encore, with the band emerging again to perform ‘I’m Just a Kid’, their most popular and nostalgic tune. Lead singer, Pierre Bouvier, somehow ends up drumming for this song whilst the Simple Plan’s actual drummer, Chuck, sings the chorus and crowd-surfs through the bridge. 

They even invite some of the people at the barrier onto the stage at this point for a remarkable view of the show. After winding down the show with a cover of ‘Wonderwall’ and their own ‘Perfect’, Simple Plan thank the crowd for such a fun experience. The last moments end on a perfect note, with smiles all around and an almost too-emotional atmosphere. 

The band continue their tour around Brazil, America and Europe and it’s clear that these guys don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

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Rianna Ram

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