Avril Lavigne ain't half bad as a stage act. For her nearly sold-out concert at Cox Arena Nov. 20, she strutted and belted and pouted and jived and did all those things that elfish-looking pop stars are designed to do.
Avril is AA for pop critics: I'm an addict. I love pop music. And I love Avril. Don't hate me because I can't deny it any longer.
Of course, the little pop-punk princess means just as much to the wee ones, too. By the end of the night, tired munchkins rested on the shoulders of stoic daddies who were busy feigning disinterest. They all bought their $30 Avril T-shirts and waved their $5 glow sticks in the air.
With five semi trucks, six tour buses and two big screens, it's no wonder the merch was so expensive. But it was also hard to miss Lavigne's pitch-perfect voice, knack for strumming a guitar and reckless stage presence.
We ran into little ingenues named Kylie and Sarah in the elevator-they looked about 9 years old-who were about to experience their first concert. Their overdressed mothers looked more excited. To hundreds of little girls like Kylie and Sarah, this was their prom, their first real journey into whatever demented pop world we can construct for them these days.
And to those little girls we should say, "Go for it-just know that this is the introductory class." Those girls should wear those little black boots and short plaid skirts with pride, before self-consciousness and the burden of musical taste make them embarrassed by their zeal over Avril's megatour.
On stage, with her absurdly overt sex appeal and pyrotechnic gimmicks, Lavigne leaves everyone wondering for an ephemeral minute what it must be like to be her: famous, successful, rich, beautiful and relatively indifferent.