Concert review: The Bamboozle Road Show with Good Charlotte, All Time Low, Boys Like Girls, Forever The Sickest Kids, Cartel + others at the Ford Amphitheatre (with pics!)

Cartel played a short acoustic set in the “Best Buy VIP” area before [image-1]Hanson. Her songs were catchy, cute and listenable. Her lyrics were simple, fun and she had an engaging stage presence.


Forever The Sickest Kids hit the main stage with great energy and positive attitudes. Apparently, the Dallas six-piece was a crowd favorite as many of the kids were singing along to their songs. They reminded me of an old Warped Tour favorite of mine, the Matches. The lead singer sported some 1980s-riffic white pants and kept the crowd begging for more, the music easy to dance or jump around to. They really kicked off the evening for eye-candy punkers, and seemed to have a blast doing it.


Cartel took the stage and the lead singer -- who could have been related to Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys -- was making the skinny jean fashion statement. Cartel employed really sweet harmonies and genuine lyrics. They represented the epitome of pop rock for the evening, but threw in a punk riff or lyric here and there just to keep things edgy. [Cartel lead guitarist Joseph Pepper pictured left.]


Finally, pop-punk superstars Good Charlotte made their grand entrance. This was the only band that I was most familiar with and knew all the songs they played. I had the excited “Oh my, I can’t believe it's Good Charlotte!” feel good rush.


They came, they saw, and they conquered!


The setlist included “Anthem,” “Girls and Boys,” “Young and Hopeless,” “I Just Wanna Live,” “I Don’t Wanna Be in Love” and “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.” They also played a new song from their upcoming album -- which is due out at the end of the summer -- and it sounded good, just like Good Charlotte should. No doubt, it'll hit the radio and be one of those songs we all know the words to by Christmas.


By 8:30 p.m., it was dark and the crowd was waiting for Boys Like Girls and All Time Low to finish off the evening.


And when Boys Like Girls came out and opened with “Love Drunk,” the crowd went crazy!


I won't like: lead singer Martin Johnson [pictured right] was a bit scary. His eyes were so severe that they made the girls scream when they pierced the crowd. He had erratic stage antics, too, running [image-2]and climbing all over the place. By the end of the night, I almost thought he’d jump off. Overall, Boys Like Girls was great live. I’d wanted to see if they could capture their inherent catchiness in concert and they not only proved they could but the crowd seemed to be thoroughly entertained. They also played “The Great Escape” and slowed it down with “Thunder,” which really showed off their flexibility and cababilities, both lyrically and musically.


Boys Like Girls was a hard act to follow, but All Time Low closed Bamboozle rearing and ready to keep the energy up and the momentum going, All Time Low lead singer/guitarist Alexander Gaskarth confidently declaring that he knew we’d been waiting for the moment the “best-looking band ever” would present the big finale to the Bamboozle Road Show and provided a nice jolt of energy to the slagging fans the instant they struck the first chord.


Various girls’ bras adorned the mic stand, an amusing and slightly vulgar adornment, but it kind of summed up the band as a whole. They were very silly and told lots of tour stories and anecdotes, cursed up a storm and dropped f-bombs left and right, and cracked jokes that for each and every swear word they said, another parent left, but they didn’t care. They were there to party and they won the hearts of all the teen girls cheering for them throughout the crowd.


The performed an amazing set and definitely left an impression. Not only were their songs catchy, like all pop punk, really, but the melodies were fantastic, the lyrics were fun and relevant, and their songs didn’t all sound the same. I’d heard that All Time Low would be good but they surpassed my expectations. They rocked the fans with “Damned If I Do Ya,” “The Party Song,” and “Dear Maria, Count Me In.” They finished with a bang and sent the crowd home tired and happy.


Mostly, this show made me nostalgic for the teen-centric concerts and festivals of days past. I reminisced about putting on my Vans, getting my gear ready for a long day, and blowing all the money I’d saved up on band shirts, water and a plate of $6 fries to hold me off until we stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. It made me miss the years of Warped Tour and for most of the day, I found myself living vicariously through the new generation of Hot Topic-clad fans who fell in love with the musicians, and saw them live at the Bamboozle Road Show 2010. It was a genuinely fun show, and for all those teens who enjoed a life-changing experience from seeing their favorite band, it was likely an epic cavalcade of music.


More pics by Mike:


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took over Ford Amphitheater this past Wednesday, May 26, and filled it with a seething mass of pseudo-punk-pop, angst-filled but still relatively well-behaved teens. Very different from my Jimmy Buffet experience several weeks prior. In fact, some fans were indeed “bamboozled” when they arrived and learned that 90’s pop superstars, Hanson, would not be playing the show. The lineup was eclectic and strong regardless of Hanson's absence. [Joel Madden of Good Charlotte picture right, all photos by Mike Wilson.]

The show made no use of the covered amphitheater stage but instead took over the entire entrance area with a small stage to the left and the "Main Stage" to the right beyond the merch booths. Reminiscent of a mostly-PG version of Warped Tour, there were vendors galore and kids everywhere stocking up on anything and everything free. Coke was the main sponsor and came with a huge, domed tent kept at a cool 37 degrees, the “perfect temperature” for the drink and a nice ploy to lure those folks who wanted to cool off.

The smaller stage kicked off at 3 p.m. with rockin' sets by Mercy Mercedes (equal parts Fall Out Boy and Panic at the Disco), Great Big Planes (a Jimmy Eat World vibe, with a bit of an indie rock twist), Stereo Skyline (the baby offspring of the Ataris and Motion City Soundtrack), and the Ready Set (which incorproated electronics into their sound, ala Owl City and Say Anything), and the standout, the Downtown Fiction, which drew you in and made you stop and really listen to lead singer’s soft vocals. With unkempt haircuts, tight jeans and tees, and the same rough bass lines, fast drumming, power solos, and clichéd catchy lyrics, all of these acts repped the mainstream look and sound that fans of punk pop have grown to know and love.

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