Avril Lavigne hits Mohegan

A review of Avril Lavigne at the Mohegan Sun Arena on April 12, 2008

, Editor-in-Chief

She’s only 23-years old, but Avril Lavigne has battled an image crisis for much of her brief career. Is she rock? Is she pop? Fans, pundits, and record label executives have all weighed in with their own answers. But what’s gotten lost in the argument, is how damn talented Lavigne is. On Saturday night, Lavigne showcased her wide-ranging talents with each of those personalities through a delightful set that thrilled a near capacity crowd at the Mohegan Sun Arena.
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Lavigne kick started the show with her new pop favorite, "Girlfriend". Touring in support of her more pop-fused The Best Damn Thing, she soon followed up with another new tune, "I Can Do Better". But as Lavigne worked all ends of the stage while backed by a set of dancers, her smile seemed to be strained and far from genuine. Thankfully, "Complicated" and "Happy Ending" found Lavigne back into a more comfortable rock façade and not surprisingly when the show began to accelerate.&
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Lavigne truly began to shine when she became more reseved. It was then that she showed her true talent. Most notably when she sat down at her pink baby grand piano to deliver a beautiful rendition of "When You’re Gone", which proved to be her best vocal of the night. A mid-set acoustic set found Lavigne at center stage, armed with her acoustic six-string and aided by her band’s two guitarists. Highlights included "Don’t Tell Me", a unique twist on her new single "Hot", and one of the singer’s own favorites "Losing Grip", which she wrote while in high school.
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A top-heavy setlist consequently led to a show that peaked early and left the second half relying on new material off The Best Damn Thing. Returning to the stage after a video montage with her covering Joan Jett’s "Reputation", Lavigne launched into "Everything Back But You". She sat behind a pink drum kit and sang "Run Away", and then followed up with a cover of Toni Basil’s "Hey Mickey", ironic considering it felt like we already heard the latter with "Girlfriend". It flowed into the one true lowlight of the evening, a downright silly rendition of "Best Damn Thing", which found her asking, "Give me an A…V….R….I….L". She may be much happier as the now wife of Sum 41’s Deryck Whibley, but the cheerleader look just doesn’t work. Thankfully, "He Wasn’t" brought the main set to a rocking close."
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A reprise rendition of "Girlfriend", first with the ‘Lil Mama remixed rendition being played overhead before Lavigne, took it over in love form just in time for her to try rapping, started the two-song encore. The 80-minute show came to a close with a crowd sing-along of her early smash hit "Sk8ter Boi".
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Overall, it was a solid show that displayed a lot of talent for the humble young Canadian.& Saturday’s performance showed while she fits the rock brand more, she’s been able to play both cards to her adoring audience. From running across the stage to sitting calmly at her piano, Lavigne’s young audience was infatuated with her every move. And these days, parents would be hard pressed to find a better role model for their daughters.&

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