Last night a tight-packed crowd of twenty and thirty-something fans, many with children in tow, waited patiently for the Madden Brothers. A chorus of wolf whistles accompanied them as they walked onto the stage.
Joel Madden admitted he still suffers from stage fright before every performance, saying if the band and audience “stick together” we will be all right and inviting us to sing along. They began with offerings from their new album, Welcome to California. Reminiscent of Good Charlotte, the album is mature like a good whisky and full of soul.
Joel and Benji then took us on a musical journey back to the 1990s. First stop Maryland, as they recalled listening to classic records with their father and treated the crowd with their artful rendition of Tom Petty’s “Free Falling”. Then LA, California, as they revealed the stories behind several early Good Charlotte hits in a light hearted, conversational preamble. As I listened to them play “Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous” I was vividly reminded of recording Good Charlotte songs off the radio when I was little.
They soon travelled back to Australia, performing “Amnesia”, which they wrote in collaboration with 5 Seconds of Summer. Joel proudly stated they are, after all, half Australian. To which Benji sardonically remarked: “the bottom half”. Neither the crowd nor I tired of these spontaneous brotherly jibes.
As the show drew to a close, they journeyed back to their beloved California as they performed The Eagles’ classic “Hotel California” with genuine passion. Their final song brought us back to the present and served as a poignant farewell, as the audience waved and sang along to “We Are Done”. The night was near perfect with stellar performances from both Brothers. Joel provided the cherry on top when he blew kisses to the crowd as he left the stage.
Melbourne indie pop band Red Ink proved an entertaining warm up act – if only for the antics of their lead singer who convulsed to the rhythm with such fierce energy that I was afraid he would pop out of his skinny jeans. Their dance-floor ready songs quickly won over the crowd.
The Madden Brothers play their final show in Perth tonight, Friday 7th November at Crown Theatre.
Reviewed by Nicola Woolford