It is wonderful when we see such a mix of generations coming together to attend a show, isn’t it? Especially in such a historic venue as the Barrowlands. Well, that is exactly what you get with bands such as Good Charlotte. However, none of them could possibly conceive of what was coming on this night.
Following a so-so performance from Milk Teeth, and a respectable and highly energetic set from New York pop-punk quintet Against The Current, naturally the crowd were anticipating the main act would be taking the stage when the house lights dimmed once again… and then the unexpected happened.
The band were nowhere to be found.
The stage remained empty with simple violet lighting, “In The End” roared through the PA system and we were treated to a heart wrenching tribute to the late Linkin Park vocalist, Chester Bennington. It has been a long time since I have seen a crowd sing that loudly and passionately. You would be hard pressed to find a dry eye in the house, considering most of the older fans attending who grew up listening to Good Charlotte in the early 2000s also grew up with Chester and that his passing was so unexpected and so sudden.
But after beginning on that sombre note, they finally emerged with explosive vigour, opening with “The Anthem”, and following it up with “My Bloody Valentine” and “Boys and Girls”. Ah, the high school nostalgic feels. Two or three songs in, Joel Madden is quick to announce that this evening is very special, as over half the crowd were experiencing their first ever Good Charlotte concert, but he also points out that he has not forgotten about the older fans and thanks them for their support.
The Maryland punk rockers played a set of mostly classic hits such as “I Just Wanna Live”. “Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous”, “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl”, and surprisingly, “Emotionless”, which they confessed they had not played in a long time as they felt it was too personal. It cannot be stressed enough how infectious the atmosphere was from start to finish, from the vibrant set design and lighting, to the energy of the crowd and the band themselves.
They mentioned the state of the world and politics throughout the show, and this is exactly the remedy people needed, even if it only gave them a couple of hours respite, it was enough to uplift the spirits of everyone there. They made damn sure that not a single person left the venue that night without feeling more confident and positive in their own lives, spreading constant vibes of positivity, community and self-belief for the entire night.
Good Charlotte have always known how to work their audience and tonight was no exception. An absolute riot of a performance!
Photos by Jack Barker Photography