Having been lucky enough to have seen so many of my favourite bands and musicians in the last couple of years has given me a massive surge of faith in the Universe. And every precious time I tick a band or musician off my list I’m filled with gratitude mingled with a whole lot of giddy disbelief. Like did I really just see Hoobastank? Did I honestly just shake hands with Toni Wirtanen? Did I actually just headbang to Bury Tomorrow?
But one of the most mind spinning experiences is definitely seeing a band you’ve loved since you were a teen and that’s what it was for me, seeing Good Charlotte. Sure, I love a lot more punk bands now, but GC was my first and imminently crucial to my journey. And most importantly of all, their music gave me bags of strength and support when I was so angry and sad, and they are still there for me in those times. It’s hard to explain how much they mean to me but anyone who has really loved a band will know exactly what I mean.
Good Charlotte burst onstage with The Anthem (of course), setting the pace for the rest of the evening. It was the most energetic concert I’ve been to and it didn’t cease for a moment throughout! If there had been any doubts as to whether GC “still had it”, they were quickly squashed underfoot. They still had it, and more. “Damn it feels so good to be back playing a Good Charlotte show,” said Joel.
It was an insanely nostalgic and classic packed night! Like, did they even have any non-classic tracks? Girls & Boys makes everyone go berserk with jumping and singing, and it’s followed up by Life Changes, a track from their latest album ‘Youth Authority’, which resonates with the familiar GC sound.
What I loved is how GC seemed to be having just as great a time as we were. Their words of thanks and gratitude and love to their fans was genuine and heartfelt and brought tears to my eyes. Joel said it was nights like tonight that “make me wish I’d never gone away.” They played The Motivation Proclamation which made me giddy with happiness. And then they played the one I’d been holding my breath for, they played Hold On. This song means so much to me. It has got me through so many rough and miserable times, and it’s my go-to song when things are really bad. To hear it played live was the most overwhelming, surreal experience ever, and naturally I bawled my bloody eyes out! I hope that GC know just how much this tune has come to mean to people, how many people it must have saved, and indeed they dedicated the song to anyone who might have gone through a rough time.
The crowd lustily sings its heart out to The Chronicles of Life and Death and then GC close with Little Things and The Young and the Hopeless. The night seems to have come to a far-to-soon end, but then Benji laughs and says, “How about an encore? Now that we’ve left the stage!” And then The River rings out before Joel tells us that “we’ve come a long way from being bullied at school to being here in front of all of you. Thank you, Goodnight!” They finish off with a boom with the unmistakably familiar I Just Wanna Live followed by the EPIC Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous leaving everyone reeling with happiness.
WHAT A NIGHT!