Good Charlotte, FTSK, This Century
Minneapolis, Minnesota – March 16, 2011
By: Kasey Noll
On March 16, 2011, Minneapolis was pop/rockified during the perfect lead in to Saint Patrick’s day. The party atmosphere at First Avenue was exceptional; not one person in attendance left this KDWB-hosted event without dancing to the feel good music. The entertainment for the night was provided by Good Charlotte, Forever the Sickest Kids, and This Century, all of which sounded incredible live and brought everyone a show they will most definitely never forget.
The diversity not only in style but age present in audience members was astounding, showing these three bands can appeal to anyone. Looking around one would notice people rocking skinny jeans, trip pants, mini skirts, polos, leather jackets, huge colorful hair, beanies, and of course, supporting band tees. The mean audience age was even more spread out – there were teenagers rocking out in groups with their friends, children younger than ten years old standing close to their parents, and even more random ages thrown into the mix. The only unifying factor was the energy; not one person’s feet were planted for very long. The need to jump and dance was almost instantaneous as the entrance staff stamped your hand.
Opener, This Century got the ball rolling quick. Their catchy lyrics and immense amount of crowd interaction immediately drew everyone in. Lead singer Joel Kanitz was constantly praising, thanking, and encouraging fans to “jump!” With the colorful flashing lights and the upbeat nature of their songs, fans were going nuts and leaning over the barriers as far as it would let them go. Post-show, This Century greeted everyone with smiles and gratitude, encouraging audience members to donate to their collection for Japan relief efforts. There was appreciation and admiration throughout the venue for these great guys from Phoenix, Arizona. Kanitz later happily stated that Minneapolis was, “one of the most responsive crowds we’ve had on tour so far.” As long as they keep wanting to play in the Midwest, its no doubt Minnesota will be awaiting their return.
Next up was Forever the Sickest Kids. These Dallas, Texas natives definitely kept the party going with their energetic hits such as “Life of the Party” and “She’s a Lady.” Not only were crowd members jumping but they also had the opportunity to mosh a little bit. They cleared out the floor just so hardcore fans would get the opportunity to release some built-up energy. There’s no doubt this band provided Minneapolis with one of the most exciting performances it has seen in quite some time. Vocalist Jonathan Cook and guitarists Marc Stewart and Caleb Turman couldn’t stay off the speakers. Occasionally one would jump from one and send the crowd into a frenzy. They were all over the place, providing everyone in the crowd a closer look. Not only were they musically pleasing, but they also knew how to speak to the audience. They were joking, serious, and just plain playful. Cook swung around his microphone, commented on all the pretty people, and even called out to specific audience members. He just admired one in particular and “his need to party,” insisting the merch table give the man a free t-shirt. They were even personable off stage. Afterwards in a short interview, Turman smiled and stated, “Tonight was awesome. So far one of the best stops of the tour.” When Turman and Bello were asked about their new album, which was released in March, they said that it was, “Exactly what they were aiming for.” A group filled with such down-to-earth guys, and whose performance, for lack of a better word, was downright intense, definitely surprised fans. With opening performances by This Century and Forever the Sickest Kids, its no question that those who came only for Good Charlotte found themselves more music to listen to on the way home.
Last, but most definitely not least, Good Charlotte headlined the show and brought it to an exhilarating end. From the moment they opened to the moment they closed, Good Charlotte brought everything they had to this performance. Lead vocalist Joel Madden promised fans they would play both new and “really, really old stuff.” and he kept that promise. Having formed nearly a decade ago, they have had quite a few different audiences present over the years. They managed to bring all of their old fans together along with some new ones. Members of Good Charlotte took turns introducing each song, telling stories, and joking around. Appealing to over five hundred fans can be quite the task and they did it outstandingly. With momentary breaks just to chat, and to allow Benji Madden to perform acoustically, their set was a complete success. There wasn’t a single song where audience members weren’t singing along with Good Charlotte. The way they spoke was as though each and every person in that room was a personal friend of theirs. When a fight started breaking out, Benji took up the microphone and told them to break it up, get along, and offered them both a drink on him. Good Charlotte played classic hits such as “I Just Wanna Live,” “The Anthem,” and “Girls and Boys.” They also played more popular contemporary songs such as “Like It’s Her Birthday.” Every base was covered during their performance. With great communication, music, and an obvious passion for what they do best, there’s no question why they have been around for so long. Good Charlotte is timeless.
First Avenue and KDWB have done it again. This show was one of the most organized and successful of 2011 to date. With a line-up like This Century, Forever the Sickest Kids, and Good Charlotte, you can’t go wrong. There’s no doubt that Minnesota will be hearing music from these artists blasting from the speakers of cars, stereos, and MP3 players for quite some time after this one. It was everything any music lover could have ever hoped for and more.