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Ghost Canyon

Concert Reviews
Avril Lavigne
(DTE Energy Theatre, MI - July 17th, 2005)

Rock & roll wild child Avril Lavigne hit big in summer 2002 with her spiky-fun debut song 'Complicated,' shifting pop music into a different direction. Lavigne, who was 17 at the time, didn't seem concerned with the glamour of the TRL-dominated pop world and taking the stage here tonight again seems more in love with just singing than being commercial.

Skipping out to meet and greet her young, predominately-female audience, Lavigne is all smiles, her eyes wild with fun. 'Losing Grip' is first out of the holster with both 'Unwanted' and 'Sk8er Boi' following quickly behind.

At this stage in her life, Lavigne is a musical jukebox unto herself with regard having only had two albums out ... and singing the bejesus out of nearly every single track therein! Each song is sung back-to-back, barely any down time between, rarely anything being said by the 20 year-old.

Singing the thus far not recorded tour song 'I Always Get What I Want' and then the album track 'How Does It Feel', Lavigne finally addresses the crowd: "This is the first date of my American tour and I'm so happy to be here." Launching into 'I'm With You' and the faster 'Fall To Pieces,' she then heads off into 'Things I'll Never Say' before picking up her guitar for the first time to give us 'Don't Tell Me.'

Dressed in a blue top, black frilled skirt, and multi-colored socks inside two-tone sneakers, Lavigne is as comfortable on stage as any seasoned performed could surely ever hope to be. Grabbing her skirt by the hip to ensure no tripping during her stage run-arounds, a new backdrop is revealed along with a now Devil-horned Lavigne. Inciting the crowd to clap like demented squirrels on crack, the freshly blond-haired Lavigne sings 'Anything But Ordinary' before bursting straight into the Nirvana classic ("I'm a big Nirvana fan. Dave Grohl is the God of Rock 'N' Roll," she makes clear just prior!) from 1991's classic Nevermind album, 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'. And wow, what a sparklingly fresh rendition that was, even if 95% of the young crowd sat down to try and figure out what the noise was all about!

Next a Piano is wheeled in and a chandelier is dropped from above for the songs 'Together' and 'Forgotten.' 'Tomorrow' quietens the mood of the audience back down again as she sings it without her backing band, before 'Nobody's Fool' and 'My Happy Ending' bring the hour long set to a close.

As another backdrop is revealed, and white spots begin to dazzle the stage, Avril comes back onto stage ... and takes to the drums! Playing them extremely well for the entire Weezer song 'Hash Pipe' (sung on lead by opening act Butch Walker (of the Marvelous 3), Lavigne takes center stage one last time for the only song left to sing - the song that started it all back three long years ago, 'Complicated.'

Then, as the last chord sounds out, she waves goodbye: "Thank you, everyone, and have a good night. Thank you," before she's finally gone and the piped in arena music along with the house lights are quickly turned on to allow everyone to see where the exits are!

Review and Photos by Russell A. Trunk

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