w/ The Story So Far, Set Your Goals, Big Jesus
San Francisco, CA
October 25, 2016
I had expected Good Charlotte to come and play the standard-fair rock show, the one that I had been accustomed to the last time I saw them in 2010 at The Regency Ballroom (also the last time they performed in the Bay Area since this past week): a high-energy pop-punk show with crunchy guitars, dual vocal performances, and dedicated fans.
This show surpassed my expectations.
Not even a second after Joel Madden began singing “It’s a new day/but it all feels old”, the first vocal line in “The Anthem”, Good Charlotte’s mega-hit from their multi-platinum The Young and the Hopeless, the entire crowd jumped in. And I literally mean the entire crowd. The room was so loud from both the band and the gang vocals. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Not since Underoath played here back in March that I saw and heard such crowd enthusiasm. Not what I expected at a Good Charlotte show.
The energy stayed at this level throughout the duration of the event, peaking at the very end with “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous” (also from The Young and the Hopeless. Good Charlotte had returned to the Bay Area in an effort to kick ass and take names. Patrons in attendance, some that weren’t even fans of the band and were there with friends, were keen to admit that “it was a fucking great show”.
In addition to bringing their highly-anticipated live show to the Bay Area, Good Charlotte brought along a star-studded lineup to open the show. This was a particularly special date of the tour, as two of the main openers were Bay Area-based: San Francisco’s own Set Your Goals, and Walnut Creek’s The Story So Far.
The first opener of the evening went by the name of Big Jesus. They were an interesting group to watch, and it was fascinating to see the reaction they got. They were the least “pop-punk” band on the lineup, but that’s not a bad thing. It brought some variety to the table and potentially exposed fans to a type of rock they wouldn’t necessarily listen to, which can be a great thing in the long run.
Set Your Goals took the stage to a great deal of cheering, as it was their first “official” show back in the Bay Area (if we’re not counting that headlining show they did at 924 Gilman Street back in February). It’s the first show they did on a tour that came through their hometown area, and my God it was great to finally see them taking the stage and doing what they do best. While the crowd was mainly there for GC, and another good portion was there for The Story So Far, those fans were more than likely newer to the scene and may not have even heard the term “Set Your Goals”. I’m happy to see these guys back out there again and exposing their music to a brand new fanbase.
At this point, I know what to expect from seeing The Story So Far, but I’m still blown away by their crowd reaction every time. A Bay Area TSSF show means complete chaos (and generally those three songs in the photo pit tend to go from three to one due to copious amounts of crowdsurfing…). Their performance at this show was no exception. They powered through tracks from every album they’ve produced to date, and were a major hit with those in attendance.
Good Charlotte knew the audience that they were playing to, and acknowledged this. Select tracks from their newest album, Youth Authority, were added in throughout, but a majority of the setlist came from their back catalogue. Tracks from The Young And The Hopeless, The Chronicles of Life and Death, and their self-titled debut record made up the main course of the set, to massive approval from fans young and old alike.
It’s clear that this is a band that not only knows their audience, knows how to perform and put together a great set list, but one that also understands the intricacies of building the perfect tour package itself. One thing is for sure: Good Charlotte are back, and better than they’ve ever been.
This has been another Shameless Promotion.