Don’t call it a comeback, but Good Charlotte has returned to the stage once again after releasing their first album in six years. On Oct. 25, I was fortunate enough to reunite with my favorite band, and needless to say, I was beyond thrilled. You see, me and the boys have this connection that dates all the way back to my adolescent years. Now, that may not seem like a very long time given the fact that I’m only 25 years old, but hey, like I said, we have a connection. I’ve watched them play countless shows all across California, hung out backstage with them, talked to Paul Thomas about him living in Oakland, CA, and was even Benji Madden’s first fan reply on Twitter in 2009 (trust me, I did my research).
While I definitely knew what I was in for, my boyfriend, on the other hand, did not. For years I’d been trying to convert him into a GC fan by explaining to him that Good Charlotte was more than a band, and that their concerts weren’t just your ordinary shows. “Every time I go to a Good Charlotte concert, I leave feeling inspired, like I can take on anything,” I told him thousands of times, though only hearing it from me probably didn’t help. I guess he’d just have to see for himself — or at least, I hoped he would.
After a few drinks, my boyfriend and I arrived at The Warfield in San Francisco, CA. The audience was the craziest I’d ever seen it, crowd-surfing, singing every word to every song at the top of their lungs, and it was almost like no time had passed since the first time I saw them in high school at the Hearst Greek Theatre in Berkeley, CA. Their set list included hits like “Girls & Boys,” “The Anthem,” “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” some of their newer stuff off of their Youth Authority album, and my personal favorite, “The River.” In between songs, Joel and Benji would stop and speak to the crowd; they talked about their humble beginnings, and how Benji managed to pull himself out of a difficult time in his life. At one point, he even told the crowd, “If you work hard and you never give up, you can do anything you want to,” proving once again that he hasn’t lost his anthem. That was also the moment I looked over at my boyfriend and noticed that he now knew exactly what I had been trying to explain to him this whole time. He felt the connection, too.
The boys are set to wrap up their tour on Nov. 23 in Dallas, TX, and while Benji has said that they may only have one more album left in them, that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll be gone for good. Benji and Joel have been serving as judges on The Voice Australia, and recently launched a management company called MDDN. In the meantime, here are all the reasons you’ll love going to a Good Charlotte concert, even if you’re not a fan.
Despite their garnered fame over the years, the members of Good Charlotte have seemingly managed to remain humble and true to who they are. In 2016, they released Youth Authority, their first album in six years, under their own independent label, MDDN. During an interview with Newsweek in July, Benji revealed that the band was so burnt out by the music industry’s focus on making money that they had lost their creative drive, admitting he didn’t know if they “were going to come back.” Thankfully they did, and now Benji says their new mission statement is to guide young artists:
“We feel like we have this new quest in our careers to tell artists the truth — to take our experiences and share them with younger artists and help nurture [them] . . . We went into the world and got served. It was a rude awakening in so many ways. We had all the success a couple of records in. In a very genuine way, we really wanted to make people happy, we wanted approval — the label, the industry. The last couple of records we were making for other people, not for ourselves. We were trying to have a hit so people would say ‘good job’ . . . That led us full circle back to this place where all of a sudden Good Charlotte belonged to us again and it felt like it was time.”
Not only does Good Charlotte take several moments out of their shows to talk to their fans and really connect with them, but they’re also never shy about letting them know that they wouldn’t be where they are if it weren’t for them. During their Oct. 25 show, Benji told the crowd, “You guys helped us get out of a really deep hole, and you guys have made so many things happen for us. There’s not a show that goes by that I don’t feel grateful, so thank you!”