INDIANAPOLIS, IN (RMR) - The Pop Disaster Tour is anything but catastrophe for fans of pop-punk bands Simple Plan, Blink 182, Green Day and the emo-driven Saves the Day.
Simple Plan, a band of fresh-faced punk boys from Montreal, Canada, played on a small stage separate from the other bands. With a surge of energy, they started their set with "I'd Do Anything."Lead singer Pierre Bouvier climbed onto speakers and even grabbed the hands of crowd members.
Bassist David Desrosiers spun in tight circles with his bass guitar free in the air. Desrosiers' backup vocals also proved to be extremely powerful; some of his notes lasted a good 30 seconds. The group ended their upbeat set with the classic-in-the-making tune "I'm Just a Kid."The crowd and Bouvier played a game of "repeat after me,"tossing the lyric "I'm just a kid"back and forth.
New Jersey band Saves the Day, a fundamental group in the recently exposed emo genre, opened on the main stage under a plain, yet to the point, banner proclaiming the band's name. Although the band managed to maintain their melodies as well as they are depicted on the albums, they failed to create the energetic and over-the-top stage presence that the other bands on the bill had.
The gem of their set was the bittersweet "At Your Funeral."Lead singer Chris Conley's vocal performance was as perfect and on the note as on their most recent album, Stay What You Are. Conley, however, could work on his rather boorish stage movements, which consist of swaying back and forth, never to leave the microphone stand.
The audience of 13,000 was rejuvenated with the heavy-weight veterans of pop-punk, Green Day. Blasts of light and pounding drums welcomed in the opening song "Maria."Serving a healthy dose of both old and new tunes, the band pleased both the hardcore, Dookie-era fans and the more recent Warning-grown fans. Lead singer and guitarist Billy Joe Armstrong ruled as King of Pop Disaster, putting on a stunningly vigorous show as he scaled mountains of speakers, squirted the audience and even engaged in fondling himself.
Even with a series of impressive backdrops and light shows, Green Day still managed to promote the feeling of dirty, old-school punk rock with Tre Cool's hard-slamming drumming and Armstrong's fast guitar playing. The perfect ending to a stellar set was the classic hit, "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)."
Goofball, TRL sweethearts Blink 182 had the challenge of following the veterans, and chose to open with "Anthem Part Two,"off the Take Off Your Pants and Jacket album. The trio must believe that it is more important to put on a show of kindergarten-immature jokes and farting, rather than a show of impressive musical talent and inspiring guitar solos. Nonetheless, that is all expected at a Blink show, so the crowd got what they came for. The rag-tag group, however, switched to a serious side with the respectful song "Adam's Song."
The only disaster of the night was lining a veteran band to open for a bunch of comical skater kids.