Avril Lavigne’s Blistering Other Stage Appearance Is 22 Years Overdue At Glastonbury 2024

It’s a great double over at Glastonbury Festival’s Other Stage this Sunday evening. Following a rousing set from Southend-hailing rock outfit Nothing But Thieves, the field is filling up nicely (a little too nicely you might say) for a highly anticipated Glasto debut from Canadian pop-punk star Avril Lavigne. Some 70,000 in fact have piled in, leaving clashing sets from Janelle Monae on the Pyramid, Brittany Howard over at West Holts and Mount Kimbie at The Park less populated than they really should be. But as her band kick off the music to a video montage of the star from her era-defining early 2000s Let Go period on a stage adorned with huge pink heart-shaped skull & crossbones, appetites are indeed whet.

Avril Lavigne @ Glastonbury Festival 2024

Avril Lavigne @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)
Avril Lavigne @ Glastonbury Festival 2024 (Kalpesh Patel)

But this isn’t an airing of her seminal LP, the 39-year-old jumping on stage as bouncealong 2007 single Girlfriend kicks off, audience hands in the air and our singing getting audibly louder as Lavigne demands “let me hear you!”, her signature look adjusted for today’s crowd as she dons a Union Jack emblazoned jacket.

“Glastonbury what’s up?” she asks us as 2011 single What The Hell continues the music and the energy both on stage and growing within the burgeoning crowd, a reminder to the casual fan of Lavigne’s enduring legacy as she moves about the stage encouraging each side of the packed field to sing along in turn.

“Glastonbury!” she repeats. “I can’t believe it’s taken me 22 years to actually be here, wow!” Before dedicating first single from debut LP Let GoComplicated – to those who supported her from day one, the number 1-charting single getting the biggest singalong so far, the singer handing vocal duties over to her crowd for a pre-chorus, and of course we all know these words.

Here’s To Never Growing Up offers up the only cut from Lavigne’s self-titled 2013 LP, the chant-along tune backed by acoustic guitar from David Immerman as Kermit The Frog and Mr. Blobby puppets sway back and forth on a pole in the audience and the likes of Anya Taylor-Joy and Cara Delevingne look on from side-stage. And then she’s gone as her band keep the music going. She returns to the stage sporting a guitar to take us back to 2004 with Under My Skin song My Happy Ending, keeping us there for He Wasn’t and slow-drive single Don’t Tell Me.

“This song is off my first album called Let Go, does anybody out there have a copy?” she asks rhetorically looking out at the growing crowd, introducing Losing Grip, before describing how she wrote the record at just 16 years of age before moving from her native Canada to Los Angeles ahead of its release just a year later, the heavier tinged tune more than welcome with today’s Other Stage crowd before more from that seminal debut is aired by way of delicate ballad I’m With You, the crowd taking over vocals superbly.

Bite Me and Love It When You Hate Me from 2022’s Love Sux LP prove that Avril Lavigne continues to be a musical force more than capable of producing brilliant tunes before her hour is up with a crescendo delivery of biggest hit Sk8r Boi. “Where are my skater boys at?” she asks, teasing the tune. “Where are my skater girls at?” she continues before The Other Stage bounces harder than it has all day.

It’s taken 22 years for Avril Lavigne to arrive at Glastonbury Festival since bursting onto the music scene at the tender age of just 17, but boy was she worth the wait. Let’s hope she’s back far sooner than another 22 and, no doubt, headlining one of the best festival in the world’s biggest stages.

Live review & photography of Avril Lavigne at Glastonbury Festival 2024 by Kalpesh Patel

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