Show rocks St. Charles to ‘pieces’

Jessica MacIntosh - Associate Editor

Jessica MacIntosh – Associate Editor

Despite all of the problems surrounding 21-year-old singing sensation, Ashlee Simpson’s first tour turned out to be a success. St. Charles, my hometown, surrendered the Family Arena April 14 to host her Autobiography tour.

First of all, my boyfriend and I drove four and a half for the show. Though the drive can be somewhat boring, this time around it was not. I was too excited to see her in concert.

When we arrived into St. Charles, we stopped at the Dairy Queen for a bite to eat before making our way to the Family Arena. I don’t know how many 13 to 15 year olds were wearing less clothing than Britney Spears. This is an Ashlee Simpson concert, for crying out loud, not Britney.

After making our way to the souvenir table for a $30 concert T-shirt, we found our seats, one section over from the stage. Now, the Family Arena is somewhat small, so almost anywhere you sit can be considered close.

The opening acts, Click Five and Pepper’s Ghost, were unbearable. The members of Click Five came on stage looking all high and mighty in their matching outfits, making it looking like they came from That Thing You Do.

Pepper’s Ghost, on the other hand, came out looking all grubby, screaming into their microphones. The group was not at all geared toward Simpson’s young fans. In other words, pulling a Michael Jackson should not have been performed in front of screaming pre-teen girls.

After those two acts, the lights dimmed down, and the screaming began.

The video screen showed Simpson family pictures followed by a large silhouette of her. She started out with her album’s title track “Autobiography,” dancing around the stage, which was simple and black and white, nothing too elaborate.

Simpson continued her show with what she said could be her next single “Love Me For Me,” which was not complete without the “jazz move” she concocted. The crowd laughed and screamed about it, establishing everyone has watches MTV’s “The Ashlee Simspson Show.”

While she sang “Shadow,” the music video played on the screen, but it was not in sync with her singing.

“Undiscovered,” which is one of my favorite songs on the album, is the title track for the movie she is in. The song is catchy, and the beat is different. The message within the song I can really relate to.

In between her songs, Simpson went backstage to change while her band showed off its talent. Each of the members played a solo number, leading into some of the songs. One of Simpson’s guitarists and her bassist joined her for acoustic versions of “Giving It All Away,” “Love Makes The World Go Round,” (my personal favorite) and a song she wrote on the road called “Hollywood.” During the songs she would goof off and laugh. She has one of those infectious laughs that have everyone else doing it.

As the show neared the end, she did cover songs of the Pretenders’ “Brass In Pocket,” Blondie’s “Call Me” and Madonna’s “Burning Up.” What was weird was the crowd knew all of the songs. Wow.

One of my other personal favorites Simpson performed was “Surrender.” I really think this should be her next single. I love the beat and the melody of the song. Near the end of the song, she intertwined Hole’s “Celebrity Skin,” then joked about it being the wrong song.

Coming out in a feather boa, pink hat, high heels, white shirt and black capris, Simpson started singing “La La” as though she was at the Moulin Rouge. By the chorus, she went all out, rolling around on stage and dancing like a stripper. She had me singing the song. No wonder it’s the ringtone on my phone; I love it.

“Pieces of Me” ended the concert. When she sang the chorus, she stopped and let the crowd sing. I love when performers do that. It gives the crowd the chance to show its spirit and fanship.

I had so much fun at the show and would like to see her again. I must say she did not lip sync at all; it was her and nothing else.

After it was all over, I had taken four rolls of film. It was a memorable show.

Oh and by the way, sorry to my mother and father. I should have let you know I was in town. Next time I will.