There is something inherently strange about celebrating the age of your favorite music. By attending anniversary tours people find themselves surrounded by a community they have not felt connected to in years, if not longer. The event itself, much like the music the crowd has gathered to celebrate, feels like a time machine. For as long as the band plays you can feel connected to whatever age you were when that material meant everything to you. It’s possible life was simpler then, or at least it felt that way, and in these moments when you’re allowed to revisit it surrounded by a few hundred strangers you realize you’re not the only one who wishes life was simple once again.
Simple Plan already spent a good portion of 2017 celebrating the fifteen year anniversary of their debut album, No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls, but it seems one run extended run of dates was not enough to meet demand. This weekend the band kicked off the latest run of NPNHJB shows with support from pop punk favorites Set It Off and Long Island superheroes Patent Pending at the famous Intersection music venue in Grand Rapids, MI.
Substream staff photographer Ben Howell was on hand to capture the best moments of the night. His second life as The Intersection’s house photographer has provided him access to hundreds of concerts this year alone, but as the final pieces of confetti began to fall from the ceiling during the band’s last song even he confessed the show was among the most energetic he’d seen all year. “This whole show has been incredible,” he says, “everyone was there to have a good time and you could feel the excitement in the air.”
A selection of Ben’s photographs can be found below. Additional images are available on The Intersection’s Facebook Page. Additional dates for the No Pads, No Helmets, Just Balls fifteenth anniversary tour can be found on Simple Plan’s official website.