Good Charlotte: Bad Punk
By
Mike Hess
7/16/2002 11:07:09 AM

"Any punk rock credibility is completely stricken when your lead singer starts beat-boxing into the microphone."

Let me tell you something about punk rock. It’s not a genre… it’s a state of mind. It’s an attitude. And at Axis in Boston during a “punk rock” show headlined by D.C’s Good Charlotte, it proved that the genre was on its death bed.

Any punk rock credibility is completely stricken when your lead singer starts beat-boxing into the microphone. Punk doesn’t mean wearing a chain on your wallet, or going on a spending spree on green Manic Panic hair-dye. And the idea of a group of twentysomethings singing “this is dedicated to anyone who ever got picked last in gym class,” and “for anyone who never had a date for a school dance” just doesn’t fly in these eyes. Frontman Joel could get laid in a monastery.

If anything, nobody can doubt that Good Charlotte puts on a great show, and has tremendous stage presence. Lead man Joel prowls the stage like a hyperactive tiger, sprinting from side to side and often leaning into the crowd into outstretched hands of hundreds of 15 year-olds. His bandmates (including Joel’s identical twin bro Benji on guitar) possess the same energy, as they would simultaneously jump on every beat drop, and twirl like drunken dreidels during fast three-chord riffs.

Good Charlotte also brought around some hometown buddies to open the show. Vroom, a wannabe Weezer. They’re best wrapped up in this summary: Bad name. Worse band. They even have the gaul to bumper-sticker and marker up a Les Paul, a sin for any rock lover.

The second band of the night, MovieLife, proved to provide the most punch. Straight out of the NYC hardcore/punk underground, they’ve been long-time roadsters, playing at every chance they get. The lanky frontman Vinnie Caruana threw his 120 lb frame all over the stage like a lunatic, and addressed the crowd between nearly every song.

The highlight of the night was during Good Charlotte’s set, when they called out Vinnie to help out vocally with a newly written song “The Innocent”, a Sept. 11 tribute penned by GC and fellow punkers Goldfinger. “Please tell me why?/ The innocent die” rings the chorus, as the crowd swayed in support.

The sould of punk seems to be gone, but it’s side effects are still alive. If you're resume includes: spikey sectioned-off hair, studded bracelets, and combat boots higher than mid-shin...consider yourself punk! Ugh.

 

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