… But The Little Girls Understand

To detractors, she’s the ho-downing, lip-syncing Ashlee Simpson, burdened with sibling rivalry and acid reflux. But that doesn’t seem to matter to her fans.

The popular media, genuinely concerned with Kevin Federline and Paris Hilton, is also in love with Simpson’s peccadillos, from her famous incident on “Saturday Night Live” to getting booed for her halftime show at the Orange Bowl. Meanwhile, nearly 330,000 people have signed an online petition for Simpson to give up her career.

But Jessica’s little sister kicked off her tour February 16th at California’s The Grove of Anaheim, and early reports say the tour is not the stiff some might have expected. According to the Orange County Register, there was plenty of elbow room on the tier section of 1,600-capacity venue. However, it was reportedly difficult to find tickets for the February 18th performance at Universal Amphitheatre.

In other words, all this schadenfreude doesn’t seem to be distracting Simpson’s fans. Her debut, Autobiography, has sold 2.7 million copies, according to SoundScan, and is still selling more than 25,000 units a week. Her tour dates are a frequent inquiry at Pollstar.com.

So far, there’s scant evidence her tour is going to be refluxed.

“Her real strength, should she decide to more fully capitalize on it, is her Everygirl charm,” the Los Angeles Times‘ Randy Lewis wrote. “Without Jessica’s eye-popping beauty or any real vocal gifts, she’s in a great position to connect with far more girls her age or younger who, watching her, can reasonably think, ‘If she can do it, maybe I can too.'”

The show itself is getting interesting reviews. The Register was critical of her six costume changes, saying it wasn’t “rock ‘n’ roll.” Even more interesting, MTV.com and the Times were pleased to announce that most of the performance sounded like it had live vocals. Well, except for a cover of Blondie‘s “Call Me,” which was speculated to have a backing track.