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ROCKSHOT REVIEW – The Goo Goo Dolls Slide Into Brixton Academy

Posted by Nils van der Linden | 28/07/18

The 1990s weren’t just about Britpop, grunge, the Spice Girls, and *NSYNC. They were the decade of the film soundtrack, a time when songs like (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, My Heart Will Go On, Love Is All Around, and Born Slippy leapt from the big screen to the top of the charts and into the collective consciousness.

Chances are, you still know the words to It Must Have Been Love or I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing if tonight’s Goo Goo Dolls gig is anything to go by. Iris, their timeless contribution to 1998’s otherwise forgettable City Of Angels, prompts a singalong so loud that it just about drowns out the five men performing it through a giant sound rig.

Closing out the band’s main set, the quintessential power ballad gets the night’s most frenzied response. That’s no surprise, really. What’s unexpected is the number of people in Brixton Academy who can’t have been much older than 5 when John Rzeznik first uttered: “And I’d give up forever to touch you”.

Like audience member Jake who, after his cardboard sign is noticed from the stage, is reluctantly invited to play lead guitar on Name. It’s an even older song that, despite Rzeznik’s initial trepidation, the young fan knows inside out.

Such familiarity isn’t just down to the enduring legacy of these songs. Millennials, who’d have trouble picking Nicolas Cage and/or Meg Ryan out of a line-up, are clearly discovering The Goo Goo Dolls through the band’s new work. Up at the front Over and Over, from their current LP Boxes, is met with genuine hands-raised excitement rather than the arms-crossed indifference that tends to greet anything from any band’s 11th album.

So Alive, another new one, does a good job of melding Rzeznik’s ear for melody with massive hooks straight out of the Imagine Dragons playbook for mainstream success. It even has a built-in “hey hey hey” call-and-response section that the singer-guitarist, bounding across the stage while raising his arms like an MC, uses to full effect.

A natural evolution of the group’s sound, like the poppy Rebel Beat from 2013’s Magnetic, the R&B groover doesn’t feel out of place in a set that slides easily between the extremes of Sympathy (performed solo and acoustic by the frontman) and Robby Takac’s punk-leaning offerings.

The energetic bassist-singer, who faces the London heatwave by rolling up his jeans and going barefoot, lends his gritty voice and hand actions to such hard hitters as January Friend and Smash, leaving Rzeznik the guitarist free to roam the stage and relive The Goo Goo Dolls’ garage band origins.

Naked, from their 1995 breakthrough A Boy Named Goo, is even edgier and has the frontman blistering through a solo of unexpected intensity. But, for the most part, the 21-song set focuses on the group’s oh-so-melodic greatest hits, and the three LPs that cemented their reputation.

The multi-platinum Dizzy Up The Girl, celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, is well represented with triumphant renditions of the fist-pumping Dizzy and Slide, a soaring Black Balloon, and beautiful-but-bleak show closer Broadway (with its immortal line “The cowboy kills the rock star” and the less than optimistic refrain “See the young man sitting in the old man’s bar, Waiting for his turn to die”).

Gutterflower, the 2002 follow-up, gets the love it deserves as the band (also featuring touring members Jim McGorman on keys, guitarist Brad Fernquist, and drummer Craig Macintyre) give their all to the likes of Big Machine (despair dressed up as a crunchy rock anthem) and the majestic Iris part two, Here Is Gone.

And 2006’s Let Love In, while not as commercially successful as its immediate predecessors, gives us the rousing title track, eternally optimistic piano and strings ballad Better Days, and chest-thumping Stay With You. Just like the rest of the set, all three are played with passion, and embraced with open arms by young and not-so- young alike.

Review of The Goo Goo Dolls at Brixton Academy on 26th July 2018 by Nils van der Linden. Photography by Kalpesh Patel.

Photos included- click the link.
https://rockshot.co.uk/210980/the-goo-goo-dolls-slide-into-brixton-academy/

Flick of the Finger – The Goo Goo Dolls, 02 Academy, Bristol

The Goo Goo Dolls are not a band I’m familiar with, but always willing to try something new, to me.
And Wow what a great band, what have I been missing?

