In a burst of anticipation and nostalgia, the crowd at Alexandra Palace awaited the arrival of pop-punk princess Avril Lavigne for her second show in London and the grand finale of her ‘Love Sux’ tour.
The atmosphere was charged with excitement and nostalgia as a short film rolled, taking the audience on a journey through Lavigne’s career, harking back to her breakthrough album Let Go, setting the stage for a night of exuberant energy and sentimental reflection.
The response from the audience was nothing short of thunderous. As the stage came to life with a red and black backdrop, mirroring the colors of her latest album, Lavigne emerged, clad in an outfit that matches her pop-punk spirit.
As streamers, balloons, and massive beachballs in the same iconic hues rained down upon the ecstatic crowd, it was clear that Lavigne was in her element, exuding confidence.
With a 13-song set, Lavigne predominantly drew from her recent album, Love Sux. While tracks like “Bite Me” and the infectious “Love Sux” showcase Lavigne’s evolution as an artist, it is the earlier hits that truly ignite the audience’s hearts.
People attend shows like Avril’s not so much to track the artist’s development, but rather for a cathartic experience, a chance to let loose and scream their hearts out, myself included. It was evident that the audience yearned for the songs that soundtracked their high school breakups.
When Lavigne launched into “Complicated,” the arena erupted, and the collective voice of the crowd took over, singing every word in unison. The nostalgia was palpable as the pop-punk anthem washes over the audience, transporting them back to the early 2000s, a time of carefree rebellion and teenage angst.
The energy only intensifies as Lavigne follows with “What The Hell” and “When You’re Gone”. Lavigne’s performance reached an emotional peak with heartfelt renditions of “My Happy Ending” and “I’m With You.”
These songs, infused with raw vulnerability and introspection, allowed the audience to reflect on their own personal journeys and the experiences that shaped them. Lavigne’s voice soared, resonating with the collective spirit of the crowd, as they came together in a moment of shared catharsis.
Adding an unexpected twist to the evening, Avril surprised the audience with a cover of the Spice Girls’ iconic hit “Wannabe,” featuring the talented Phem. The playful rendition injected a dose of 90s nostalgia into the night.
As the set drew to a close, Lavigne unleashed her signature hits, including the infectious “Sk8er Boi” and the empowering anthem “Girlfriend.” The crowd was transported back to their youth, singing and dancing with uninhibited enthusiasm.
Lavigne saved the best for last, culminating the night with “Here’s to Never Growing Up,” an anthem that encapsulates the eternal spirit of youth. Avril Lavigne’s live performance at Alexandra Palace is a testament to her enduring reign as pop-punk royalty.
While her newer material may not elicit the same fervor as the beloved classics, Lavigne’s ability to captivate and connect with her audience remains unyielding.
As the final notes echoed through the venue, it was clear that Lavigne has once again transported her fans back in time, reigniting the fire of their youth and reminding them that sometimes, in the face of adversity, it’s okay to be forever young.
Words + photography by Stefania Mohottige