GOOD CHARLOTTE: a concert review
On the second day of Canadian Music Week pop-punk legends Good Charlotte graced the Danforth Music Hall, with this being my second night at the music hall. Arriving promptly at 8:00PM I had a goal in mind – to inch myself through the crowd to the front where a friend was situated front-centre. I managed to squeeze about 5 rows behind the barricade, I told myself “good enough”.
The show presented by Journeys featured Californian bands Movements and Palaye Royale as opening acts earlier in the evening. At 8:00 PM one of my favourite Canadian bands, Silverstein, ripped through their set which included giving shout outs to the Maple Leafs, Blue Jays, and the 905ers. Lead singer, Shane Told proclaimed the night as a hometown show. The band was formed in 2000 and have continued to manage a solid following throughout the years. As Silverstein played two of my favourites, “Smile in Your Sleep” and “My Heroine” off Discovering the Waterfront I couldn’t help but feel a sense of nostalgia, as these paved my entrance to the pop-punk and hardcore scene.
As the music hall continued to fill, the anticipation was steadily rising. As 9:00 PM came around and a few moments later, the quintet from Waldorf, Maryland made their anticipated entrance and return to Toronto. The band opened with the aptly named “The Anthem." From the opening notes, it was clear Toronto had a love for Good Charlotte and as Benji & Joel Madden reminisced over shows played in the city, it was clear – Good Charlotte had a love for Toronto too.
Good Charlotte presented a discography spanning over 20 years, with the brothers interacting and asking the crowd whether old or new fans - one thing was clear, a connection was made. At one point, Joel stated the probability of the group and the fans being friends in an alternate world. The brothers kept an impeccable pace of genuine interaction and engagement with the crowd, during a conversation before “Hold On," Benji mentioned and encouraged the strength in picking yourself up even in the lowest of moments, to give when nothing’s left to give and look forward. Good Charlotte are perfect examples of authenticity, even in the presence of fame they continue to be rooted in their humble beginnings.
The final 5 tracks on their setlist acted as an extended encore with some of their most notable tracks closing out the night including “I Just Want To Live” and “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous.” As the night inched closer to ending the crowd hung onto each moment with the band, with the night progressing - the band and crowd relayed each other’s enthusiasm back and forth without a hitch. With 20 years in the books, the band displayed a rigorous veteran presence and for that Toronto was rocking on this April 19th night