Columbus, OH, Promowest Pavilion, May 11, 2005

Written and photos by: Jason Perlman

 

Okay, a trivia question. How does one go about feeling old, even when they just broke out of their teens? Answer: Hit any Good Charlotte concert across the United States. Yes, the poster adults for early teen angst and rebellion hit Promowest Pavilion amid a downpour of rain and parental mutiny. For the first outdoor show of 2005, Promowest should have asked the man upstairs for better weather, but this is what Jym Ganahal brought Columbus for the night, and the kids didn't miss a beat. Hell, the splashing sounds from the puddles added additional notes to the show.

 

Since even its first show in a neighbor's basement, Good Charlotte has been playing its own music with its own sense of style and flavor. Now, not-so-many years later, Good Charlotte is still able to play their own music, but instead of 20 kids in the basement, there are thousands every night relishing in each and every word that rolls off Joel's tongue, and which twin brother Benji echoes into his mike.

 

When the band started breaking ground with "" the buzz started to roll and the critics started to swarm. Kids loved the putdown of their middle and upper class families, and critics just loved to put down the band. When the band was selling out tiny clubs in 2002, those writing the reviews seemed to embrace the more 'punk for the masses' style of approach GC was taking. But once the masses caught on, those praises were becoming condemned and the band started to become more of the Poison of hair bands; the poster band for where punk was faltering.

That didn't stop Good Charlotte from moving forward, and taking a page out of super band Green Day's book, and putting out a song that became a ballad that almost every kid in high school across the country heard at their prom or graduation, 'Hold On.' The video attracted much attention, as it was a call out to kids everywhere to struggle through the tough times, because there is always light at the end.

Because of a hearty number of singles and the years of early success, it is hard to imagine this band has only put out two records of music. Almost every song off of The Young and the Hopeless can be a single, and no matter what the band played, kids screeched every lyric straight back at Joel and the band.

 

Although supporting their newest release, The Chronicles of Life and Death, Good Charlotte seems all about living the high life, and that attitude gives the kids in the crowd a feeling of carpe diem and a release from their issues and crises.

 

Perhaps the moment of the night came during Anthem, where kids got to rebel against their parents, who bought them their tickets and stood en masse against the side wall to keep as dry as possible.

 

Good Charlotte, like 'em or hate 'em, are the band that pre-teens and teens alike have taken under their wing and used as a crutch when their problems get to be too much. So although one can complain about whether they are punk or not, it should not go unnoticed that the band is able to help kids with emotional release and to rid themselves of anxiety. And isn't that what punk is? A rebellion and release? If so, then GC is punk, just rated G punk. Either way, it would be near impossible to tell anyone under the age of 20 in the audience that Good Charlotte is not worthy or does not provide a musical service.

Billy Martin
Joel Madden
Paul Thomas
Joel Madden
Joel Madden
Benji Madden