Growing Up With Simple Plan

By Paula Araujo

I turned nine the year Simple Plan released their debut album No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls. It was one of the first albums I had ever purchased. I was ecstatic to say the least, when I heard that they were touring this album in celebration of 15 years. I knew this was one show I couldn’t miss.

Until now, I hadn’t had a chance to see them live. As far as how the crowd reacted when asked if this was anyone’s first Simple Plan show, I wasn’t alone. The audience in NYC’s PlayStation Theater was filled with nostalgia and ready to sing their hearts out to this entire album. The crowd went into a frenzy as the lights went down and the guitars and drums kicked in playing those infamous notes of “I’d Do Anything.”

I’m pretty sure listening to Simple Plan growing up, wasn’t considered “cool” by any means, but that didn’t stop me. I liked what I liked regardless of if it was on the radio or not. Truthfully, I’m constantly listening to music from at least ten years ago on a weekly basis. I didn’t know it at the time, because how could I know at nine years old, that these would be songs I’d grow up with and define prime emotions and memories of my youth.

I vividly remember watching the music video to “Addicted” and “I’d Do Anything” on TRL. I remember putting on my headphones and popping the cd into my cd player for car rides. I remember listening to the songs on my light green iPod mini. I remember putting “I’m Just A Kid” and “Perfect” (plus “Welcome To My Life”) onto this really sad playlist I’d listen to whenever I argued with my parents or my so called friends forgot to invite me to hang out. I’d cry to these songs for many years to come. I found comfort in them when times were tough. Eventually, I decided to learn these songs on the guitar and play along to the tracks. It became therapy. These songs helped me cope, helped me carry on. In 2011, they released a song that accurately describes the role that these earlier tracks played in my life, “This Song Saved My Life.”

Every lonely night was always worth it whenever I was at show. But this particular show was truly special to be alongside one of my best friends and a room full of people passionately singing along to these sad songs and shed a few tears together.

They treated the crowd to songs off their sophomore album like, “Shut Up!”, “Welcome To My Life,” and “Crazy” in which Pierre got rather close and joined the party over towards the back of the venue.

Simple Plan is still its five original members and they’ve never stopped making music. They also played tracks from their later and most recent album such as, “Your Love Is A Lie,” “This Song Saved My Life,” and “Boom.”

While I hadn’t had the chance to see Simple Plan in the last 15 years, I think it’s safe to say that their energy, and their talent is stronger than it was back then. They were jumping like mad men, crowd surfing, and front man Pierre’s vocals sound exactly the same if not better than on record. This was my first Simple Plan show, and after that night, it won’t be my last.

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