Teen-targeted pop-punk music may not be the overwhelming commercial force it was just a couple years ago, but no one told the members of New Found Glory and Good Charlotte. The two young bands sold nearly 13,000 concert tickets over the weekend at Universal, the final stop on this year’s two-month Civic Tour.
Neither of the two headlining bands — supported by Christian punk trio MxPx and newcomers the Movie Life — break any new musical ground, and in fact they rely on recycled riffs and melodies for much of the sound. However, the bands’ enthusiasm at the Saturday night show was infectious, and the young crowd spent most of the evening on its feet, screaming and singing to all the short, fast songs.
Washington, D.C.’s Good Charlotte, with spiked hair and mega-tattoos, look much more hardcore than they sound. The quintet bounded between numerous styles, striking Rancid- and Social Distortion-inspired notes and poses, but each of the band’s songs came frosted with a kid-approved pop sheen.
Twins Joel and Benji Madden — who also host an MTV show — each sang and played guitar, leading the excited crowd through numerous tracks from GC’s current double-platinum “The Young & the Hopeless” (Epic) album, with opener “Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous” and recent single “The Anthem” among the standouts.
A few empty seats were evident when South Florida’s New Found Glory took the stage for its 50-minute closing set, making clear which of the two co-headliner groups moved the most tickets.
The five-piece group played fast tunes that didn’t show as much versatility as Good Charlotte; instead the band stuck to its tested, energetic method, which boasts lots of vocal harmonies, a semi-humorous lyrical approach and breakneck musical twists and turns, inspired by the likes of Blink-182.
Tracks from NFG’s latest, gold-certified MCA album “Sticks and Stones,” like recent single “Head on Collision” and radio hit “My Friends Over You,” dominated the setlist, but one quickly segued into the next with a marked sameness of style. The group also lacked of personality and didn’t really offer signs to suggest it has a very deep creative well to draw from.