Review: Simple Plan's No Pads, No Helmets...Just Balls 15th Anniversary Tour 3/19/17


Finding a band that sticks together after fifteen years, and continues to put out new music is uncommon, but finding a band that's doing it all with the original members? Now that's rare. Simple Plan has been a staple of the pop punk community since the early 2000's and they are still rocking out across the globe. This year marked the 15th anniversary of their debut album that put the Canadian group on the map No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls. We've seen tons of anniversary tours popping up lately, but I knew this was one I could not miss. Simple Plan brought the tour to sunny South Florida to Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale on the actual fifteenth anniversary of the release to a sold out crowd.

To be honest I had no idea who was opening the show – the flyer on our venue's site had a large “SOLD OUT” stamped over the opener's names for months in advance, so I went in blindly. Fellow Canadians, Seaway, kicked off the night and I guess I was out of the loop because they were definitely anticipated and well-received. A good majority of the fans already crammed near the front were singing and dancing along, but they got the whole venue going with a cover of the timeless “Stacy's Mom.” Much to my delight, Set It Off took the stage next. I caught Set It Off on Warped Tour, so I knew an explosive and fun set was coming my way. They kicked off with “Why Worry” which instantly had the crowd hyped up. The band jumped around on stage while singer Cody Carson included the fans in some audience participation singing notable songs like “Ancient History” and “Hypnotized.” Seaway and Set It Off were great bands to include on the bill, the music styles all hit similar notes and the fans were able to sing, dance, and jump around all night.

The energy in the room was overflowing as everyone anxiously awaited Simple Plan. Finally the first notes of “I'd Do Anything” rang out and the crowd went absolutely wild. Besides a backdrop and some ego boxes, there wasn't much to the stage set up, but honestly, the bare stage just gave the guys more room to jump around and rock out. As the first chorus hit, you could barely hear singer Pierre Bouvier over the fans screaming it at the top of their lungs. These were clearly old school fans that had been there since the beginning. Our generation has grown with Simple Plan from “I'm Just a Kid” to “Welcome to My Life” and regardless if you've stayed on top of their latest music, the entire room was reverted back to their early teens with their raging-emo-emotions.

These guys clearly still know how to put on a killer performance, but I guess that's almost second nature when you've been on stage with your friends for a decade and a half. The guys played through the entirety of NPNHJB including the bonus track of “Grow Up.” After a heartfelt live showcase of the well-known “Perfect” (was Pierre even singing at this point? Cause I'm positive no one could hear him over the crowd) the band exited the stage .. only to come back and give us the ultimate encore of eight additional songs. “Shut Up” got the crowd moving once again and the most recent song they played dated all the way back to 2011 with “Jet Lag.” This show wasn't about showcasing anything new, it was about giving the fans a blast to the past, and the album a proper celebration. A large majority of the songs off of NPNHJB haven't been played in years, and a few being played for the first time ever on this tour! The band finished the night with “Welcome to My Life” bringing the set back to the earlier days and ending on a high note.

This was easily one of my favorite anniversary tours we've seen of late. The band is still energetic, fun, and truly seem to enjoy playing through their older discography, which just makes it all around a great tour to witness first hand.

Setlist:

1. I'd Do Anything

2. The Worst Day Ever

3. You Don't Mean Anything

4. I'm Just A Kid

5. When I'm With You

6. Meet You There

7. Addicted

8. My Alien

9. God Must Hate Me

10. I Won't Be There

11. One Day

12. Grow Up

13. Perfect

Encore: Shut Up

Jump

Jet Lag

Boom!

Your Love is a Lie

Can't Keep My Hands Off You

Crazy

Welcome To My Life