The Goo Goo Dolls were formed way back in 1985, In Buffalo New York, originally playing punk and rock and roll covers they soon established themselves and have since produced a series of albums, the latest one Boxes released in 2016. They have also recently released a live album The Audience Is This Way.

They played Bristol, one of only 3 UK dates in the run up to their fall Dizzy up the Girl 20th Anniversary tour across America.

Opening for them tonight is Xcerts a three piece from Aberdeen, who played a short, but powerful set that culminated with Feels Like Falling in Love, from their Hold On To Your Heart album. Although they were received well it was clear the crowd were there for the Goo Goo Dolls.

The Goo Goo Dolls came out and started with a couple of songs from their seminal album Dizzy Up The Girl, the album that took them to a new level many believe. They opened with Dizzy, followed straight after by Slide. While a third of their set was made up of songs from this album, the rest came from an impressive back catalogue, much coming from Boxes and Gutterflower.

Vocalist Johnny mentioned the last time we were here we were here was just before Trump became president, you guys got your own version what’s he called, Boris…… Tonight though the emphasis was on a having a good time while we were all together.

It was clear that while I may have been a recent convert to the band much of the audience knew their material well and were singling along with the band. So Alive saw much audience participation as Johnny announced “I’m new at this, and need help”, clearly he didn’t but it was great interaction with the audience.

About half way through the set we learn about when Johnny was living in an Attic many years ago, playing his guitar, thinking about making lots of money, when he came up with the song Name, a lovely song from the 1995 album A Boy Named Goo.

“What’s the song about is a question I get asked a lot” Johhny said: “well we often lie and make up things about songs”, but the next song is about being f***** up, being in, a bad place, as he launched into Sympathy.

Broadway went down incredibly well with the Bristol crowd, the band acknowledge this as they stop and start singing together in unison. Iris closes the set, before we head back to reality, or does it?

No, we are treated to the latest single Boxesand a cover of Supertramps’s Give a little for the encore.
What a fantastic night a capacity audience in the 02 Bristol, many of which had travelled considerable distance to be here tonight. Tonight, we forgot about our troubles and were united in music, now when are they touring again…?

http://www.flickofthefinger.co.uk/live/2018/the-goo-goo-dolls-02-academy-bristol/

Click the link for photos.

The Upcoming – Goo Goo Dolls at Brixton Academy: Everything a gig should be

With 11 albums, 19 top ten singles and now a packed Brixton Academy, it is clear that American rockers Goo Goo Dolls are not just the one-hit wonder band that outsiders today see them as. For the fans at the venue, the ensemble on stage are so much more than Iris. 2018 actually marks the tenth anniversary of Dizzy Up the Girl – an album full of hits – and the crowd is there to celebrate. They are obviously extremely loyal if they can hack the hottest day of the year in an even hotter academy. People are close to quite literally becoming boys named Goo.

The group does not keep everyone waiting long before opening with Dizzy. Even louder screams ring out as they launch into Slide. Vocalist John Rzeznik does not even need to ask people to sing along with him. The floor opens and everyone’s inner rockstar comes out for Big Machine. During Black Balloon, fitting black balloons are passed around the arena, immersing viewers in the track’s tragic story.

Bassist Robby Takac takes over the microphone in order to sing January Friend and Free of Me, before leading everyone in a singalong rendition of So Alive. Everything is so alive, not just the song. The energy flows even more as the frontman takes a note from the audience: a request to play the guitar during Name. At first, it is a “f**k no!” before the spectators demand the vocalist changes his mind. People cheer as if audience member Jake is a part of the band. Rzeznik jokes that he’s never playing the instrument again, but he does not rest. The artist paces the stage, making sure everyone is involved in the performance.

The rockers effortlessly transition from fast anthem Over and Over – where they jump, kick, and run – to slow ballad Sympathy – where the lead singer stands alone, stationary, with an acoustic guitar. The light show changes, too, in Bringing on the Light. The stage becomes a multitude of beautiful colours. Of course, the group’s set would be incomplete without their equally beautiful Iris. Phones instantly come out, hands are in the air and mouths are open. Despite playing their biggest hit, the venue demands more.

