Gig Review by Gena Hollyoake with Photography by Sophie Jones

Acting as a pit stop between their headline slot on the Lock Up Stage at Reading & Leeds Festival, Good Charlotte graced the good people of Birmingham with their angst riddled, pop punk tunes on a rather fittingly rainy, emo Saturday.

Good Charlotte

Having not been on UK soil since 2011 (bar a short support tour with All Time Low), it was no surprise that the O2 Institute was packed to the rafters well before Good Charlotte took to the stage. Fans came from near and far (one group had even headed over from Ireland!) to see this not so young (anymore) and certainly not so hopeless quintet.

Good Charlotte

The band kicked off proceedings with old school favourite Anthem and the room erupted. They rolled out tune after tune, giving the crowd no chance to catch their breath. The Story Of My Old Man into Bloody Valentine, into Girls & Boys. Pow! Pow! Pow! They knew what the fans wanted and they made sure they gave it to them. Digging right into the archives, they pulled out Little Things, Predictable and The Motivation Proclamation, but stopped everyone getting too caught in the past by throwing in a couple of tracks from the new album.

Good Charlotte

Only the most hardcore of fans were present. Joel Madden opened Makeshift Love with no backing just the line “Like I’m dying tonight…” and the room simply carried it on. Old or new, it didn’t matter. Team Good Charlotte karaoke was happening right there and according to Joel, the crowd “sounded like angels”.

Good Charlotte

Not bothering with an encore, the band instead asked what the crowd wanted to hear. “Did you say I Just Wanna Live?” shouted Benji Madden before breaking straight into it. There was a real level of intimacy as the band stood there relaxed, with no fancy lighting or stage set. They would make little comments like “what were you doing in 2005? Because we were writing this” and “I like how we can all hear each other”, making it more like an open conversation than an actual show.

Good Charlotte

That night Good Charlotte offered the chance to reminisce and escape everything else that is happening in life. People at that gig may wear suits in the day, work regular jobs and even have a family now; but for that one evening they were back in their Converse, hanging around a skatepark, with their jeans chain hanging, talking about how much they hate their parents. That is the power bands like Good Charlotte have and for that moment in time it really did feel like Life Can’t Get Much Better!

Good Charlotte

Towards the end of the set, Joel mentioned that they love the UK because whenever they are here, they “always pass the test”. Well Joel, we aren’t too sure that that “test” is, but you sure have passed the Gig Junkies one! Just please don’t leave it so long next time, yeah?

Good Charlotte

Support for Good Charlotte came from bands Big Jesus and Waterparks.

Big Jesus

Big Jesus

Big Jesus

Big Jesus

Waterparks

Waterparks

Waterparks

Waterparks

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