As a teenager, I had a huge crush on Benji and as most teens do, I became obsessed with the band. I saw them every chance I got and when my friends went to shows that I couldn't go to or got to meet them without me, I was definitely jealous. My parents were pretty overprotective and there were just some things I wasn't allowed to do, and going to New York City to stand in line at a record store to meet my favorite band with just my friends and no parental supervision was one of them. I got to see them plenty of times, and my mom was very awesome because she made it through Warped Tour and lots of other shows with me because she knew it meant a lot to me. Even still, I vowed that someday I would get to go to shows on my own terms wherever they may be and whenever they may be and however many I want!
Good Charlotte continued to make albums up through when I was in college, though their later albums I didn't really get into. The sound they went for on their later albums was just...different. After the album they made in 2010, they seemed to take a hiatus. But then... towards the end of last year, there was an announcement that Good Charlotte was coming back with a new album. I was ECSTATIC. Soon, they released a new single and their new album was announced and then finally, after weeks of my friend and I waiting (impatiently) for a tour announcement, they announced that they were doing four shows in the Northeast! Because they announced the dates only a month beforehand, I could only go to one of the shows, but I was still pumped. I ended up going to the Boston show. But I didn't just go to the show...they had meet and greet packages available and even though they were a little pricey, I felt I owed it to my teenage self to make my dreams of meeting one of my favorite bands finally come true. So we got meet and greet tickets and the second they were ordered, I think I screamed out loud like a tween. I have no shame, people. NO SHAME.
So the meet and greet package allowed us access to their soundcheck before the show, a Q&A session afterwards, and then a (very short) meet and greet and photo with the band, and a pre-signed poster. You guys....I can't even describe how excited and unreal this all was. Let me first say, that the idea of celebrities is weird. It's weird that there are some people in this world that are so well known worldwide that you can't talk to or meet with them as you would any other human in the world. It's weird that there are people that we PAY to meet. It's weird that these people evoke some sort of strange feeling when you see them in person. Regardless of thinking all of this, I freaked the FUCK out during the entirety of this whole meet and greet.
There were probably about 60 people who were in the meet and greet. Walking into the venue with just that many people as opposed to the usual amount that would be there for a show and seeing the band on stage just hanging out and being so close to them and them talking to all of us so intimately was unreal. They did their soundcheck and asked what we wanted to hear. The Q&A session was great. They answered questions with honesty and expressed so much gratitude to us for being fans. During the show, they kept saying how thankful and grateful they were for us and how they truly appreciate everything we do and what it brought them. This is probably a large reason as to why I love them so much. They are insanely humble and down to earth guys. They really care and they really listen. I think the thing that touched me the most was that during the meet and greet, one of the fans asked them if they could play their song Emotionless for his mom who had passed away (I think it was his mom). They said that they hadn't played that song in a while, so they weren't sure. Later on during the show, Joel announced that after Benji heard that request, he went backstage and practiced Emotionless a whole bunch so that he could play it during the show that night. He played the song solo and I think everyone in the audience was in tears. It was absolutely amazing. This is why they are such a great band. They really appreciate everything they have. They don't take it for granted. I'm so proud to be a fan!
After the Q&A, everyone got in line to go meet them face to face and get their photos taken. My friend and I were standing in line with about 3 or 4 groups ahead of us and thinking that we couldn't actually go through with it. We were so nervous and they were only about 10 feet away. 10 FEET. And then we were next and it all happened so fast. I hugged them all and it was crazy and I was probably shaking. We weren't supposed to take selfies, but I asked Benji and Joel if we could take one (I saw other people doing it anyway) and Joel said something along the lines of "Sure! Just do it quick so we don't get in trouble!". So I took a selfie with the twins and I was shaking so much that I thought for sure it would come out blurry and bad, but it didn't. I do look pretty deranged, though. I asked if they could each kiss my cheek while I took it but Joel declined, lol. I also told them that I asked my mom if she wanted me to tell them anything and that she had said "tell one of them to marry you!". Joel said, "Marry you?!" and I said, "Yeah, I mean. It's no big deal" and Benji was like "Yeah, no big commitment or anything". I'm not sure if these were all the exact words, but it's pretty close. It was cool to joke around with them. I'm pretty sure I thanked them for everything, but when you get such little time with them, it's hard to convey just what you want to say. What I didn't get to say was, thank you for making me feel less alone and less sad with your music while growing up. Thanks for always putting me in a better mood and making me feel like things will be ok. Thanks for making music that changes peoples lives and makes a difference, and thanks for being genuine and kind people.
We took our group picture and got our signed posters and then we were ushered out and we both felt like we were high from the nerves and excitement. It was crazy and amazing and so awesome. The show was amazing as well. They pretty much asked the audience what they wanted to hear and they played a lot of their older songs. I'm pretty sure that the Boston set was the longest one of the four dates because they played Emotionless and some others as well. I felt like I was 15 again and it was so much fun. I can't wait to see them again!