Simple Plan

Live from the Hard Rock

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It's difficult to tell where Simple Plan stops and Sum 41 and blink-182 begin. All of them wear logo T-shirts and boxy Dickies shorts; all of them reanimate vintage Green Day with boundless hyperactivity and a torrents of unrefined dick jokes; all of them have sold millions upon millions of records. And there's nothing wrong with that. Because unlike the mid-2000s surge of musical youth living on the fringes of feeling -- weepy emo kids on one side, bloody murder hardcore and metal hybridists on the other -- bands like Simple Plan celebrate the duty of kids to bop and act goofy. "Forget tomorrow," Pierre Bouvier sings. "I just wanna jump." (Why not? It worked for Van Halen.) Originally recorded for and broadcast on MTV, Live from the Hard Rock captures Simple Plan in concert in Orlando. They run through energetic versions of all their hits, from "Shut Up!" to "Worst Day Ever" to "Addicted" to "Welcome to My Life," and the crowd screams along with every single one. SP prove more than able to hit the breezy harmonies from their records, and their rhythm section-heavy live sound is effective for their athletic, pogo-ready songs. All of the stage chatter is included, which is a little irritating, particularly the lengthy intro to "Welcome to My Life" -- you had to be there -- but even that track eventually kicks in with a resounding crunch. Throughout Live from the Hard Rock, Bouvier often stops the songs to encourage more jumping or singing along, and he's Canadian, so he heartily thanks the audience for their eager participation. No doubt about it: it doesn't get much more squeaky clean than Simple Plan. ~ Johnny Loftus, Rovi

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