Good Charlotte – Sleeping With Sirens – Knuckle Puck: Live At The Worcester Palladium

Heading into the newly renovated Worcester Palladium, I didn’t really know what to expect. I have been coming to shows here for years, all the way back to 2005 to be exact. And to be honest, I had grown accustomed, even fond, of the “hole-in-the-wall” look of it all. Both upstairs and down.

This was a night that I was both very much looking forward to, but also, rather nervous for. Both to see the “new” Palladium, but also, to finally get the opportunity to finally shoot a show on the main stage in the venue where I cut my teeth for going to shows. Tonight was my “I’ve made it” moment!

Unfortunately, I got to the show a bit late, due to massive thunderstorms and traffic the entire way. Also, driving through rush hour traffic, during a huge storm, on a Tuesday in Massachusetts is a perfect cocktail for running late. Because of that all that, I sadly missed seeing The Dose open up the show, but from what I heard they had put on a very well done performance.

I arrived to the Palladium both rushed (to get started on shooting for the night) and also excited (to see how the place I called my second home for well over a decade looked after a major face-lift). I was not disappointed.

I got through the doors of the main entrance and all of my old memories came flooding back to me. All the smells, sounds, sights… everything. Everything had a very familiar and homey feeling, despite the fact that I was here seeing a band that I had been listening to since 2001.

Making my way downstairs, I could hear the sounds of Chicago’s own Knuckle Puck. Having only ever heard the name of this band but never any music by them, I could only assume they were of the same vibe as Good Charlotte and Sleeping With Sirens. The end result is both yes and no.

They had the choruses and musicality and instrumentation of a harder Blink-182 but the energy of old school punk and it made me yearn for the early years of Vans Warped Tour to come back.

You could definitely tell that there were some people there solely for SWS. Which I totally get. Good Charlotte is one of those bands that is still super relevant to their core fanbase (i.e. people in their late 20’s/early 30’s *raises hand*) because those people have been listening them since they started, not so much the newer generation of fans of this kind of music. Enter the fan base of SWS. Current, trendy, and noticeably younger than the Good Charlotte crowd (with the exception of a few kids who were, in fact, diehard GC fans). They put on a good show, I personally recognized three songs (Empire to Ashes, Legends, and Kick Me) but the energy in the Palladium was beyond what I was expecting. If you didn’t know that Good Charlotte was the headliner, you would’ve thought Sleeping With Sirens was the main act of this tour.

Aaaaaand on to the main event, Good Charlotte!

The 28 year old me is standing on throbbing feet and sore knees at this point, but the 14 year old me was freaking out the entire time. This is a band that I always loved growing up and never got the chance to see them, so this was a bit of a moment for me.

A lot more production than I was honestly expecting on this show. I was not, by any means, expecting steam and smoke geysers 25 feet tall throughout the night. Between hearing The Anthem, I Just Wanna Live, Prayers, I Don’t Wanna Be In Love, Girls & Boys, Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous, and a bunch of other nostalgia bombs that made my inner middle-schooler geek out and sing it’s little tone-deaf heart out, I can honestly say that this was the best way I could be re-introduced to the Worcester Palladium.

WORDS AND PHOTOS BY CHRIS SMALL