JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

November 23, 2016
House of Blues - Dallas
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Andrea D. Morin
Photos by Joseph De Leon

Good Charlotte

Good Charlotte Finishes Their Tour Strong @ House Of Blues

Pop-Punk icons, Good Charlotte, rocked the House of Blues in Dallas for the last show on their Youth Authority Tour the night before Thanksgiving to promote their new album with the same name that came out in July 2016 after a five-year hiatus. Adding support on this tour were Pure Noise Records artists, The Story So Far and Hit the Lights, and Big Jesus from MDDN, the Madden's music management company that specializes in publishing, production and A&R developing new artists.

The opened their set shouting, "We're thankful for Dallas" and launched into their mega hit "The Anthem" from their second and most successful studio album, The Young and the Hopeless, from 2002 selling over 3.5 million copies to kick off the high energy night. Leading with this song was perfect as it was the song that defined this pop punk genre. The crowd erupted in screams and sang along to every word. Twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden had great interaction with their fans all night telling great stories and giving advice making people feel like they have an intimate connection with the band; something their fans have come to expect and love over the years. They played four more songs from this triple platinum album, "The Story of My Old Man," "My Bloody Valentine," "Girls & Boys," and "Riot Girl" with amble crowd participation. Then lead vocalist, Joel Madden, spoke to the ladies in the room, thanking them for attending. He talked about his own 8-year-old daughter, Harlow, and how girls today need good role models and challenged the ladies in the audience to step up and make a positive impact on the younger generations.

Next they played the first track off their new album, Youth Authority, called "Life Changes" and were thrilled that everyone knew all the words and sang along. Then they played "Predictable" from their third studio album, The Chronicles of Life and Death and "The Motivation Proclamation" from their self-titled debut studio album before going into story time again.

Joel asked the audience how many people first listened to Good Charlotte when they were in middle school, then high school, then college before asking how many were there seeing Good Charlotte for the very first time. He was actually surprised by how many people cheered. He compared it to a first date and told everyone that they'll have a great time with no awkwardness like the many first dates he has had in his life. This band has reached a whole new generation of people who were finally able to see them live after a five-year break from touring.

Just before they played the classic inspirational tune about anti-suicide, "Hold On" from their second studio album The Young and the Hopeless, Benji spoke to the fans, "Be the person that got up one more time and fought it out and hold on, if you feel like letting go." Then he talked about how they formed the band together in 1996 and headed to Baltimore from Sothern Maryland to give it their best shot without knowing anyone in the music industry. Both Joel and Benji commented about how thankful they are for getting to do what they love especially coming from nothing, and never giving up. Maybe they were inspired from this show being on the night before Thanksgiving but they are really humble and appreciative. Joel asked everyone to put their hands in the air while playing the first note of "Makeshift Love" from their latest and sixth studio album Youth Authority. Joel talked about how he got picked on in school and was really pissed off by it and then said, "This next song is dedicated to every kid whoever got picked last in gym class," and launched into the chants from "Little Things" from their self-titled debut studio album, Good Charlotte. The crowd went crazy while singing every word and the band absorbed all of this great energy on stage while jumping around.

Twins vocalist Joel Madden and lead guitarist/vocalist, Benji Madden, guitarist Billy Martin on guitar, Paul Thomas on bass, and Dean Butterworth on drums, all played flawlessly with a solid set all night. They played "The Outfield" from their sixth studio album Youth Authority, "The Young & the Hopeless" from their second studio album The Young and the Hopeless, and "The River" from their fourth studio album Good Morning Revival with complete perfection. I'm sure a lot of people secretly wished M. Shadows and Synyster Gates from Avenged Sevenfold would have popped out from the side stage to join them for "The River" like they recorded on the album.

Joel joked around with the crowd about his beloved Washington Redskins playing or "beating" the Dallas Cowboys the following day on Thanksgiving. He told everyone, "You're forgiven for liking the Cowboys." (Glad Dallas ended up winning!) Then he went into talk about how nice everyone has been on the tour but especially in Texas and that's the reason they wanted to end the tour in Texas. He said, "The world needs good people and to be kind to each other." He asked everyone to put their hands up to celebrate being "good people" and asked who were all the people out there in relationships versus being single. Of course, the single people screamed with pride as they launched into their single power dance floor anthem, "I Don't Wanna Be In Love" from their fourth studio album Good Morning Revival followed by Benji taking lead vocals on "I Just Wanna Live" from their third studio album, The Chronicles of Life and Death.

Good Charlotte finished heavy with their mega smash hit, "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" from their second studio album The Young and the Hopeless and did not come back on with an encore but finished up a solid nearly 90-minute set and left the crowd completely satisfied…some were disappointed that they didn't play "Life Can't Get Much Better" from their new album. They have such an extensive catalog of music and it must be hard to select the right songs that will please everyone.

Both Joel and Benji have been super busy during this five-year hiatus and even formed a new band called The Madden Brothers, releasing two albums. Joel has two children now with actress, Nicole Richie, and stars on The Voice Australia. Benji married actress, Cameron Diaz, and joined Joel as a coach on The Voice Australia and The Voice Kids. Both brothers co-own a recording studio in Hollywood where they write, record and produce music for other artists, and formed their MDDN company with their older brother Josh to help young artists. Let's all hope they continue making the music we love, and when they do, we'll be waiting in Dallas!