The setlist is diverse, with numbers from ten years ago flowing into tracks a couple of years old, truly showing the longevity of the ensemble’s career. The musicians extend each song with a pause or a speech, anything to prolong the show. It is what a gig should be: a totally different experience to listening to the album.

★★★★★

Regan Harle
Photos: Guifre de Peray

**Click the link for some great photos**

https://www.theupcoming.co.uk/2018/07/27/goo-goo-dolls-at-brixton-academy-live-review/

MARISKALROCK: THE GOO GOO DOLLS: TWENTY YEARS ARE NOTHING

22 JULY 2018 
Sala Apolo (Barcelona) 
Text: Pau Peñalver. Photos: Live Nation

I’m still in shock. I almost missed seeing one of my musical totems. Thanks to the celebration of the twentieth anniversary of ‘Dizzy Up The Girl’, sixth album of the combo, and to the eye of Live Nation, we have been able to enjoy John Rzeznik and Robby Takac on the stage of an intimate stage like that of the Sala Apolo . It was a rainy night, an accelerated evening of intense emotions … a state of nostalgia, melancholy of an era that has passed away. 

Despite celebrating the success of a 1998 album, I met (23 summers ago) the band from Buffalo (New York) thanks to ‘A Boy Named Goo’, round that ignited the flame and that was a before and after for the former trio.

The night started punctually with “Dizzy” and “Slide”: an authentic madness. They did not rescue anything from discs before their golden age, but they did a thorough and almost fair review of their subsequent works until the date. So, they dusted off ‘Gutterflower’ from 2002 with nothing more and nothing less “Big Machine” and “Here Is Gone”. They redirected us to 1998 showing the power of two hits like “Black Balloon” or “January Friend”. This second opened the ban on the brilliance of Takac, the bassist who has suffered and endured all the fuss and turns of the blond frontman. The faithful companion of John sang and performed with revelry, and as if it were part of Motley Crue, his historical contributions to the Goo car, such as “Free Of Me”, “Smash” or “Bringing The Light” of ‘Magnetic’ (2013). I finish with cheers. The moments with Robby Takac seemed endearing to me. The old rockers never die. Of course, for much season, those years of collaborations with Paul Westerberg of The Replacements are far away.

After “January Friend” we could delight in something as grunge as “Long Way Down”. The news of Goo Goo Dolls goes through ‘Boxes’, its reference of 2016, so “So Alive” had a place before another ovation with “Name”. In that stage they were meat of MTV. Fortunately, it did not jump off the list as it happened to “Acoustic # 3”, a fact that most hardcore fans do not think were taken delicately. To my humble understanding, the set was difficult to improve, although they had a couple of songs left over.

The current section continued with “Over and Over”. John was left alone with his acoustic before playing “Sympathy” and needed two shots to match the lyrics that, according to the singer, he had forgotten. In some moments I saw clearly that there was a meeting atmosphere, if the band had broken at some point. I also thought about an acoustic tour of the two leaders, to finish making capes about a possible solo tour of Rzeznik himself. Call me crazy, but I saw it clear and crystal clear. 

From 1995 until the recent EP ‘Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy’ we could listen to songs of all its stages, but I was surprised that it did not sound anything of the ‘Something For The Rest Of Us’ of 2010. Anyway, it would not have changed much the script. They closed the body of the list with “Broadway” and “Iris”.

And the moment of truth arrived. The encores were a mystery. After 100 minutes. A dream fulfilled. Another concert crossed off the list. In his American manga they end up with Tom Petty’s “American Girl”. Here in the old continent they close with the smaller “Boxes”, which gives title to their last length, and they pull their version of Supertramp, “Give A Little Bit”, that appeared for the first time in their ‘Let Love In’ of 2006 Few groups could get up from my house 4 days after my first daughter Aina was born, but the opportunity was impossible to refuse. 

