Review: Good Charlotte, O2 Institute, Birmingham

Stepping out on to the O2 Institute stage a full 20 years after the band first began, the US five-piece looked healthy and in good shape - and sounded even better.

Kicking off the set with 2002 hit The Anthem, the band instantly sounded great - a tight, professional act, whose interaction with the crowds throughout the night meant the show was intimate and charming.

“It’s good to be back in Birmingham,” beamed Joel.

“Thank you for having us.”

To the crowds’ delight this was followed by hit after thrilling hit - including My Bloody Valentine, Riot Girl and Girls and Boys - each one casting the crowd back to the days of listening to the group in their bedrooms as moody teens. And the experience of it all was just superb.

Back in the late 90s and early noughties, identical twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden were always easy to tell apart - Benji in particular tending to don far more piercings and make-up than Joel. But last night the pair looked almost indistinguishable, both of them with identical goaties and black cut-off jackets and baseball caps.

Then again, the Madden brothers have come a long way since they began - with Benji now married to Cameron Diaz and Joel to Nicole Richie.

Not that their fans care - all they were largely interested in was the band’s music and live performance; and the lads did not disappoint.

“When we were younger music would always get us through the tough times,” bellowed Benji.

“We always wanted to make something to help kids listening to us want to get through one more day.”

This was followed by an emotional rendition of Hold On - to which the whole room sang along to.

Songs such as The Young and The Hopeless and The River followed, before the set was ended with I Just Wanna Live and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.

Charisma, talent and down-to-earth attitudes; the band had it all. It’s The Little Things from this incredible night - filled with nostalgia and sing-a-longs - which made it so memorable.

Come back soon guys, we’ll be Counting The Days.

By Kirsten Rawlins

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