Live reviews


Simple Plan at Eventim Apollo, 16/2/24

The pop punks delivered an unabashed nostalgia fest to an exhilarated London crowd

The excitement around Queen Caroline Street is at fever pitch way ahead of schedule as fans of unapologetically nostalgic pop punk descend on London’s Eventim Apollo. A stacked line-up includes the unmissable talent of AIR YEL – a Canadian singer-songwriter making waves across the Pond – feelgood pop-punk mainstays State Champs, the emo esque Mayday Parade, and headlining 00s pop punk pioneers, Simple Plan. Cue a night of throwbacks, mosh pits and an endless stream of crowd surfing.  

From the start, the mood is set by a soundtrack of Blink 182, Green Day & Sum 41 pumping out through the venue’s speakers. By the time State Champs take to the stage, the floor is full and every seat occupied. Amidst a set stuffed with hooks, anthems and crowd favourites, State Champs announce a new album is in the works, before finishing with a punchy performance of joyous anthem ‘Everybody But You’.

From the ambience of ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ to the all-embracing ‘Jersey’, Mayday Parade treat the crowd to smoke machines, outstanding guitar solos and plenty of stage pizzazz. Even when the music cuts out temporarily due to a technical fault, fans continue to belt the lyrics, allowing the band a moment to soak in the atmosphere. Even the stewards get involved in the fun. 

Judging by the infinite queue for ‘I’m Just A Kid’ t-shirts at the merch stand, a significant contingent are here to pay homage to Simple Plan’s 2002 single of the same name. The band deliver a celebration of nostalgia and youthful irreverence, summed up perfectly when they step out to the Star Wars Imperial March. If age has brought any wisdom, it’s the wisdom to care even less.  

“What’s up London?!” Pierre roars as Simple Plan fly straight in with fan-favourite ‘I’d Do Anything’, prompting a huge eruption from the crowd. Confetti fills the room, only enhanced by a mesmerizing light show and smoke machines. When Simple Plan say jump, everyone jumps, the room shaking to their 2004 classic ‘Jump’.  

The Apollo becomes a 00s time machine, Simple Plan erasing time and age with an anthemic rendition of ‘Welcome To My Life’. Dozens of beach balls are launched into the crowd for ‘Summer Paradise’, and the nostalgic time warp goes into overdrive as thousands scream along with ‘Wake Me Up’: “Not trying to change, I don’t wanna grow up”. Just in case anyone was still questioning if Simple Plan still lived by this motto, several people in Scooby Doo costumes bound onto the stage for ‘What’s New Scooby Doo?’.  

Appropriately, everything peaks with the classic ‘I’m Just A Kid’, the band inviting fans – including twins who were attending their 100th Simple Plan show – and the band members of the support acts onto the stage to lose all inhibitions in an unapologetically fun and light hearted performance which concludes with drummer Chuck Comeau vaulting over the barrier and surfing away across the crowd.

The closing performance of ‘Perfect’ provides an incredibly appropriate end to a celebratory night. Smoke shows, singalongs, confetti cannons, and an irresistible light show left the whole Apollo craving more. 

Get tickets to see Simple Plan support Avril Lavigne at Cardiff Castle in July