Venue: Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Date: 14th March 2014
Promoter: AMC Group
Review by: Ee Von
Special Thanks: The AMC Group team
“I’m breaking free from these memories / Gotta let it go, just let it go” was broadcasted the moment I switched on my car radio. “What a tune!” I thought to myself, and made a mental note to uncover the vocalist once I reached my workplace. Shortly after settling at my cubicle, I Googled away with the bits of lyrics that have been captured in my brain cells. I was caught in disbelief (albeit proven right) when I discovered that it was sung by Avril Lavigne, featuring vocals from Chad Kroeger. Feeling inquisitive concurrently has lead to the revelation that she will be performing at Stadium Merdeka on the 14th March 2014, Friday. Out of spontaneity, and for the sake of reliving our teenage years, a friend and I agreed to make our way down this Friday.
Stadium Merdeka stood with grandiose against the Kuala Lumpur skyline while greeting the gig-goers at the entrance. Arriving at a quarter past 8pm, we were thrilled to finally make it to the venue, yet distressed that we missed out on the performance of her first two tunes. We raced down the stairway, gleefully thinking how exciting it would be to reignite with our adolescent selves. I recall vividly how Avril’s first single resonated with the chaotic times of dealing with high school, peers, and homework. Crimson neon lights emblazoned the now occupied field. Roaring cheers and sing-alongs is now audible as we walked past fans on bleachers to get to our seats.
The Canadian singer-songwriter reminded us that she still is an amazing performer and reconnected with fans with the next song, “Girlfriend”. Draped in a graphic t-shirt and jeggings, Avril brought punk rock action back with her following song “Rock and Roll”. The crowd was ecstatic when she sang “Here’s To Never Growing Up”, and I quickly found myself screaming and singing even louder amongst the fans. She continued the hype with “Let Me Go”. Like a major sugar rush, her infectious energy brought about even more upbeat rock tunes such as “Sk8er Boi” and the song which catapulted her to stardom, “Complicated”.
She interacted and expressed her affection towards the Malaysian fans that night. Most responded to her gesture with “I love you too, Avril!” and even louder screams than usual. Avril mellowed the crowd down with power ballads about letting go and seeking for solace with “My Happy Ending” and “Losing Grip”. While trying to keep up with the jumping and shouting (yes, age is catching up!), flashes of images of a familiar industrial rock personality cum alternative band, Marilyn Manson can be seen projected from the AV screens. Baffled from this, only did I realize then that it was the unveiling of the new single “Bad Girl”. A deep ghastly voice puts a twist towards this new collaboration, made me think of how much Avril has evolved. With newfound love in Chad and a string of accomplishments (from Abbey Dawn down to her perfume lines), she sure has proven herself to be versatile, striking a balance between composing more heartfelt music while retaining her candid attitude and persona.
As she shrieks, “This will be my last song. Thank you, guys for a beautiful night”, my heart sank in anxious anticipation as I inaudibly prayed for a specific number from the debut album, ‘Let Go’. Lady luck was kind and, it came to pass. Truly, I’m with you, Avril!