When you think you’re done with someone or something, the universe—a cool mysterious witch—often has other plans for you. Didn’t we think Chavril was over? Back in 2015, beloved to some of us, super Canadian rock royalty Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne broke up after two years of marriage and one dramatic duet. Perhaps Lavigne thought she’d be done with her former husband Chad Kroeger, lead singer of Nickelback, and perhaps music altogether. You can never be precise about love or its aftermath and what will happen when you move forward. Life is an adventure!
Over the weekend, however, Lavigne, who has been laying low for the past few years because of her battle with Lyme disease, made an appearance at Nickelback’s L.A. show at the Greek Theatre. She joined Kroeger and co. for her first live performance in at least three years for a sort of karaoke rendition of “Rockstar” with printed out lyrics. (Although it didn’t really seem like she needed them so, go figure.) However, being Canada’s most famous rock star couple (probably, definitely, don’t fight me on this) that their reunion didn’t happen on the soil of this glorious land is a fucking swipe but we’re still happy for them anyway because that’s what you do in Canada: burning seething rage at something, little follow-through. Nevertheless, Lavigne and Kroeger have seemed to really honour their amicable split and friendship since then. But seeing an ex is weird, right? No matter what kind of relationship you have, it’ll always be a little bit awkward.
After introducing Lavigne to the stage, guitar player, and objectively the hottest of the group (if there were such a designation), Ryan Peake, banters with the “Skater Boi” singer saying, “if you’re feeling comfortable on stage… [laughs] work the stage. Work it.” Kroeger chimes in with: “Work it, girl! You gotta work, bitch!” I mean, I don’t know the level of comfort between the two of them, and these jokes may just be jokes, but Lavigne, 32, has absolutely been around a stage or two in her time and these just seem like crass, awkward comments to make because holy shit, you’re standing next to your ex-wife. They were later joined by an audience member who served as an incredible buffer for the rest of the song. Perhaps this brief public reunion was beneficial for Kroeger, who appears to be a seemingly self-deprecating and embittered.
Earlier this year in Toronto, Kroeger sounded a lot like he was hosting his own version of a beer bro Netflix comedy special complete with fireworks and musty facial cream[?]. Say what you will about their music, but that man is hella charming onstage and really knows how to work a crowd. As the night went on, his jokes often turned very dark. (Is he happy? We want him to be happy.) Kroeger asked for shots of Jaeger; drank some beers onstage; and told the audience of over 15,000 people that he wanted to party late into the night and we should all join him at bar. This may not mean anything except a lot of people like to laugh at jokes about drinking and getting fucked up but the man seemed like he was hurting. Burying his woes and dark psychological underpinning in jokes, not unlike someone who does a Netlfix comedy special. Maybe the memory of Lavigne and their time together is still haunting him? To us, they were, again, a perfect match. Who knows the depths of what Kroeger and Lavigne worked out and through during their marriage and their split and who they are as human beings.
Love is a complicated beast. When we say love is dead after our favourite celebrity couples split, we’re projecting that happy ideal onto them and believe that if they can succeed, so can we, mere mortals! Kroeger and Lavigne being back onstage and together again is, we hope, good for them and not weird or destructive and hard. But, for what it’s worth though, Lavigne performing once more after a hiatus due to her health is the real triumph.
Sarah is now done reporting on Nickelback. Follow her on Twitter.
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