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!)

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.