Ashlee Simpson: La La or Blah Blah?

Jonathan Daley

Jonathan Daley, left column, and Leah Bowers, right column, explain their different experiences at the Ashlee Simpson concert.

Credit: Beth Rankin

hen I was asked by the Daily Kent Stater to attend Ashlee Simpson’s appearance at Playhouse Square for her first headline tour, I laughed.

When I was told I would be attending the affair with my beautiful and talented design director, Leah Bowers, and I would be writing a column for Pop Arts, I couldn’t resist. Leah and I would make a great team; Leah loves Ashlee, while I, as everyone at the Stater already knows, loathe the lass.

After getting started at the bar, I had become more relaxed and, I thought, ready for the show. I sat and enjoyed my alcoholic beverage and my resultant buzz; everyone around me began to get excited as the lights dimmed.

On a white screen above the stage, the word “Autobiography” was spelled out. That’s when I truly felt the power of teenage girls. The guy next to Ashlee’s No. 1 fan (Leah) and me had, quite possibly, the loudest scream I have ever heard from a grown man.

OK, so the “Autobiography” opener was tolerable. Truthfully, I was expecting an all-out lip-synch and polka fest ’05. State Theatre must have had some technical difficulties, as she did actually sing, and it didn’t sound too bad. However, she repeatedly did the same “I am walking across stage, but I will attempt to make it look like choreography” march throughout her entire show. C’mon, Ash, be real with us … like your black hair is.

Later on, Simpson came out wearing sexy high heels, a pink boa and a big, erotic black hat to begin her song “La La.” I rolled my eyes. This girl tries to be different than her sister and wants to be “rocker-esque.”

I took a sip of my rum with a splash of Coke when I realized the background jingle was getting louder and faster. With flashes of the floodlights, she kicked off her high heels, threw off her hat and began to actually sing “La La.”

Wannabe rockers. We all know about them, and most of us hate them. So why does Simpson try to pull off a young rocker facade? (Besides, what kind of rocker books a show at Playhouse Square?) Between outfit changes, Simpson would introduce us to members of her “band”, and our new acquaintance would play a little piece for us.

What I want to know is what the hell are these people doing with Ms. Simpson? You can tell these people are slightly (actually, a lot) more rock than she is. You can tell by the way they dress and their rockin’ moves that these people actually know how to rock!

And then Simpson came back. Damn.

Despite having Miss Dancing Pop Diva next to me, I honestly had to sit down in the middle of the show. Even with Leah’s attempts to get me to stand up, I didn’t want to. I was tired of standing up and doing nothing when I really wasn’t enjoying the tunes.

Finally, when everyone on stage disappeared and the lights went out, I jumped to my feet and screamed as loud as I ever have in my life. The show was over. At last. She didn’t even have a grand finale or say goodbye to her fans who she loves so much.

Leah and I managed to make our way through swarms of teenage girls (some of them with similar-aged boys holding on to the girls tightly to show everyone that being somewhere else was not an option) and out to the street, where many were waiting to be picked up by parental guardians. Leah said I had a good time, but I did not want to admit it.

My response: “I missed ‘Storm Stories!’”

Jonathan Daley is a page designer for the Daily Kent Stater, and this is his writing debut. Although he knows little about journalism, he does know he doesn’t like Ashlee Simpson. He can be contacted at [email protected].