TWEET, AVRIL LAVIGNE and REMY SHAND performing as part of the Wham Bam Canada Day Jam at the Skydome, July 1. Tickets: $39.50-$59.50. Attendance: 14,500. Rating: NN Rating: NN
Call me crazy, but there's something decidedly unpatriotic about a show celebrating Canada Day where most of the acts on the bill ain't Canadian. Not to dis sponsor Kiss 92.5 -- I'm sure P. Diddy and Ja Rule can put a helluva lot more butts in the Skydome seats for the Wham Bam Canada Day Jam than, say, the Barra MacNeils.Soulful Southern hummingbird Tweet opened with her entire band out onstage while she entered, a vision in a transparent white dress, beret and stilettos, to the sounds of fake birdcalls. The three backing vocalists dancing in sync played the Supremes to her Diana Ross.
Even the tin-can acoustics and shitty sound system couldn't mask Tweet's soaring voice. She got the house to boogie down to her seven-song set of perfectly polished Stevie Wonder-style slinky funk/soul/hiphop tunes.
Maybe they were too polished. Sometimes the sista seemed to be phoning in her act -- even the inter-song banter was obviously rehearsed.
Teen sweetheart Avril Lavigne provided one of the only CanCon interludes, kicking off her set by bum-rushing the stage avec band during the intro to a high-energy version of Sk8r Boi. Cute, but if Lavigne and her crew are really gonna work that skate-punk gimmick, they should go all the way and play their whole set on skateboards. Think about it -- Rollerball meets Tony Hawk. Sweet.
Unlike Tweet, Lavigne's anguished yelp fell victim to sound glitches, but she continued like a trouper, even playing guitar on the low-key Naked. At least she moved her fingers and looked at the frets; I couldn't hear any chords that resembled what she appeared to be playing.
After her embarrassing plumber's ass moment at the MuchMusic Video Awards, Lavigne seemed a bit more conscious of her pants' slow descent, keeping one hand behind her back to yank them up. Can't be a tough chick if you're always in danger of flashing the crowd.
Props to Lavigne for blowing up at such a young age, but she's not really ready to be playing stadiums. The punk-pop set felt kinda amateurish, like a high school Battle of the Bands-type gig.
It was a relief when soul crooner Remy Shand took the stage. Motown's Canuck rising star played a mellow set of slinky grooves, jumping between instruments every time you blinked and accenting his tunes with vaguely disco-ish roller-rink organs.
Shand might play kinda bland white-boy soul, but at least his set was about the music rather than the spectacle. Refreshing.