As Avril Lavigne would say herself, it was a darn cold night when she visited the AsiaWorld-Expo. Luckily the passion and warmth of an adoring crowd promised to keep everyone warm.
The Canadian pop princess is no stranger to Asia: this was her third gig in Hong Kong, and she knows how to play to the local crowd.
She opened by belting out, "Hello Kitty, you're so pretty" while wearing a cosplay-inspired dress. It was a little awkward, but at least showed she knows how popular she is in Asia. After all, not many people can sell-out the Expo hall.
Lavigne has wide appeal, and the crowd was a good mix of young and old. Unusually for a major Western act in Hong Kong, it was mainly local, too.
Her vocal talents were on perfect display, hitting every note while maintaining that trademark rock sneer. The crowd loved every minute, singing along to every song while grooving to the beat. Audiences at concerts here have a reputation for being shy, but nobody here was holding anything back.
As a thank you to her loyal fans, Lavigne performed her very first single, Complicated. It seems crazy to think the song was released 12 years ago. Many of the older fans in the audience, now adults, would have grown up listening to it.
Elsewhere, there was a good balance of old and new tracks. Old favourites Sk8ter Boy, Girlfriend, and Losing Grip received big cheers, but the crowd also appreciated What the Hell and Hush Hush. It was clear a lot of thought had been put into the set-list.
The only disappointment was the lack of some of the catchy love songs Lavigne does so well. The crowd would have enjoyed every second of When You're Gone and Innocence. But at least they did get a confident, soulful rendition of I'm With You.
By the end, the crowd were suitably warmed by a great performance, with almost everyone heading outside humming that song's catchy, highly relevant opening line.