Who: Simple Plan
When: Saturday, Feb. 25, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Whistler Village Square
Just rounding off another European tour, drummer Chuck Comeau takes a whole day off to tour Londons modern museums. He also finds time to read a book on Southern Africa. He enjoys reading about the places he visits Simple Plan tours Southern Africa in three weeks.
With tours spanning from South America to Malaysia and Mexico to Singapore, Comeau is building quite the library. Maybe Whistler Features by local scribe Stephen Vogler should be added to his reading list with Juno-nominees Simple Plan celebrating Canadian athletes competing in the Torino 2006 Winter Games with a free outdoor concert on Saturday, Feb. 25 in Whistler Village Square.
Comeau also finds time to turn on the tube for Olympic highlights: halfpipe and hockey are his two favourite events.
"Do you have an outdoor hockey rink in Whistler?" he inquired. "I am looking forward to the hockey getting started."
Simple Plan is Canadian through and through. The Montreal-based five piece has spread the reaches of their music from coast to coast with eight different tours and 300 live show dates completed over the first two and a half years of promoting its debut album, No Pads, No Helmets Just Balls, released on Lava Records.
"We used to tour around in an old recycled ambulance," Comeau recounted. "Every time we were driving around Canada, we would honk and say hi to the real ambulances. It was kind of funny."
The road dogs, made up of Comeau, Pierre Bouvier, David Desrosiers, Sebastien Lefebvre and Jeff Stinco, soon gained momentum with appearances on the Vans Warped Tour for three years running and the release of Simple Plans second album, Still Not Getting Any, headed by famed producer Bob Rock the man behind Metallica, Mötley Crüe and Bon Jovi albums.
Hard work paid off with around-the-world tours and opening for the likes of Rancid and Aerosmith along with nominations for four MTV Video Music Awards, the Choice Rock Group award at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards, three Juno Award nominations, Favourite Pop Act at the 2005 MTV Asia Awards and Best New Artist nomination for the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.
"It was very gradual," Comeau said of the bands success. "There are always moments that I cant believe this is happening. The first time I heard our song on the radio or saw a video or played Jay Leno. The first time we left Canada for a big Japanese tour to think of kids playing our records in their bedroom in South America or Europe. Ive done more than I could have ever imagined."
High-energy shows and pop-punk-inspired music is at the root of the bands success although the band would rather not define their music, just play it.
"We really dont like to give a name to what we do," he said. "It is very limiting when you do that. Our first album definitely comes from our (pop-punk) influences."
He noted listening favourites such as Green Day, Cheap Trick, Elvis Costello and The Cars.
"We want to take this thing as far as we can. When you have a chance to live a dream, you want to just keep going and see how far you take it."
The same applies to their music with brainstorming for Simple Plans third album, already in the works after this years European tour.
George Stroumboulopoulus of CBC Newsworlds The Hour will host the live concert as well a live broadcast of Torino 2006 Olympic Games events the following day, Sunday, Feb. 26 in Whistler Village Square.
Check out Mens Ice Hockey Final Gold Medal Game from 5 to 7:30 a.m. and the Torino Closing Ceremonies from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on a large outdoor screen. Fiddler extraordinaire Shona Le Mottee and her troupe of Eire Born Irish Dancers will wrap up the celebration, celebrating the passing of the Olympic flag from Torino to Whistler/Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics.
Le Mottee has toured North America extensively with the Celtic-pop group The Paperboys as well as worked with celebrated musicians, including Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, Daniel Lapp and Alpha YaYa Dialo, just to name a few. She also performed with Michael Flatleys Lord of the Dance for two years in New York, Las Vegas and Orlando.
For more information on other Olympic celebrations, call 604-932-2010 or visit www.vancouver2010.com.