If you’ve been in my apartment, you know that there is always music playing. If you’ve ever visited me at work, you know that there’s always music playing from my computer whether my coworkers like it or not. Have you had the pleasure of riding in my car? Bet you there was music playing. What I’m trying to say is that my life has a constant soundtrack. Whether it’s in the forefront or in the background, there is constantly music of some sort in my life. That changed last night when I got home and sat in my car in complete silence for about twenty minutes. I can’t tell you why I did it but I can tell you that it felt right after watching the band that I owe my life to. Sounds dramatic, I know, but that deafening silence was the first silence I’ve heard in years and I can’t describe the amount of comfort it brought to me.
Kicking the night off was The Dose. Although their grunge, Nirvana- revivalist music wasn’t quite what I wanted to hear before one of my favorite bands of all time, the energy was high as the duo rushed through their opening set. Vocalist/ Guitarist Indio Downey (yes, Downey, as in Robert Downey Jr.’s son) had the perfect voice for a grunge band along with drummer Ralph Alexander’s power. Donning the typical plaid shirts, The Dose’s set seemed a bit old but not in a bad way. Their nod to the great grunge bands of years gone by was not lost on me nor was their ability to take that sound and vibe and make it all their own.
Following The Dose’s quick set was the one and only Knuckle Puck. This newer pop-punk band has truly taken the scene by storm since their inception in 2010. Hailing from the suburbs of Chicago, Knuckle Puck has this nod to old school pop-punk bands such as Blind 182, Simple Plan, and MxPx while keeping the sound very fresh and new feeling. Their energy on stage never stops to amaze me with last night being no different. I watched as vocalist Joe Taylor strutted from side to side of the enormous stage with a sense of fury and power while still feeling very youthful and fun. That’s the key to Knuckle Puck’s music. You can cater it to fit whatever mood you’re in. There’s a hidden aggression in every song but also this certain sense of sensitivity by each. Being able to see all of those elements in a live show setting is definitely something that, as a fan whether die-hard or fair-weathered, you need to experience. It definitely shines a new light on this already extremely talented group.
Sleeping With Sirens took the stage next to a roar of applause from the packed audience. SWS has been a thing since 2009 and although they hit the emo-pop-punk scene while I was on my way out, it was impossible to ignore their power or influence on the scene. Vocalist Kellin Quinn has such a distinct voice that, as soon as you hear it, you know exactly what band you’re listening to. They are one of the few bands that was able to find a balance between emo, pop-punk, post hardcore, and even metalcore without feeling like they were trying to fit too much into their music. Although I had seen them a couple of times before, their performance on Tuesday night seemed to have this new sense of power that I had yet to see from them. Although they’ve been around for years and seen the changes in the scene, SWS proved last night that they are still a force to be reckoned with and will continue to be into the foreseeable future.
Each of the three opening acts during Tuesday night’s show brought something to the table that was amazing and enjoyable. That being said, I would be lying if I said that I was 100% into each of them. My anticipation for the headlining act had been building since I got there, hell, since I woke up, hell, since I saw them two years ago. Going to shows every night is great and I always look forward to seeing something new but it’s rare that I get giddy about a performance or truly get stoked for something. As soon as Good Charlotte took the stage, I could feel my eyes swell up with tears and this sense of comfort and warmth take over my entire body.
Good Charlotte was my band– no, they are my band. I know they were a lot of people’s band. I get that. This band means everything to a lot of people and that was obvious by the way everyone in the audience was screaming along to every single word of every single song. I know I’ve confessed my love with this band in blogs past but I can not continue with this post without saying that this is seriously my #2 band of all time (second only to Lucero). When I say they saved my life, I truly mean it. I fell into a dark hole when I was a teenager and tried to escape from everything but Good Charlotte was there to lend me a hand and help me out from that pitch black spot. That feeling has never left and still, to this day, whenever I am feeling that it may be a good idea to pick up old habits that die oh so very hard, I throw on some Good Charlotte and it feels like the hug that I truly needed.
GC’s set last night couldn’t have been any more perfect. With seven full length albums, the band has more than enough songs to pick from. The fact that every one of those songs means absolutely everything to someone makes the decision even harder. That being said, they did a great job of playing a little bit of everything during their fifteen song set. From songs that date back all the way to the early 2000’s to songs off their newest album that just came out a couple of months ago, GC easily pleased everyone in the audience and, let’s be honest, if you didn’t leave happy that was on you, not the band or the performance.
With smoke, confetti and whizzing lights, there was an energy radiating from the stage that truly can’t be put into words. Slow songs, fast songs, dance-a-longs, sing-a-longs— everything about GC’s set was electric. Did I need to bawl through every single song? Absolutely not. Did I probably look a bit funny with tears rolling down my cheek while screaming along to “Lifestyles of the Rich & The Famous”? Absolutely. But I regret nothing. Sometimes you just need a good cry. Sometimes a concert just hits you where it counts. Last night was one of those nights.
I sat in my car in complete silence for about twenty minutes when I got home. I can’t tell you why because I truly don’t know why but I do know that those 20 minutes of silence were pure bliss and it wouldn’t have happened after any other show.
Thank you Good Charlotte for last night. Thank you for saving my life years ago. Thank you for continuing to be my ride or die.