By Iris Konstant
Nashville, Tennessee is home to musical legends and icons; from your country music stars who call the city home to the rock’n’roll legends merely passing through for the night. On a frigid night in October, The Goo Goo Dolls brought the heat to the legendary Ryman Auditorium on their 20th Anniversary Tour; celebrating the late 1998 release ‘Dizzy Up the Girl.’ A momentous album which launched the Goo Goo Dolls into commercial success, which lead singer, John Rzeznik is “beyond grateful for;” as it provided them numerous opportunities; yet he jokingly resents how “old” the album makes him feel.
This light-hearted tone of retrospection marked the night; as the Goo Goo Dolls strived to create a night of simple elegance and story-telling. Which came to life against a series of simple backdrops and stunning lighting designs; starting with the album art for ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ in a golden frame and ending with their name emblazoned upon a black backdrop. The stories which wove a tale of the history of the Goo Goo Dolls were interwoven between songs; some detailing the history of a song and some simply acting as asides to give the band time to switch instruments.
Case in point, the story behind the Goo Goo Dolls’ first radio hit “Name.” As John mentioned how the band would often wait to play “Name” till the end of their set. Due to its popularity and difference in comparison to the rest of their set. Which consisted of a medley of punk-rock songs, seeing as the band used to be called Sex Maggot.
Sex Maggot often had trouble retaining a crowd; thus, they would wait to play “Name.” However, a name change and several radio hits later, the Goo Goo Dolls don’t have to worry about keeping people around. As from the first note in “Dizzy” to the last note in “Flat Top,” the crowd was utterly captivated by the performance. From the illustrative stories which wove tales to the oddly captivating performance of “Better Days.” Where John sang a duet with himself via LED screen. The Goo Goo Dolls created a night which drew in fans and created a performance, unlike no other.
After all, what artist would tell you that their alternate chord usage was just sheer laziness and lack of knowledge? As according to John, when he was growing up he could’ve invested his parent’s money into guitar lessons; but instead decided to use the money for “beer money.”
It was this honest passion for story-telling which heated up the legendary Ryman Auditorium, even if it was only for the night; as the tales they weaved and the songs they performed created a moment for fans to hold onto and cherish for weeks to come. While the Goo Goo Dolls continue their 20th Anniversary tour, with stops in: Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Seattle before closing out a momentous tour in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Saturday, November 10th.
Dizzy // Slide // Broadway // January Friend // Black Balloon // Bullet Proof // Amigone // All Eyes On Me // Full Forever // Acoustic #3 // Iris // Extra Pale // Hate This Place // Better Days // Can’t Let it Go // Two Days In February // Fallin’ Down // Lucky Star // Name // Stop The World // So Alive // Notbroken // Another Second Time Around // There You Are
Big Machine & Flat Top