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I’ll admit that when I was a little teen and I was still feeling around in the dark for a legitimate music taste, I came across Good Charlotte on channel V, and a twelve-month infatuation was born. I listened to The Young and the Hopeless on repeat the entire time and then I grew tired or realised that their music wasn’t ‘authentic’ enough and ditched them to listen to ‘real’ artists.
Low and behold, a decade later I am sitting and waiting for the Madden brothers and co. to join the stage; the crowd is quite a demographic melting pot. You’ve got people in their mid-twenties living out their teen dreams (like me), you have families (their music is quite PG when you think about it) and then you have the creepy hardcore fans wearing T-shirts from their tours in the earlier half of the decade.
The Luna Park Big Top was absolutely packed out with this motley crew of fans; there were the over-eager cheers every time a roadie came on stage to fix or fiddle. The pre-event music was Harder to Breathe by Maroon Five; I wonder if this was to set a theme? It took me back to when I didn’t know what Adam Devine’s speaking voice sounded like.
A few minutes later and they were on. Woo! They opened with The Anthem, and I still knew all the words (excellent use of brain space). They played two more songs before they addressed the crowd with gushing about how much they love Sydney and so on. Then they restarted with Riot Girl; yeah all the girls in the pit went wild! I saw some pretty intense moshing and all I could think of was “won’t someone please think of the children?”. There was then some banter about how they started the band in high school so they could talk to girls.
The next song was Keep Your Hands off My Girl, which got the crowd singing the ‘ahh has’. It worked a treat as the crowd sounded great. Motivate Me came next (one of my personal teen favourites). Then there was more banter thanking Sydney for having them. After that they switched and gave Benji a couple of songs to do a solo, with only his guitar to keep him company. He was really quite good; it was a nice change from hearing all their old singles to some lesser-known tunes. After he’d had his few minutes in the spotlight, they come back on with Little Things, which amped the crowd back up again. This was followed by further banter with the crowd about wanting to be Australian, then the newer I don’t want to be in Love and I Just Want to Live, and they said their goodnights and walked off stage.
The lights didn’t come back on, so an encore was imminent. I was lucky for my patience as the boys were back on in two minutes. They finished the night with Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous, and literally the entire floor was pulsating. It was an excellent finish to an excellent show. The banter was kept between the Maddens and felt rather stiff and uninspired, but that’s just me splitting hairs. Even if you’re only a fan of their radio hits, I suggest that you go and give them a listen at your local venue.