American rock band Good Charlotte was a long time due back in Montreal, and finally returned after a long and anticipated wait, to our greatest delight! Joined by special guests The Dose, Knuckle Puck, and Sleeping With Sirens, Good Charlotte got up close and personal with their fans at MTelus. The venue was jampacked and ready for some old school hits and brand-new tracks from the Madden Brothers, but first, let me tell you about the openers.
I did not get the chance to be present for The Dose as I only got inside the venue at 7PM so I am afraid I can’t tell you much about them… but I was present for Chicago based Pop Punk band Knuckle Puck. I had the pleasure to see them multiple times alongside State Champs, Neck Deep and Mayday Parade in the past or even at Warped Tour and have never been disappointed by these guys. The band performed a short but solid set, featuring songs from their latest album Shapeshifter released last year, but also from their previous record Copacetic released back in 2015 and even from their EPs While I Stay Secluded and The Weight That You Buried.
I was afraid no one would know them in the crowd and was presently surprised throughout their set as a moshpit got started during their second song and did not end until their set was over. Fans were singing along with vocalist Joe Taylor, and you could tell on his face throughout the set that he did not expect that much from the crowd. I also truly believe they won over Good Charlotte fans who did not know them as I could hear after their set people talking around me about how good their performance was. If like them, you have never heard of the band before, I would strongly advise you to listen to “No Good”, “Untitled”, and “Pretense”, that they actually played during their set. These are the songs that got me hooked!
Sleeping With Sirens was next to take over the stage. Not much changed since I last saw them at Warped Tour a couple years ago, except a few wrinkles. However, they didn’t lose their energy nor did vocalist Kellin Quinn lose his vocal skills or his impressive range. The Orlando-based band started their set with one of their main hits “Do It Now Remember It Later”, setting the tone for the rest of the night. The band primarily showcased their 2015 album Madness, with half of their setlist devoted to that album, which seemed surprising knowing that they released Gossip last year. It probably didn’t have the same impact in the heart of their fans nor in sales, which may explain why they focused on more popular songs, with “Better Off Dead”, “We Like it Loud”, “Go Go Go”, as well as “Don’t Say Anything”, and their last and most catchy song of the set “Kick Me”.
The band also played older and more classic songs that I truly love and made me fall in love with them a few years back: “If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn” and “If You Can’t Hang” from their first two albums With Ears to See and Eyes to Hear, and Let’s Cheers To This that I would advise you to listen to if you’ve never heard from them before.
Last but not least, kudos to guitarist and vocalist Nick Martin for being on fire and putting on quite a show the whole evening, interacting with the public and being energetic every second of every song!
The angsty teenager in me was so happy to finally get to see Good Charlotte live for the first time, after listening to them since their second studio album The Young and the Hopeless was released back in 2002. It is something I have been waiting for for years and despite vocalist Joel Madden having lost his voice, I was not disappointed at all.
Their set started with the eponymous title track of their latest record Generation Rx, released earlier this year. The song begins with gentle instrumental and then builds momentum to tackle the topic of mental health plaguing the music industry (not so fun fact: this song may have been inspired by the recent and tragic death of American rapper Lil Peep as the band performed at his memorial and started writing their latest album shortly after).
Next was “Self Help”, a song that, despite talking about self-harm and depression, is highly energetic and will hook you up in a few seconds. However, the band didn’t “waste” a lot of time on their latest release, despite it tackling current critical issues such as self-medication, mental illness, and the opioid crisis. No, they gave the crowd what they wanted, this 2000’s throwback feeling that they know they crave, with hits from an album that you probably all know, that’s been listed in the top 20 of Rolling Stone’s ’50 Greatest Pop-Punk Albums” – The Young and the Hopeless!
From “The Anthem”, to “The Story of My Old Man”, “Girls & Boys”, “The Young & The Hopeless”, to “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous”, Good Charlotte kept that nostalgia alive all evening long, and I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s these songs that helped me get through “tough times” as a teenager and that I was here for, like most fans around me.
The band, despite their 22 years on the scene, still captured their audience like in the 2000s, and continuing with hits such as “Keep Your Hands Off My Girl” and “The River”, they demonstrated their skills, livened the crowd that started a couple of moshpits from time to time, showing true passion for the band’s early days. Not only did they never miss a riff or line despite their lead singer losing his voice, but they also took the time to educate the crowd about the importance of women in the community and dedicated their song “Riot Girl” to all women in the audience.
They did not get that much into politics but mentioned that it’s a crazy world and state of mind we live in nowadays, perfectly illustrated in one of their latest songs “Prayers”. Unfortunately, all good (and the little) things must come to an end… with the band performing some of their most iconic songs “Dance Floor Anthem” from Good Morning Revival, “I Just Wanna Live” from The Chronicles of Life & Death, and last but not least “Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous”. This last song left the crowd buzzed and craving for more! Overall, Good Charlotte proved that even after over 20 years of experience, they still know how to rock a crowd and share their passion for music with their fans. It’s one show I won’t forget anytime soon!
Knuckle Puck Setlist
Want Me Around
But Why Would You Care?
Sleeping With Sirens Setlist
Do It Now Remember It Later
Here We Go
Empire to Ashes
Better Off Dead
We Like It Loud
Go Go Go
Don’t Say Anything
If I’m James Dean, You’re Audrey Hepburn
If You Can’t Hang
Good Charlotte Setlist
The Story of My Old Man
Keep Your Hands Off My Girl
Girls & Boys
The Young and the Hopeless
Dance Floor Anthem
I Just Wanna Live
Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous
Review – Maxime Le Huidoux
Photos – Arianne Bergeron