Finally, if we take a look at his album ‘Greatest Hits Volume One: The Singles’ that they released in 2007, we can verify that, of the fourteen pieces of that compilation, they sounded 11. Nothing more to add.

The Goo Goo Dolls say they are returning to Spain. If they have been active since 1986 and yesterday was their first visit (if we ignore their concert at the base of Rota in Cadiz in 1999), perhaps in the next I have already done my job. Anyway, hope is the last thing that is lost. They corroborated it. 

Setlist: Dizzy / Slide / Big Machine / Rebel Beat / Here Is Gone / Black Balloon / January Friend / Free Of Me / Long Way Down / So Alive / Name / Over and Over / Sympathy / Stay With You / Better Days / Smash / Bringing The Light / Tattered Edge – You Should Be Happy / Broadway / Iris. Bis: Boxes / Give A Little Bit 

NU.NL: GOO GOO DOLLS DO NOT THINK THAT THERE WILL EVER BE A ‘SECOND IRIS’

Goo Goo Dolls do not think that there will ever be a ‘second Iris’

Sunday, the Goo Goo Dolls play in the Amsterdam Melkweg, twenty years after their breakthrough in the Netherlands with the song Iris. But there is never a successor to that song, expected frontman and singer John Rzeznik.

The band was founded in 1986 and has been performing for more than thirty years. “I am proud that we have been together for so long and in that time scored fourteen hits,” said 52-year-old Rzeznik in conversation with NU.nl.
The band members had not expected that they would still make music thirty years ago. “I thought we would be dead by now”, jokes the lead singer and co-founder of the Goo Goo Dolls. “No, but seriously: we broke up after ten years, and we had to work really hard for a bit of success.”

In 1995 the big success for the Goo Goo Dolls in America started with their fifth album A Boy Named Goo. After the release of their single Name, the real commercial success started and that led them to sign with Warner Bros, a record company. The album Dizzy Up the Girl came out on that label in 1998 and also included the hit Iris, which made the band for the soundtrack of the hit movie City of Angels with Meg Ryan and Nicolas Cage. In the Netherlands, the single ended up at number eight in the top 40.

Second Iris

“It was fantastic to be able to write a text that allows people to identify themselves,” says Rzeznik. He does not mind at all that a large part of the people only knows Iris from their repertoire. “The audience is singing around the world, great, is not it?” Other artists I know sometimes hate the song that caused them to pay a house in Malibu now How can you hate the song that made you a millionaire ? ”
Despite the great success the singer does not think that there will ever be a ‘new Iris’. “If I tried to write such a song now, it would not be sincere, there will never be another Iris, hell no.”

Drink and girl

The singer noticed that people treated him and his band members differently when they became more famous. “We did not change, but many people, including a lot of friends, suddenly started to act differently to us.” Some were genuinely happy that we had such a success, others were suddenly going to be hateful and claiming that we had changed because we liked it so much. The biggest misconception that exists about artists, by the way, well, if I really wanted to, I would have changed more. ”
Nevertheless, certain things are now very different compared to the early years of the band, he says. “Then we were in our twenties and probably a bit wilder, you’re really a boy, you drink as much as you can and try to get as many girls as possible, now we lead a boring life compared to then.” laughs Rzeznik.
“Well, a little duller than that, of course, we have a fascinating life in comparison with most peers: we travel around the world and make music that we can get by, how well can you have it?”
The fact that their private life looks a lot quieter now, contributes to the fact that they can still survive the band life. “When we come home there is no drink, no drugs, we do not have to go after women, it’s a simple life,” laughs the front man, who is married to Melina and has a one-year-old daughter.
“A child can make you realize that you really are not that important, and when my daughter walks into the room she immediately steals the show.”

