Simple Plan, Cincinnati, OH, Bogarts, Feb. 2, 2004
There is the age-old question that us older people like to ask, ‘Where is the youth of today headed?’ Well, that question was answered on a cold, rainy night in Cincinnati, Ohio. Having to be at Bogarts early to conduct some interviews, drove past the venue and saw about 50 kids freezing their tails off wanting to be against the steel barricade. Yes, the question was answered. Kids are headed to see MxPx and Simple Plan.

It wasn’t long ago that Simple Plan opened for Good Charlotte in a venue much the same size in Columbus to a non-sold out show. But in a matter of months, Simple Plan exploded on the scene like a firecracker places strategically in your arch nemeses’ mailbox. Loud, raucous and not so pretty, Simple Plan brings the punks and pops together. Kids dressing in Abercrombie and Fitch low-cut jeans and belly shirts were sweating and body surfing over kids in Dickies, spike collars and black eyeliner. It was a beautiful site to see so many different backgrounds and cliques to be together, if even for a few hours, to enjoy themselves and each other.

Not many bands can bring so many different kids together under one roof and allow each individual to be an individual the way Simple Plan and MxPx were able to do. Although the show was much later than needed to be, as MxPx didn’t even hit the stage until 10:55 pm, the kids were ready to wake up late and rush to school the next day, time be damned. But before MxPx was able to keep parents waiting too long outside in the rain or at home worrying when their sweet babies would return, Simple Plan was able to play a sixty-minute set with so much energy and emotion that every young body felt it drive through them. Kids were flying over the barricade as fast as security could set one down, and when security got a bit rough with one kid, Seb stood up to the mike and asked that kids keep it cool and that security play it cooler. And for the rest of the set, kids kept coming over and security kept catching, but without incident. Along the way, however, a girl passed out in the front, while a dozen more were yanked over the barricade to keep them from fainting. No, it wasn’t a Beatles thing, it was a lack of oxygen and water as everyone wanted to be inches closer to the band.

Already with three singles off the debut Lava release No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls, Simple Plan is making great strides in becoming a popular favorite among those on the verge of getting their drivers’ licenses. Simple Plan, even being Canadians, has captured the hearts of young Americans, mainly young American girls, and seem to only be growing as a band. Who knows how long Simple Plan will be in the forefront in a society whose attention span is as long as a protozoa. But Simple Plan is making the most of their time here and whether they fade off in the sunset or rise and keep the hearts of young girls warm for a while, Simple Plan did answer an age-old question. And that is good enough.