Photos - Avril Lavigne - Jan. 14, 2003, Veterans Memorial, Columbus, OH
Official Site
The band is just boys
And she is just a girl
Could it be any more obvious
The music was punk
Like a store with valet
What more can I say

Sing that along to the popular hit from Avril Lavigne’s Sk8er Boi, and you have a decent picture of what was to come when Lavigne and her band took the stage at the sold-out Veterans Memorial in Columbus, OH.

With a popularity that came on like blast of Canadian arctic air, the Canadian Lavigne has gripped America much like those same arctic blasts keeping the temperatures below zero.

Ironically, Lavigne’s first smash single, Complicated, is the story of young love with the unmaking of the relationship being the fact that the boy cannot be himself. Always trying to impress those he is around, the singer gets fed up with the games and dishonesty the boy has with himself that it seems to be a doomed relationship. With that mindset that Lavigne is always wanting those around her to be themselves and with a majority of the kids saying the same thing, the crowd was filled with teen and pre-tees girls wearing camo cargo pants and ties. There had to be more ties in that audience then at an insurance seminar. So here you have kids, trying to be Lavigne, singing at the top of their lungs that they want people to be themselves. Although the message was heard, it definitely wasn’t received.

Live, Lavigne sounded great. Her voice is much more harmonious and melodic than one would expect, but she just didn’t seem to give 100 percent. While her band ran around the stage like wild monkeys, it took Lavigne awhile to get into form, otherwise she was stuck standing behind the mike and just walking slowly to each side of the stage.

Overall, for a young girl who was thrust into stardom faster than most people can count to 100, Lavigne put on a mature and good-sounding show. But her audience isn’t a mature crowd, and she could have done herself a favor by playing up to the crowd. Each time she strolled away from center stage, one half of the venue would scream like banshee sirens.

Personally speaking, Lavigne put on a show much beyond her years. Which is a good thing and is hopefully a sign that she is ready to make a stand and get over the “pop” hump and stay in this business a while. But her fans, thus far, are not wanting a mature Lavigne. They want the crazy girl who bashes in cars with baseball bats and sings mouth wide open into the television cameras. It’s a Catch-22 for Lavigne, and although she may have been better off playing to her fans more, it seems Avril is looking to a brighter future where popularity and maturity can intersect at the crossroads of Top 40 radio.

But we just have to wait and see.

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