By: NU.nl/Danja Koeleman

https://www.nu.nl/muziek/5382920/goo-goo-dolls-denken-niet-er-ooit-tweede-iris-komt.html

GIG SOUP – GOO GOO DOLLS TO EMBARK ON A THREE-DATE UK TOUR

By Pavel Kondov

Multi-Grammy award nominees Goo Goo Dolls are due to pay the UK a visit for a three-date tour going through Bristol, Manchester and London. The American rockers will be playing a selection of hits from their extensive 11-album discography, the most recent of which was the 2016 release Boxes. Later in the year, the Goos will embark on the “Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary Tour” across the US – a celebration of their seminal 1998 record. Dizzy Up The Girl kicked their career into the upper gear upon its release, spawning hits like ‘Slide’ and the gorgeous ballad ‘Iris’. To mark two decades since the album came out, the band will be playing the album in its entirety on the tour. John Rzeznik (vocals/guitar) and Robby Takac (bass) were the driving force behind the success of the album and remain as the two official members of the band. UK fans can expect to hear songs from this classic album as the Goo Goo Dolls warm-up for its full presentation.

In addition to touring, the Goos are keeping a busy release schedule – a brand new live album titled The Audience Is This Way is due out on July 21st 2018, released exclusively as a limited edition black vinyl at indie-retail stores across the US as part of Record Store Day Crawl. There are only 3,000 copies made of this pressing. The album will also be available for digital download and streaming on August 24th.

Recently, Goo Goo Dolls released Boxes (UK Mix), a double ‘A’ sided single featuring 2 UK remixes of the songs ‘Boxes’ (the title track of their 2016 album)  and ‘Use Me’ (taken from their 2017 5-song EP You Should Be Happy). The tracks were remixed by produced Ash Howes, who has worked with artists like Kylie Minogue and One Direction, at the Dark Room in Hampshire, UK. Singer John Rzeznik commented “I love Ash Howes’ mixes! You get to hear the songs from a different perspective which is always good. We can’t wait to get to the UK this summer and perform these songs live for our fans”.

You can catch them performing on one of the UK dates below, after which Goo Goo Dolls continue their tour in Europe and the States:

Tuesday, July 24 – O2 Academy Bristol (SOLD OUT)
Wednesday, July 25 – O2 Ritz Manchester (SOLD OUT)
Thursday, 26 July – O2 Academy Brixton, London – limited tickets still available HERE – https://www.gigsandtours.com/tour/goo-goo-dolls?utm_source=Direct

https://www.gigsoupmusic.com/news/tour-news/goo-goo-dolls-to-embark-on-a-three-date-uk-tour/

 

INDIE NAUTA: THE GOO GOO DOLLS, THE RIVIERA, MADRID

Translated from the original.

Author: Pedro Velázquez

Like the ghost of last Christmas, Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac led a sleepwalking audience (hence uncritical) from a room La Riviera half-way to what they were at a very specific time in the mid-90s. Pointing at the memories of the attendees and with a “Come, come closer. This was your life, did you do it right? “They achieved an amazing capacity for regression. They raised from their graves ghosts that we thought were forgotten: movie soundtracks by Meg Ryan (we all saw them), spot tunes from your first car, blockbuster credits by Ethan Hawk. Terrifying ghosts, after all, but from a time with great advantages. Indeed, before Mr. Wonderful thought and the ultramotivation of the social network,

Out of that dream, the band pays very dearly for the tribute to their time. We find professionalism and trade, yes. It also delivers (within an order), scenic presence and the safety of those who have been in this for many years. But, alas, those pretentious letters that pass through all the common places left us with a certain uneasiness. Rzeznik’s introductions to “songs that speak of giving themselves a second chance in life” further flatten the discourse. What we must mention (for good) is the value of Robby Takac in his role as bassist / animator and comedian counterweight to the intense vocalist. And the sound, which was more than acceptable for the characteristics of La Riviera.

The repertoire covered all the essentials of the band. An early and effective Slide to raise the audience, was followed by other hits such as Name or Black Balloon. The acoustic version of the Sympathy served to extract emotions from the assistants and lighters from the pockets. And the climax came with a choral Iris, with the mobiles of the public on high. The orgy of melancholy nineties vanished with a successful version of the Give a little bit of Supertramp, without a doubt the most timeless / current of the whole night. They also heard songs from their last album Boxes (2016), more than correct and well embedded within the repertoire. The end of the concert was perhaps too abrupt, with a somewhat cold farewell followed by dozens of technicians withdrawing equipment, even before the audience began to march towards the doors.

