Goo Goo Dolls: The Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA 9.6.07
It was a crisp and cool night and the Greek Theatre was filled once again for another great show. I cannot get over the fact at what a great venue it is. You’ve got the open air, a cool night, and great music to enjoy. Coming into this show familiar mostly with the Goo Goo Dolls’ singles, I was curious what their stage show would have in store.
The Dolls burst on to stage with the song “Long Way Down” with a great thick sound. This is in part thanks to two additional guitar players (including one that does double duties on the keys) along with the 3 Goo members. From there, they went into one of their more well known songs, just one of many, “Slide”.
Turning back to look at the audience around the pit area, I knew this was not a show I would usually find myself at. With much of the Goo Goo Dolls’ popularity brought on by hit ballads, movie soundtrack hits, and lead singer John Rzeznik’s insatiable rock star presence, it’s no surprise that a lot of the crowd was comprised of…well…for lack of a better term, “soccer moms”. Soccer moms love the Goo. What can I say? It’s not a bad demographic either. So it was quite the experience seeing all these women (some with their young children) feeling young again, screaming, and singing along with the band’s songs.
The band carries themselves well on stage. This is no surprise as they’ve had their fair share of touring since their 1986 inception. Yes, they have been around that long. Although most would not remember them farther back than their 1995 release A Boy Named Goo.
Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac did a great job of interacting with the crowd, constantly playing to all sides of the stage, reaching out to fans, and getting interactive. The unsung Goo (or is it Doll?) Mike Malinin did a great job throughout the night behind the kit. The guys seemed really happy and into the set, especially with their harder rocking album tracks like “Tucked Away” and “Slave Girl”, showing they’re more than acoustic guitars and slow songs. It was also nice to see bassist Takac taking lead singing duties on some of these tracks.
It was a perfect night for any Goo Goo Doll fan. If you’re a hardcore fan of the band, you got all their great album tracks, if you know them just for their string of commercial hits, you got what you wanted too and a little more. “Name”, “Slide”, “Broadway”, “Stay With You”, “Let Love In”, you got all of that. Oh, and of course no Goo Goo Dolls show would be complete without the epic “Iris”. The reaction was almost deafening from the first chord strummed. The Greek turned into a giant sing-a-long with Rzeznik barely audible over all in attendance. It was a surreal experience to say the least. That still was not the end of it, as the fans demanded an encore and got 3 more tunes courtesy of the Goo’s including a cover of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ “American Girl” as the closer.
It’s not the type of show I’m use to going to, but it was a fun experience throughout. The Goo Goo Dolls are definitely seasoned performers. They managed to please the fans who know them for their hits and please the more dedicated fans who enjoy the albums. The stage setup left a lot to be desired, looking empty except for some light fixtures. The performance though was top notch.
Long Way Down
Feel the Silence
Cuz You’re Gone
All Eyes On Me
Before It’s Too Late
Stay With You
Let Love In