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Good Charlotte Gives Back

Back in 2005, the Maryland rockers filled out the Singapore Indoor Stadium at their “Noise to the World” tour, performing songs from their first 3 albums. Now, 6 years and 2 more albums later, the concert venue was considerably smaller and the fans have grown a little older, but not much else has changed. If anything, the band seemed even more at home.

Kicking things off at The Coliseum on Nov 18 was Filipino band Urbandub, who played an engaging half-hour set mainly consisting of guitar-driven metal-rock tracks such as ‘First of Summer’ and ‘A Call to Arms’. While they suitably warmed up the crowd, it wasn’t until Good Charlotte took the stage that the fans went nuts. Surging forward to get a closer view of the tattooed musicians, the crowd was charged with energy, having waited years for the return of their favourite rockers.

After a less-than-dramatic entrance where the members simply sauntered casually onstage with their instruments in hand, they wasted no time launching into one of their most popular songs to date, ‘The Anthem’. It was like they had never gone. The crowd went wild and sang along to every word at the top of their lungs.

It was a night of nostalgia as longtime fans were pleased to find that the quintet played a total of 7 songs off their 2002 sophomore album The Young and the Hopeless, which was packed with chart-toppers like ‘Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous’ and ‘Girls and Boys’, both of which were included in the night’s set list.

Lead singer Joel Madden slipped effortlessly into his familiar role as Good Charlotte’s frontman, easily taking the lead while bantering with his twin brother and guitarist, Benji Madden. While the duo interacted with the eager crowd, the other 3 members, bassist Paul Thomas, guitarist Billy Martin, and drummer Dean Butterworth, were more than happy to take a backseat.

“Do you know what I like about sex? Everything!” Benji said cheekily, before delivering an energetic performance of ‘Sex on the Radio’, a song off their latest record, Cardiology. They followed up with tracks from their self-titled debut album ‘The Motivation Proclamation’ and ‘Little Things’, but also appeased fans of their later efforts with the hits ‘I Just Wanna Live’ and ‘Keep Your Hands Off My Girl’.

In an interview 2 months ago, Billy mentioned that it was getting increasingly difficult to choose the songs they would perform live. With 5 full-lengths under their belts, it’s no wonder they’re finding it tough to cram their hits into an hour-and-a-half set.

Performing mostly fast-tempo songs throughout the concert, the guys only slowed things down when they sang a slightly off-key rendition of ‘We Believe’. Benji apologised for forgetting how to play it, saying they hadn’t performed it for 3 years.

“How about we redeem ourselves with this next one?” he offered. When they launched into ‘The River’, the adrenaline shot through the roof as a group of fans closer to the stage started moshing furiously to the music.

Joking that he had to pinch his nostrils in order to sound as high-pitched as Joel, Benji sang the first few notes of ‘Dance Floor Anthem’ before his brother took over.

However, the most unforgettable moment was during the last song of the night, when they paused midway through their performance of ‘Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous’ to sincerely thank their fans.

“The only reason that we’re still standing up on this stage is because there’s people who believe in real music, real songs, and real bands,” said Joel. “I’m not telling you guys to hate any other kind of music. I’m saying stick to your guns, love what you love, and know that the only reason that bands like us still get to go on stage and play music is because of you guys, so thank you so much.”

The crowd was more than happy to take credit for Good Charlotte’s 16-year career. Singing with more conviction than ever during the song’s last chorus, the enthusiastic fans were left hungry for more even after the band bid them goodbye.

But before the demands of “encore” could escalate to crazy levels, the guys from Good Charlotte returned to finish off the concert with a mash-up of a lesser-known track, “The Story of My Old Man”, and a cover that fans definitely didn’t expect. As the opening guitar riff of Blink-182’s ‘Dammit’ rang out, looks of pleasant surprise were briefly exchanged among the concertgoers before their faces lit up with grins as they shouted along to every lyric. Well, I guess this is growing up.

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