“Throwback Thursday” with Good Charlotte at Webster Hall

Walking up to Webster Hall you saw the typical crowd at a rock show. Kids in ripped jeans, tattoos and colored hair. They all were gathering for the sold out Good Charlotte mini reunion tour. NYC was one of the lucky cities to have them stop and play.

It brought me back to the last time I saw Good Charlotte play play in NYC. It was May of 2001 when they opened for MxPx. We had just heard the band’s hit “Little Things” on the radio and loved their angsty pop punk sound. I remember walking around the city before the show and seeing the guys pass us in the street. We were young and scared so we didn’t say anything to these rock stars. 

We missed out chance to talk to the band, but we got to see them later at the show when they rocked Irving Plaza.

Fifteen years later here they are again. I am looking forward to see what kind of show they have in store.

As I entered the venue the room was already getting packed for the sold out show. Fans were lined up in front of the stage; securing their spot for a good view of the band. 

Off to the side clusters of people filled the ballroom, drinks in hand, as they chatted loudly waiting for the show to start. 

Heard girls saying how they were glad the stage was elevated since they were vertically challenged and may not be able to see from far away. Another group of girls wearing Good Charlotte t-shirts sang along to the pre-show music playing over the soundsystem.

The show was running a little behind. I heard someone complaining about how these things never start on time. Luckily we did not have to wait too long and around quarter after eight the pre show music stopped and out came a quartet of young guys.

  They called themselves Waterparks. They hailed from Austin, Texas and were really talented fellows. They played a twenty five minute set of some bodacious tunes. Which reminded me of a mix between 80’s new wave and the Killers. Every song they had was very different musically, but it all went together seamlessly. The lead singer Awsten Knight charmed the crowd with his humorous bravado. He worked to get the crowd going and rocking out with their tunes. They have an engaging emo with the angst of punk that is reminiscent of Green Day meets Fall Out Boy. They were very catchy and diverse in their musical stylings. This is a band to check out. 

The music in between sets is always interesting. Never remember hearing any Lionel Richie played during a set change. Wonder if it was a nod to Joel Madden’s wife Nicole Richie. It was also nice to hear “Purple Rain” in tribute to the late Prince who passed away today.

Good Charlotte hit the stage around 20 after nine. Webster Hall was packed and the fans started screaming as they saw the band take the stage.

It’s been over a decade since I last saw the band play and time has treated them well. 

Benji and Joel Madden were playing up the twins thing with matching beards, black hats, and black jackets and with cutoff sleeves showing off their sculpted and tatted arms.

The rest of the band, Paul Thomas (rhythm guitar), Billy Martin (keyboard), and Dean Butterworth (drums) were also in full force and ready to rock the stage.

You could feel the excitement and energy in the air. The crowd was a mix of teens, 20 and 30 somethings. Some look like they have been fans since the band came out two decades ago and others looked like they were still in high school. 

At one point in the show Joel asked how old the crowd was starting with, “who was born in 2000? 1998? 1995?” There were some 16 year old in the crowd, but most of the screams came from those born in 1995. It was funny since they were barely alive when the band first hit the scene.

Thanks to internet and websites like Setlistfm.com we now have the power to know exactly what songs will be played at the concerts we attend. I had looked this up prior to the show and a was excited they would mainly be doing older songs. They also played their new track the cute throwback  “40 Oz. Dream” and plugged their upcoming album Youth Authortity.  

Fan favorites of the night were “Motivation Proclamation,” “The Anthem,” “The River,” “Hold On”, “Dance Floor Anthem,” and “My Bloody Valentine.”

Good Charlotte knows how to keep the crowd engaged. The banter between brothers was entertaining. At times it seemed like Benji couldn’t get a word in edgewise before Joel cut him off. 

When he started talking about their upcoming video for their single “40 Oz. Dream” Joel chimed in saying the same thing. It was funny watching the lovable brotherly interaction.

The earnestness from the band was really heartwarming. It was touching when they they talked about making the song “Hold On” and how much it meant to them when fans say they were touched by their music. They also gave a shout out to one super fan who has seen them over 200 times.

Despite the years that have passed, Good Charlotte still have what it takes to bring down the house. This was an awesome “throwback Thursday” moment.

For more information on Good Charlotte check out their official website.


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