Avril Lavigne

This Blog Post was originally published on adagia.org.

So I was at an Avril Lavigne concert yesterday. I think I wrote a while back about my obsession with Bite Me (January 3rd - Obsessed (with Avril Lavigne's Bite Me)), so I thought I conclude with the impression of the live version of it.

But I think I have to extend it a little bit further. Everything started with the pre-band Phem. I never heard of her, but she put out some pretty good alt-pop/rock, hitting Billie Eilish vibes but with way harder beats. Definitely an artist to keep an eye on.

After what seemed like ages, the stage was converted, and we were greeted with a playback cover version of "Bad Reputation", originally by Joane Jett. Afterwards followed my last year's January obsession, "Bite Me", but I was already noticing something fishy. And that fishiness continued throughout the concert.

It wasn't long until I had figured it out. Not only did Avril have problems with the high tones, I guess she was singing around an octet lower than on records, but after more than 20 years, it is ok to lose some vocal strength and voice range. But that wasn't all.

Around the fourth song or so, I had the typical "aha" moment. Besides her singing, backing vocals always came from tape (no other female singers; the other male band members had microphones, but I'm not sure if they were even on). I don't have anything against backing vocals from tape, but in this case, there were also backing vocals for Avril (something Paul Stanley was caught doing last year). But in contrast to Paul Stanley, where the recordings weren't noticeable (well unless he made a significant error when performing), Avril was kind of using it as style (?). She sometimes changed the lyrics of a song, and you could clearly hear the backing vocals (which sang the original).

Nevertheless, it was a great concert, although with only one hour of playtime rather short in my opinion. If she would return to Austria sometime in the future, I don't think I will buy another set of tickets.

Subscribe to Philipp Haidenbauer | Blog

Don’t miss out on the latest issues. Sign up now to get access to the library of members-only issues.