LIVE REVIEW: Good Charlotte @ Alexandra Palace, London (20/02/2019)

Credit: Ville Juurikkala

Date: February 20th 2019
Venue: Alexandra Palace, London
Support: The Dose / Boston Manor / Sleeping With Sirens


Twenty-seven years and seven records into a career; who would’ve thought that Good Charlotte would stand the test of time and become one of the most important pop-punk bands in modern history? The Maryland veterans have inspired a generation of bands, and with their latest record, ‘Generation Rx’, they proved that their ability to write music is still up there with the best.

In celebration of said record, tonight, the band play their biggest UK headline show to date and end their European tour in London’s iconic Alexandra Palace to a group of adoring fans who seem to have been there from the beginning.

Beginning proceedings are The Dose [5]. The alternative rock duo are a throwback to bands such as The Clash and Nirvana, and mixed with more contemporary act such as The Black Keys, they deliver a rather boring and rehashed sound. While they’re energetic and entertaining on stage, the music just doesn’t connect with the crowd. Perhaps their sound should have stayed back in the 90s.

Lifting the moods back up again are Boston Manor [8], who prove that sooner or later, they’re destined for the bigger stages. The set, comprising mainly of tracks taken from the their latest opus ‘Welcome To The Neighbourhood’, resonates throughout the room. Vocalist Henry Cox has a comfortable swagger and on-stage persona that puts him up there with even the most seasoned pros.

Older cut ‘Laika’ proves to be the most popular moment of the set before the band end with the monstrous hit that is ‘Halo’. The gargantuan anthem is one of evening’s highlights and evidently leaves people wanting more. How long until the Blackpool faithful are filling this venue themselves?

Sleeping With Sirens [3] soon take to the stage and bring everyone back down to earth. The Floridians bring to the table a ten song career spanning setlist, and unfortunately with it they miss and never actually hit. Vocalist Kellin Quinn has a vocal range that can rival the best of them, if it were to stay in tune.

The reality is, however, even though the songs are being played well, they’re just not very good to begin with. ‘If You Can’t Hang…’ showcases the band’s ability to write a hit and gets a huge crowd reaction, but that’s the only highlight in an otherwise dull and washed down set.

Even though it’s not a tough act to follow, Good Charlotte [9] take to the challenge with astonishing results and drive their way through a 21-song career defining set list comprising of songs from all but one of their records (2010’s ‘Cardiology’ is avoided completely).

Opening with ‘Generation Rx’ and following into ‘Self Help’, the boys set a tone for the next hour and a half and prove why they’re continuing to not just be relevant in 2019, but important too. While the bonafide hits such as ‘The Anthem’ and ‘I Just Wanna Live’ get the biggest crowd reaction with a lot of the plaudits, and quite rightly so, new tracks such as ‘Shadowboxer’ and ‘Actual Pain’ go down an absolute treat and fill tonight’s lavish venue to the brim.

After a couple of speeches from frontman Joel Madden about the importance of tonight’s show for them as a band, we’re treated to a hair raising live debut of ‘Leeches’ with Sam Carter of Architects making a nice surprise cameo on vocals, as is on the record.

Ending on breakthrough single ‘Lifestyles Of The Rich And Famous’, the group take it back to where this crazy ride of fame and success all kicked off for them, and the whole of Alexandra Palace goes off like it’s 2002 all over again.

From a band who carried the burden of pop-punk poster boys and began losing their way, Good Charlotte have come back from near destruction to put on the best performance and one of their most memorable shows of their career.

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