Thousands of teens gathered around the Agganis Arena in Boston on Tuesday April 1st, anxiously awaiting the performances of Boston-based pop-rockers Boys Like Girls, followed by the princess of punk herself, Avril Lavigne.

Boys Like Girls took the stage right on schedule at 7:00pm. It was obvious they were quite elated to be back in their hometown, judging by their repeated mention of it between songs. They opened the evening with their hit single, "Hero Heroine" and just as the crowd started pouring in, they followed up with an upbeat performance of "Five Minutes to Midnight". Lead singer Martin Johnson then took a short break stating that the band wanted to take a moment to introduce themselves, then proceeded to stand in the middle of the stage pointing upwards at the giant multi-colored banner in the background that displayed the words "Boys Like Girls", which sent the crown into a wild cheer.

Next came the performance of "Dance Hall Drug", which they ended with John Keefe's drum solo that sent the crowd into another frenzy. To keep the mood going, Johnson gushed about how great it was to be home, and then asked the crowd if they were excited to see Avril perform. After the screams settled down, Johnson demanded that since we were stuck with him for a little while longer, he wanted to see the crowd really moving. He revved up an electrifying rendition of "Heels Over Head" while jumping from side to side and waving his hands in the air, while the audience mimicked his every move.

After the rock ballad of "Broken Man" came to an end, Johnson stated, "This next song I wrote when I was eighteen, just up the street in a little town in Mass. while sitting on an apartment floor." He asked that everyone in the audience hold up their lighters and cell phones, and as the bands struck the first chords of "Thunder", the majority of the crowd honored his request.

Johnson once again reiterated his happiness to be back in Boston, stating that he had great friends and family who were attending the show. He announced that they would be back in Boston this summer headlining the Kiss Concert.

They ended the show with a stellar performance of their most popular hit song, "The Great Escape", which sent the crowd into such a dancing chaos that I actually felt the floor shaking beneath me. Johnson and guitarist Paul DiGiovanni ended the song while standing back to back, wailing out magnetic guitar riffs.

Avril Lavigne took the stage shortly after 8:00pm, making a rising entrance from the middle of the stage. Appearing every bit like the poster child for punk rock, Lavigne opened with her hit single, "Girlfriend", with her back up dancers in hot pursuit. The thing that's great about Avril is that she doesn't choreograph with her dancers, simply because she doesn't need them. Sure, there are parts when she does synchronized moves with them, but for the most part she just has fun bouncing around the stage doing her own thing.

After concluding a fun filled, bubbly performance of "I Can Do Better" off her new album, she introduced her next song saying, "This song and I go way back. It was my first single ever released." The song she's referring to is "Complicated", which provoked everyone in the audience to sway back and forth, singing along to every word at ease.

She switched to a fluorescent pink electric guitar with a matching pink microphone for her attitude driven version of "My Happy Ending", followed by the soft, mellow touch of "I'm With You". During this ballad, the backdrop changed to display videos of everyone in the audience. Judging from the reaction on the big screens, this was quite a hit. "I'm With You" received the most applause of the night.

One of the highlights of the evening was when Lavigne's backup dancers came barreling onto the stage, performing back flips among many other wild moves to Linkin Park's "Faint". The dancers pushed a bright neon pink grand piano to the center of the stage, where Lavigne performed "When You're Gone," with the music video displayed in the background.

"Innocence" really captured Lavigne's vocals beautifully, while "Don't Tell Me" showed a bit more of her style, as she strummed on her pink, leopard printed acoustic guitar. However, her hit song "Hot" was also performed acoustically, and quite frankly, it was the only song of the night that sounded a bit out of tune. Something about the sound of the entire song was a bit off, which was disappointing considering this is one of her newest popular hit songs. She also performed an acoustic version of "Losing Grip", which sounded terrific. She announced that "Losing Grip" was the first song she ever wrote when she was seventeen.

Another highlight of the evening was when Lavigne propped herself down in front of her drum set stating, "If I mess up, you can scream at me." She not only played the drums while singing "Run Away", but also followed up with an energetic cover of Toni Basil's "Hey Mickey", which sent the crowd into an absolute uproar. This proved that no matter how old you are, anyone and everyone knows the words to "Hey Mickey" (even a crowd that consists mainly of thirteen year old girls).

The show ended with the dancers once again showing off their outrageous moves to a brief version of "Girlfriend", followed by a remarkably energetic performance of the well-known hit single, "Sk8er Boi".

All in all, the energy level was at its absolute high throughout the entire evening. From the rocking riffs of Boys Like Girls to the rebellious renditions of Avril Lavigne, there was a rarely a dull moment. It was definitely an evening to remember.

Story and photographs by Rachel Burke
Starpulse contributing writer

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