In a moment of the regression workshop in which La Riviera became, I looked at the audience and I thought I saw the languid Winona, melancholy and buckled, trying to get out of the crowd between the chords of Iris and singing “I just want you to know who I am “with a tear on the cheek. I just thought: “Generation X; How much you suffered and how favored you went! Please, do not come back. ” 

Photos: Adolfo Añino

Goo Goo Dolls at La Riviera, Madrid

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FOTOCONCIERTOS.COM: REVIEW OF THE GOO GOO DOLLS SALA LA RIVIERA MADRID 7/21/2018

By Alejandro Sanz 

And there I was, singing “Iris” as if I had listened to the Goo Goo Dolls all my life, but no. I could tell you about my relationship with them or about the time I was doing outside the room, also as an introduction, but I think it would be just a way of saying nothing so as not to enter directly to talk about a concert. 

However, I would like to comment that from the moment your tour was announced, I knew that I had to be there, one way or another. I have been lucky to be able to be accredited and also to take pictures, but I would not be anyway. They are not so well known after 30 years for just one single, or a handful of them. They have had support behind, and opportunities that others have not, but it is clear that they knew how to take advantage of them, and that for me deserves a respect.

It is true that I did not think many people, as La Riviera was a little less than its capacity, something very uncommon. But there nobody was (only) to make selfies. The hundreds who were crowded in front of the palm tree of the room sang each of the songs leaving the voice, and I assure you that from the pit, the feeling that this conveyed was overwhelming. And the band responded. 

In a concert of these characteristics, complicity with the audience is lost for the benefit of the show, but in this case the first thing was not lacking. The pauses that were taken between song and song were not only to give thanks, but also to interact in a more personal way with everyone, beyond what the script said. Moreover, John Rzeznik took home one more word in Spanish, “pussy.”

The general feeling that this concert left me was to be attending something great, something that those of us who were there will constantly comment. Because it’s worth it, I did not know his songs (I corrected, I did not know they were his, because in the end I saw that he knew almost all of them) but the band got me inside. It was impossible not to feel something with “Sympathy”, seeing how John picked up the harmonica on “Broadway” and like these, many more. Those who did not go talk to those who do, and try not to regret your decision, you can not. 

Goo Goo Dolls The Riviera Alejandro Sanz 2018 07 21

And there was, singing “Iris” as if I had listened to the Goo Goo Dolls all my life, but no. I could tell you about my relationship with them or about the time I was doing outside of the room, also as an introduction, but I think it would be just a way of saying nothing so as to directly to talk about a concert. 
However, I would like to comment that from the moment your tour was announced, I knew that I had to be there, one way or another. I have been lucky to be able to be accredited and also to take pictures, but I would not be anyway. They are not well known after 30 years for just one single, or a handful of them. They have had support behind, and opportunities that others have not, but it is clear that they knew how to take advantage of them, and that for me deserves a respect.

It is true that I did not think many people, since The Riviera was a little less than its capacity, something very uncommon. But there nobody was (only) to make selfies. The hundreds who were crowded in front of the palm tree of the room sang each of the songs leaving the voice, and I assure you that from the pit, the feeling that this conveyed was overwhelming. And the band responded 
In a concert of these characteristics, complicity with the audience is lost for the benefit of the show, but in this case the first thing was not lacking. The pauses that were taken between song and song were not only to give thanks, but also to interact in a more personal way with everyone, beyond what the script said. Moreover, John Rzeznik took home one more word in Spanish, “pussy”.

The general feeling that this concert left was to be attending something great, something that those of us who were there will constantly comment. Because it’s worth it, I did not know his songs (I corrected, I did not know they were his, because in the end I saw that he knew almost all of them) but the band got me inside. It was impossible to feel something with “Sympathy”, seeing how John picked up the harmonica on “Broadway” and like these, many more. Those who did not go talk to those who do, and try to regret your decision, you can not. 

https://www.fotoconciertos.com/cronica-fotos-goo-goo-dolls-sala-la-riviera-madrid-21072018/