Good Charlotte’s Youth Authority tour invigorated Indianapolis last night with its good vibes and relentless energy. Opening up for the night was Four Year Strong and The Story So Far. Two bands who have planted their flag firmly in the pop punk community, and proved time and time again as to why they are some of the best out there. With their support, as well as Big Jesus, who started off a night full of grade A pop punk on a high note, Good Charlotte’s Youth Authority tour is so stacked, it’s almost unfair.
Big Jesus performed first. Right off the bat, they had this pop/alt rock vibe that was further amplified by their grungy, brooding performance. If you like Basement, you will like Big Jesus. Both their vibe and sound are similar on certain levels, but Big Jesus are definitely their own thing as they have pioneered something that’s unique in a world that can be hard to stand out in. The way their music built from soft to hard and high to low gave them this extremely powerful presence, which provided more strength to their already solid performance. They were a more melancholic band than the remainder of the ticket, but that allowed them to take you into a different dimension entirely.
Four Year Strong hit the stage next, and they packed more of a punch. Their music lends itself to that high energy, enthusiastic performance that is both infectious and entertaining to witness and be a part of. The duality between Dan O’Connor and Alan Day worked flawlessly together, as always, as they sang along with one another from nearly opposite ends of the stage. At one point, they all began to jump up in the air. The crowd took to the air along with them. There’s was absolutely no way you could stay on your feet at this show. That’s how invasive their energy is.
The Story So Far performed right before Good Charlotte. Their set was different this time around from what I’ve seen in the past, but in a good way. I’ve always loved the raw emotion within their music, which serves well for their live performance. This time around you got that classic TSSF, but they were on a 2.0 level thanks to their recent self-titled release. They’ve always been more hardcore to me than pop punk, but they’ve successfully managed to meld the two in a way that works and absolutely kills. “Clairvoyant” rang out into the venue around mid-set, giving us the chance to hear not only how well Parker can sing, but also allowing us to see a stripped-down version of The Story So Far in the live setting. That’s something I’ve never personally seen before as I’ve grown to love that full-throttle, aggressive TSSF, like Under Soil and Dirt and What You Don’t See with songs like “High Regard”. Parker even took some liberties to experiment from the original with some new inflections and runs. It was a very etherial moment. He asked the parents in the crowd if they liked that one, which was extremely funny to witness. The parents didn’t seem to amused, but who cares? Soon after, the awesomely wild Parker kicked back in punching the air and flipping his body around in all directions alongside his bandmates, including Kelen Capener, who was feeling it every single second of the set.
Minutes after, I found myself living my adolescent dream as Good Charlotte took the stage in Indianapolis. This would be Good Charlottes first show in the city since 2001. It has been a minute, but it felt like it was just yesterday. There’s something so familiar about Good Charlotte’s music. Maybe because it blankets you in nostalgia, but most likely because it just invigorates you. A warm welcome exuded from the crowd as “The Anthem” began to fill the venue. Later on, Joel reached out and called to the fans, “How many of you have been with us since middle school?” I along with many others nostalgically reminisced upon past times when we begged our parents to buy us The Young and the Hopeless way back in 2002. Ironically, back in the days when we were quite literally young and hopeless. Now we were older, reminiscing and full of nostalgia as we relished every second with a band we’ve spent a good part of our life growing up with.
I don’t know if it was because it has been 15 years since GC have been in Indy, or if they were just excited to get out and perform for their fans, but there was something undeniably special about experiencing this stop of the tour. Smiles were beaming from all corners of the stage, even Dean Butterworth could be spotted with an infectious smirk in the back as he killed it on the drums. Up front, Benji grinned and leaned forward towards the crowd singing every word along with Joel as he vigorously played the guitar. In front of them, the fans reached out singing every single word back to them.
Pop punk shows always have a good energy, but there was something noticeably different about this one, almost like it was less of a concert and more of a celebration of life. When it was all said and done, we left the The Egyptian Room that night not as the young and hopeless kids who started listening to Good Charlotte, but as older versions of ourselves full of hope and life. In a time like this, we need these kinds of moments now more than ever!
Youth Authority Tour Gallery
Make sure you check out the remaining dates of the Youth Authority Tour here!
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