It was a celebration of sorts at Budweiser Gardens Tuesday night complete with balloons, confetti and streamers. The big party was the return of Canada’s punk princess, Avril Lavigne, to London for her first visit to the city in ten years. It was well worth celebrating. Avril was in fine form this evening and her fans of mostly twenty and thirty something young ladies had waited a long time for this night.
Opening the evening was current fiancé of Avril, Derek Smith, otherwise known as Mod Son. Mod’s shock of green hair glowed like a beacon in the blue and violet stage lighting while he bounced around belting out a solid 7 song set of pop punk tunes for the early crowd.
New Jersey born, Toronto raised artist grandson was next up and really got the crowd loud and on their feet. Grandson is an activist and his music covers a slew of topics important to today’s generation. His frenetic stage performance urges crowd participation and the fans in The Garden’s seats complied loudly and eagerly during his lively performance.
Avril made her grand entrance as a silhouette lit behind a large curtain holding a bouquet of large black balloons and launched into Cannonball from her current album Love Sux. A couple of air cannons shot streamers out into the crowd and Avril kicked some black beach balls into the crowd. The mood was set right from the first song and they might as well have sold the entire floor as general admission because those who had seats in the back half stood through the whole show anyway.
The set list was a combination of fan favourites and a few new songs from Love Sux including Bite Me, Love it When You Hate Me, Bois Lie and the title track Love Sux. The petite 37 year old still looks like the same teenager who broke out twenty years ago with the best selling album of the 21st century by a Canadian artist. She still rocks those high leather boots and the leather skirt topped with a hoodie. Sonically she sounded great. There were five years where she disappeared from touring because of a battle with severe Lyme disease but she appears to be back to top form.
At one point during her set, boyfriend Mod Sun came on stage to perform the song Flames with her, a song that she helped write. The performance was outstanding, both singers’ vocals complimenting the other.
The main set closed with her biggest hit Sk8er Boi and she came out for a two song encore featuring the hits Head Above Water and I’m With You. It was a little on the short side at 16 songs but she made up for it with the size of her performance and for her fans, they’re just thrilled to see her performing here again after a ten year absence from London. It was a great show and the tickets were priced very reasonably for today’s world of ultra high ticket prices. Avril, we thank you!
For more shows at Budweiser Gardens, visit the arena online.
Avril Lavigne with Grandson and Mod Sun
Budweiser Gardens, London, ON
May 10, 2022
All photos by Dan Boshart (27th Floor Photography)
Avril Lavigne Set List:
- Bite Me
- What The Hell
- Here’s to Never Growing Up
- My Happy Ending
- Losing Grip
- Flames (With Mod Sun)
- Love it When You Hate Me
- Love Sux
- Bois Lie
- Sk8er Boi
- Head Above Water
- I’m With You