LIVE REVIEW: AVRIL LAVIGNE RETURNS HOME FOR THE 'BITE ME TOUR' AS IF SHE NEVER LEFT

Photo by: Joe Termini

Midway through her 2022 Canadian dates, Napanee’s Avril Lavigne brought the Bite Me Tour to London's Budweiser Gardens.

In the supporting role – in more ways than one, Lavigne’s fiancé ModSun kicked off the night. Mod – whose moniker stands for Movement on Dreams, Stand under None, made his return to Canada after an eight year ban. Along with his high energy stage presence and music, Mod has an infectiously positive vibe and fulfilled his vow to “get the f*ckin’ party started!” With his fluorescent green mohawk gleaming and reflecting the stage lights, Mod delivered a wicked performance featuring “Annoying” – a song he “wrote for a girl named Avril,” his latest single “Rich Kids Ruin Everything”, his personal favourite track “Bones” and capped the set with “Karma.” Judging by the energy in the crowd, London really liked Avril’s boyfriend.

Next up – on his second night of the tour, Toronto’s alt-rock act Grandson. From the very start, Grandson exploded onto the stage, dancing and spinning around. Like ModSun, Grandson is a singer with substance – taking a moment during his set to deliver a message of “peace, unity and power”, creating a safe space for all the fans in attendance regardless of “[their] colour, who [they] love, how [they] love or how [they] dress.” In addition to his radiance as a human being, Grandson exudes a level of vivacity, artistry, presence and talent that is nothing short of impeccable. Phone flashlights lit up the arena for Grandson’s hit “Apologize”, hands swayed back and forth for “Rain” and fans sung along to his cover of Britney Spears’ “Hit Me Baby One More Time'' as well as his last song of the night “Blood // Water.” He ended his set by jumping into the crowd before disappearing backstage. 

The curtain dropped at the front of the stage to screams of anticipation before Avril Lavigne launched herself onto the stage with the opening track off her new album Love Sux “Cannonball.” Undoubtedly the Canadian princess of pop punk, Avril brought out a diverse crowd – from twelve year olds to those who were twelve years old when she first debuted Let Go. With her last Canadian tour back in 2011 and her last standalone date in Toronto back in 2019, the crowd could agree when Avril said “it’s crazy how long it’s been since I’ve toured Canada.” Fans dug out their finest pop punk outfits for her return – from camo to checkers and – of course, the signature tie and tee look that Avril is known for. 

The tour’s very Avril aesthetic was meticulously carried out through every aspect of the set design –with giant black balloons, red and black streamers, bright orange amps, red lighting and risers that resembled skateboard ramps. Video boards behind her displayed a mashup of lyrics, photos and videos from Avril’s past and present. A mix of old and new, Avril perfected  having something for everyone in attendance. Highlights of the evening were the throwback tracks that had everyone singing along including “Sk8r Boi”, “Complicated” and “My Happy Ending” to newer songs from Love Sux including “Bite Me”, “Love It When You Hate Me” and “Bois Lie.” At the halfway point, Avril was joined on stage by her fiancé and opening act, ModSun to perform their collab “Flames” off his 2021 album Internet Killed the Radio Star. Whether she was shredding on the guitar or keeping the beat on the drums, Avril proved that her versatile musicianship and talent hasn’t wavered over the past two decades. Her encore performance of “Head Above Water” and “I’m With You” left fans buzzing while leaving the arena. 

Navigating the business since she was just 16 years old – from overcoming a lengthy battle with Lyme disease then founding The Avril Lavigne Foundation to reviving pop punk and putting out a cohesive seventh studio album Love Sux, Avril dominated the stage – as if no time had passed, for her first Canadian tour in ten years.

Click here for tickets and listings to the Bite Me Tour.
Stream Love Sux here.


BITE ME TOUR SET LIST:

Cannonball
Bite Me
What the Hell
Here's to Never Growing Up
Complicated
My Happy Ending
Smile
Losing Grip
Flames with Mod Sun
Love It When You Hate Me
Love Sux
Girlfriend
Bois Lie
Sk8er Boi

ENCORE:
Head Above Water
I'm With You

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