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Good Charlotte, Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin, 25th January 2003

Good Charlotte have been tipped by the music press, especially in the UK, as the ones to watch out for in 2003. Judging by tonight's performance I fail to see why. Granted they've got a strong album under their belts in the shape of "The young and the hopeless", but seeing them up on stage pouring out cliché after cliché I felt a little sick.

Mid-song banter amounted to little more than the tired, tried and tested "is there any punk rock chicks here tonight?" and "Dublin, Eye-r-land, you rock". Oh yeah, and, of course, the one thing everyone loves to hear at a "punk" rock concert, a big rousing chant of "Ole, Ole, Ole". For fuck's sake, why? Needless to say the kids lapped it up. I'm still wondering when the world went mad.

Lyrically Good Charlotte have tapped into the ethic that pain sells, twin brothers Joel and Benji Madden come from a broken home, and there's obviously a lot of broken homes and bullied punk kids in Dublin if tonight's display of multi-bracelet wearing, arm in the air defiance was anything to go by. Musically they've got a clutch of good songs, which they pulled off well, but which ultimately failed to ignite any excitement in me whatsoever.

Live 'My bloody valentine' is probably their strongest song, a twisted tale of jealousy and murder, it was etched out perfectly by the black-clad Americans. Other songs of note were the sarcastic 'Girls and boys' and their big hit single 'Lifestyles of the rich and famous'. Still, one or two moments don't make for a great gig. Maybe I'm just "not down with the kids anymore" or maybe it's just that I've seen all this before. Or maybe they should take my friends advice and change their name to Not Good Charlotte.

Ken McGrath.

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