Good Charlotte Takes Crowd Back To 2002 at First Ave


Photos by Matt Kennedy

Tuesday night’s show brought hundreds of people of all ages out to see one of the bands that truly made pop-punk a force to be reckoned with and bands that are trying to keep it alive.

The show was kicked off by Big Jesus from Atlanta, GA. Unfortunately, due to the early start time of the show, I was only able to catch a couple of songs from these guys but what I hear sounded just the way you would want a pop-punk band to sound: clean and upbeat. Unfortunately, due to curfew, Big Jesus only had 25 minutes to show the crowd what they had to offer and majority of the crowd was still stuck in traffic trying to get to the show.

Following Big Jesus was Four Year Strong, a personal favorite of mine. Four Year Strong is known for their high energy shows and crowd interaction but last night didn’t seem to be their type of crowd. The audience was much tamer than they usually are but the band didn’t let it affect them. They played through their set of mostly new songs with the same amount of energy as they would if they had been headlining the show and, as a huge fan of theirs or not, I think they truly put on a great set for how short it was.

The Story So Far was the final supporting act. Even with the controversy surrounding singer Parker Cannon (he was caught on video drop kicking a girl off the stage during a show in Canada), these guys seem to be leading the revival of pop-punk music. TSSF’s set seemed to lack the energy that you would want from such an up and coming group but the energy of the crowd made up for it. The endless stream of crowdsurfers was keeping the security busy as TSSF played through their forty minute set of depressive lyrics about breakups matched with the upbeat, pop-punk guitar chords that have made them one of the most popular bands in the scene.

Headlining the near sold out show on Tuesday night were pop-punk legends Good Charlotte.

Good Charlotte opened with “The Anthem” from their 2002 release “The Young & The Hopeless”. From then until the end of their seventeen song set, the crowd was going wild for these old school heroes.

Even with a new album, “Youth Authority”, Good Charlotte stayed true to their roots and played more old songs than new. They actually only played two songs from their new album leaving fifteen to come from old albums including their debut self-titled release from 2000. The band knew what the crowd wanted and it was clear that the crowd was getting everything that they had ever wanted from a Good Charlotte show. It was a complete throwback to the early 2000’s for the older people in the crowd and a bit of a learning experience for the younger generation that had come out.

Good Charlotte kept referring to Tuesday night’s crowd as the best crowd on the tour yet. It felt genuine when Joel Madden, singer, said that this Minneapolis date had been his favorite of the whole tour thus far. The feeling was mutual and, even during slower, deep-cut songs, the crowd kept the energy up and the screaming deafening. You could feel the love in the room between band and audience and it was truly a beautiful feeling.

Their hour and half long set left fans wanting more. Even though they had played a little bit of everything, it just wasn’t enough and people were reluctant to walk towards the exit when the house lights came on. Young kids were scouring the ground for missed picks and towels thrown out by the band while the older crowd finished up their drinks and made a game plan of where to go next since the show was done early (at 10).

Personally, Good Charlotte is a band that means absolutely everything to me. They literally saved my life with their music alone. Seeing a band like that live is impossible to put into words.

Set List: The Anthem / The Story of My Old Man / My Bloody Valentine / Girls & Boys / Riot Girl / Life Changes / Predictable / The Motivation Proclamation / Hold On / Makeshift Love / Little Things / The Outfield / The Young and the Hopeless / The River / I Don’t Wanna Be in Love / I Just Wanna Live / Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous