August 30, 2017 Good Charlotte Take Over Toad’s Place New Haven, CT 8-3-17 w/ Chapel & 3OH!3
One might have to be a genius to get into Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, but to play at the battle-worn Toad’s Place – a noteworthy East Coast venue for over forty years now – they have to have staying power. A band like Good Charlotte can definitely make the grade, and on Thursday, August 3, 2017, they brought along their friends Chapel and 3OH!3 for a sold-out gig in this tawny little town.
Toad’s Place is a small, East Coast venue located in the heart of New Haven, Connecticut amongst the beautiful architecture of Yale University. With a capacity of approximately 750 individuals, Toad’s Place is a veritable hole-in-the-wall as far as venues go and yet it has been a tried and true favorite in Connecticut since 1976. Billy Joel, U2, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and the Black Crowes have all graced Toad’s with their appearance and, on this evening, it was Good Charlotte’s triumphant return to New Haven, along with openers Chapel and 3OH!3.
As the crowd jostled into their positions behind the small barricade, Indie Pop/Rock duo Chapel took to the stage. Hailing from Athens, Georgia, Chapel is composed of Vocalist/Guitarist Carter Hardin and Drummer Kortney Grinwis. Signed to Rise Records and managed by Issues’ Tyler Carter, the pair’s Facebook amusingly proclaims: “We write music our parents like.”
Chapel’s set was short but high on energy and infectious Indie Rock melody. While Carter is able to move about the stage and work the crowd, Grinwis, confined behind her kit, kept a smile on her face throughout the entire performance. They tackled a smattering of their original material, from the infectiously dancey “Caught Up” to the Indie Pop ode to a broken relationship, “Fool’s Gold.” Fully addicting “We’ve Got Soul” grabbed the crowd’s attention and kept it for the band’s short but amazingly engaging set. They might not be a household name yet, but Chapel’s live set proved that they have what it takes to make it! Chapel will be touring this fall in the U.S. with Waterparks, As It Is, and Sleep On It. For anyone across the pond in the UK, look for them on tour with Waterparks in late September.
With the energy inside Toad’s Place riding on high, 3OH!3 – Foreman and Motte, along with a touring guitarist and drummer – launched onto the stage to the Rap-heavy “Hear Me Now,” escalating the level of excitement to eleven. Continuing the mayhem, they tackled the obnoxious “Richman” and raunchy “Touchin’ On My.” The college kids in the crowd went wild for tracks like “Freak Your Mind,” while everyone in attendance was singing (and whistling!) along to the duo’s hit single, the fabulously catchy “Starstrukk.” L-O-V-E’s just another word that New Haven never learned to pronounce!
Dance number “You’re Gonna Love This” celebrated drinks at the bar and no doubt had the bartenders working over-time to satiate the sold-out crowd. Electronic “Colorado Sunrise” was a crowd favorite as Foreman and Motte worked their fans into a frenzy, moving across every single inch of the stage and interacting with the audience. They continued their humorous antics with “Two Girlfriends,” serving as the perfect segue into the flirty, fun mega-single “My First Kiss.” After all, there is a lot of kissing to be had when you have two girlfriends!
Next up, 3OH!3 danced into “Mad At You,” before challenging New Haven with “Don’t Dance.” How can you not dance to this crazy pair? “Streets of Gold” kept the dance party going strong, and then they spread the “Love 2012.” Truly only 3OH!3 could pull off a song called “My Dick,” and they do it with quite a bit of pizzazz. Their energetic, frenetically fun stage-show culminated in the duo’s biggest hit, “Don’t Trust Me.” As Foreman and Motte worked the crowd, dancing, tossing up the 3OH3 heart-logo hand sign, and even took selfies with fans’ cellphones, Toad’s Place sang along to the superbly catchy lines: “Don’t trust a ho, never trust a ho, don’t trust me!”
Taking the small stage to uproarious cheers, Good Charlotte immediately launched into their breakthrough 2003 hit single, “The Anthem.” There was no pause as the boys – Vocalist Joel Madden, Guitarists Benji Madden and Billy Martin, Bassist Paul Thomas, and Drummer Dean Butterworth – segued into the upbeat, autobiographical “Story of My Old Man” and crowd favorite, the darkly murderous tale of “My Bloody Valentine.”
Pausing from the set to glance around the small but packed club, Joel inquired how many of those present were seeing Good Charlotte for the very first time and the response was surprisingly overwhelming: much of the sold-out, capacity crowd were there to lose their GC virginity. Impressed, Madden jokingly commented that he felt like he was on a nervous first date, and he promised to pull through and make the crowd hope for a second. Keeping the mood light, Good Charlotte then tackled another of their Young and Hopeless-era hits, “Girls & Boys.”
Taking another moment to engage with the audience, Joel introduced one of GC’s biggest crowd favorites, “Riot Girl,” by explaining that he has a young daughter that he hopes will grow up to be an individual who is never afraid to express herself; so while “Riot Girl” might be a fluffy track, the spirit behind the song is to encourage individuality. With the Madden twins jumping all over the stage – seemingly trying to reach the sky – the band continued into newer track “Life Changes,” then pounced into the 2004 single “Predictable.”
High school seemed to be a theme for the evening, as an unusually chatty Joel introduced one of the band’s earliest hits, “The Motivation Proclamation.” As the group took a moment to breathe and allow a sense of poignancy to settle across throughout the venue, Joel stepped to the microphone to discuss the recent loss of a close friend. Presumably, he is referring to Chester Bennington of Linkin Park, who tragically took his own life recently. In fact, Bennington was featured in GC’s “Festival Song” video alongside his bandmates, partaking in mayhem with a very young Good Charlotte. Madden’s words were heartfelt and impactful as he urged the crowd to reach out for help if they ever felt anything remotely similar to suicidal thoughts, imploring his audience to “Hold On” for better days.
Picking up the pace and lightening up the mood, the boys moved the night into one of their newer tracks, “Makeshift Love,” the first single/video off 2016’s Youth Authority. Before launching into another new track, Joel paused to pass along some crowd-surfing etiquette, diss himself humorously, and then to commend the Security on a job well-done. With the crowd eating out of his hands, Joel launched the band into the phenomenal new offering “War,” which is the band’s next single/video. Love is indeed an all-out war!
Good Charlotte’s entire career began many, many moons ago with a fun, upbeat, and humorous offering entitled “Little Things.” On a night that saw much discussion of high school, Joel yet again broached this topic before beginning with that now-classic introductory line: “This song is dedicated to every kid who ever got picked last in gym class.” With the crowd amped and bouncing in their places, GC tackled new track “The Outfield” – full of baseball analogies, folks! – before moving into a trio of some of their best, classic tracks: “The Young & The Hopeless” (which sees Joel’s twin Benji take over lead vocals), the darker offering “The River,” and the seriously dance-worthy ode to the pain of love, “Dance Floor Anthem.”
They capped off their fabulous set with the upbeat dancer “I Just Wanna Live” and perhaps their most iconic track, “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” as both the crowd and the band went wild, feeding off one another’s energy. As the band left the stage and the crowd began to filter out onto the streets of New Haven, it became abundantly clear that everyone’s desire for GC had been fully sated on this evening! In fact, those who have not seen Good Charlotte live, where have they been hiding? This is one of the most fun, sincere and straight-up rocking bands on a stage today and everyone need to check them out!