If this was any concert other than one like Simple Plan’s, a night fans here in Bangkok have been waiting for years for, I would have called the lead up to it quite a comical disaster.
I thought the organization of the concert by VIJI Corp was quite good actually, with really good facilities set up and what looked like an awesome meet and greet organized for some lucky fans, but still at 2,800 baht this wasn’t the sort of ticket you’d buy on impulse.
Moonstar Studio 8 – where the concert was hosted – was literally in the middle of nowhere, deep inside Ladprao soi 80. Nasty traffic meant it took me over an hour to get there – others told me it took them 3 hours – and just as I got there and people got in line, it rained. Die-hard fans not wanting to lose the chance to get a good spot close to the stage gutted it out, staying in line in the pouring rain until the doors were opened and they shuffled in.
Once inside, I realized that there wasn’t even an opening band, with only a DJ playing a short set before Simple Plan started, which I found odd considering how many great local bands would have loved to play before a band of this caliber.
But even after all that I mentioned above, as I talked with the friends who were attending the concert with me, we came to the unanimous decision that we really didn’t care. Not a single of the above factors had dampened our mood. The band we had listened to and loved since we were teenagers was here to play and come hell or high water we were going to be there and enjoy every minute of it. I really didn’t care how many mishaps there were in the lead up to the concert, I was just happy VIJI Corp had done their part to bring one of my favorite bands to Bangkok – like they did with Damien Rice earlier this year.
From their very first song and every following moment of their 2 hour set, the band’s energy level did not dip, always ready to get the crowd jumping, singing and reminiscing.
Simple Plan have been together for over 15 years, and still has the same 5 original members. The band released 5 albums, and are in Asia touring their latest album Taking One For The Team, which they released this year. They haven’t been in Bangkok since 2008 and this night was set to be the last stop of their Asia tour.
Everything was set for it to be a very special night.
After a nice wait to get everyone nervous and a few cases of mistaking the technicians for band members, the lights dimmed and the full house went nuts as the band appeared and got started with Opinion Overload. From their very first song and every following moment of their 2 hour set, the band’s energy level did not dip, always ready to get the crowd jumping, singing and reminiscing.
The next 4 songs were an absolute blast, with both the band and crowd giving everything to Jet Lag, Jump / I Gotta Feeling, I’d Do Anything, and Boom. The band must’ve thrown over 50 picks into the crowd throughout their performance, and I was lucky enough to catch one myself.
They then performed Uptown Funk / Can’t Feel My Face – which I think was for the purpose of taking a short breather – before getting right back into it with Your Love Is a Lie.
Pierre Bouvier, the classic showman that he is, kept the audience entertained throughout, regular noting that it’s been too long since they’ve last been in Thailand. “We love it here” he said “the food, the people, the weather … the ladies!” Before the next song, he introduced the latest album, but there was no need as many in the audience knew and sang along with Singing in the Rain.
The band played Can’t Keep My Hands Off You and Summer Paradise, before playing Kiss Me Like Nobody’s Watching and Farewell, both songs from their latest album. But then it was time to jump back in time again, with Crazy, Welcome to My Life and I’m Just a Kid receiving a great reception from the crowd, who were not ready for the night to end.
There’s just something special about having the band you love singing songs that had an impact on you live, as you’re surrounded by so many others feeling the same way you do in that moment.
After that the band left the stage, but it was a formality really, with the crowd chanting non-stop until they came back. They finished off with a 5 song encore, longer than other cities they played at on their Asia tour. It was the best encore I’ve experienced this year, a moment in time that was truly perfect. The crowd went crazy, enjoying every moment as the band played Shut Up, Perfect World and Take My Hand – and then the mood switched, with the crowd emotional as they sand This Song Saved My Life and Perfect, with fans holding up banners with the words “Simple Plan saved my life” and “thanks for coming back”. There’s just something special about having the band you love singing songs that had an impact on you live, as you’re surrounded by so many others feeling the same way you do in that moment.
The concert ended, I said goodbye to my friends and started out on the 1.8km walk back to the main road. I was on a high and I was happy for the long walk so I could savor the moment.
Some things can be perfect.
— Written by Abner Olivieri, images courtesy of VIJI Corp.
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