Good glamour

{mosimage}The fact that Good Charlotte lead guitar player Benji Madden arrived in Helsinki with his new girlfriend Paris Hilton nearly took the shine out the Good Charlotte concert scheduled for the evening. Each Paris’ movement in Helsinki was scrutinized by the flocks of local paparazzi, but unfortunately Good Charlotte's concert didn’t get equal amount of attention. 

 

Huge Helsinki Ice Hall was filled only by one-third. Hard to say why, but it is highly possible that in the country with a very strong heavy metal music scene Good Charlotte music was seen as being too pop. An older man behind me, who perhaps has seen the first Woodstock festival, was grumbling: “These guys play pseudo rock”.  Most of the audience at the Ice Hall consisted of 13-17 year old teenagers. Local warm-up band which showed up on stage at around 8 p.m. wasn’t impressive at all – the guys looked like a school band lost on the huge stage.

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Fortunately, their performance lasted only half an hour. While Good Charlotte crew was doing their job tuning up the instruments the Finnish audience showed northern-ice-cold patience and even didn’t try to call for the band to come to the stage. Finally the lights grew dim and the intro was in the air: the sounds of a lullaby grew into thunderstorm-like rock. Flashing green lights helped to raise the audience impatience's and in seconds Good Charlotte guys were on stage. At the very moment it became clear that ear plugs were sold at the Ice Hall entrance not because of too loud music, but because of Good Charlotte fans’ vocal chords strength. When the band members were making their first moves on stage it seemed that the fans’ voice sound wave would destroy the whole building. 

 

Good Charlotte singer Joel Madden, who recently became a lucky parent of a wonderful daughter together with another US gossip column hero Nicole Richie, has grown a goatee, perhaps trying to look more mature and his identical twin brother Benji was hiding behind the black sunglasses. Interesting enough: did he try to hide the marks of fatigue or was it an attempt to look more like his new girlfriend, always hiding from the pain-in-the-neck photographers under huge dark eyeglasses? At the beginning of the concert Good Charlotte guys were quite stiff and despite the fact the musical performance was as brilliant as usually they really didn’t look to be in the mood. Only Good Charlotte bass player Paul Thomas was obviously having fun on stage. Towards the middle of the concert the brothers started communicating with the crowd.

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They made a break between the songs and decided to tell everything they knew about Helsinki and Finland. Also Benji and Joel reminded that they got to know all that only due to the fact that they have good friends in Helsinki – Finnish rock band The 69 Eyes. After this short “commercial break” Good Charlotte kept on performing. They played nearly all songs from their last album Good Morning Revival. One of the songs was introduced quite ambiguously; Benji addressed the audience in quite a strict command tone: Keep your hands off my girl! Indeed, this song has to do a lot with Benji’s recent love affair. Song Where Would We Be was performed in an acoustic version so that everybody could enjoy Joel’s wonderful voice; but that was the only ballad played during the whole concert. All the rest of the time one hit was changed by another, Benji and Joel encouraged the audience to show their emotions, but there was no need in encouragements any more: the sea of hands was running high at the stage and everybody was singing together with Good Charlotte guys. The whole concert lasted for a little bit more than an hour. Right from the Ice Hall most of the band and crew members went to Helsinki night club LUX where Benji was dj-ing for about an hour. On Friday Good Charlotte left for Greece where they continue the tour.  

Photos by Jana Blomqvist.