Good Charlotte band members have a simple goal for their concerts. They want everyone to have a good time.

“Most of the people that come to our shows are kids and we know that school sucks,” said Billy Martin, guitarist and keyboardist for the alternative-rock group.

“We just want them to be able to forget about everything for a couple of hours.”

Four dates into their headlining slot on this spring’s Noise to the World Tour, which also features Simple Plan and opener Reliant K, the plan seems to be working. Kids attending their concerts are having fun, said Martin.

Good Charlotte will perform at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 17, at the Cumberland Civic Center in Portland.

Twin brothers Benji (guitar) and Joel Madden (vocals) started Good Charlotte in April 1995. “[Our childhood] was definitely a dysfunctional family situation … but luckily me and Joel always had each other.

When things started to fall apart, we just got into music,” Benji explained on the band’s Web site.

The band did not release its first album until 2000. Three singles off the self-titled debut – “Little Things,” Motivation Proclamation” and “Festival Song” – received play on radio stations and on MTV.

Good Charlotte released “The Young and the Hopeless” in 2002, and followed up with “The Chronicles of Life and Death” last October.

Other band members besides Benji, Joel and Billy are Paul Thomas, bass; and Chris Wilson, drums.

“The tour has been pretty chaotic.” Martin said. After performing three shows, the band flew to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch to perform at the filming of an MTV preview show about the final Star Wars movie, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.” They flew back just in time to take the stage for a show May 7.

Music critics tend to label Good Charlotte as punk, but “we’re just a rock band, not a punk band,” said Martin. “We have a lot of other influences: ’90s stuff like Nirvana and Silverchair. ’80s stuff like The Cure and Depeche Mode. Also, I’m into some heavier stuff like Nine Inch Nails and Marylyn Manson.”

The Canadian-based band Simple Plan plays an equally long set at each stop on tour. Simple Plan is comprised of Pierre Bouvier, vocals; Chuck Comeau, drums; David Desrosiers, bass and backing vocals; Sebastien Lefebvre, guitar and backing vocals; and Jeff Stinco, lead guitar.

Like Good Charlotte, members of Simple Plan “just want kids to have a good time and forget everything for an hour,” said Lefebvre.

This explains why his favorite song is “Jump,” which is high energy “and the whole crowd gets into it, screaming and jumping real fast,” Lefebvre said.

Simple Plan which recently toured Japan discovered there isn’t much difference between playing in front of American or Japanese crowds. “When the show starts, kids are kids. They are going to jump up and down,” Lefebvre said.

The video for the band’s single, “Untitled,” recently hit No. 1 on Total Request Live, MTV’s popular request show. Other hits include “Welcome to My Life” off their album; and “Still Not Getting Any” and “I’d Do Anything” from “No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls.”

Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $25.50, general admission for all ages. They may be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at www.ticketmaster.com, www.goodcharlotte.com or www.simpleplan.com; or by calling the civic center box office at 775-3458.


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