By Craig Huntley
For some bands the nostalgia circuit is where they make their bread and butter. Take for example, Limp Bizkit. They tour every year but haven’t released any new material in nearly a decade. They solely rely on the hits of old. New York’s Goo Goo Dolls have been around since the mid 80’s and had a massive crossover hit in the form of song ‘Iris’ from 1998 album Dizzy Up The Girl but have hits across nearly 30 years to cover a well presented set.
Before the band take to the stage we get Scottish band The Xcerts who released, quite frankly, one of this year’s best albums in the form of Hold On To Your Heart. The band rattle through a number of its including a brittle ‘Show Me Beautiful’. This band are going far and have the melodies to boot.
On a whistle-stop tour of the UK in this tours three dates, Goo Goo Dolls are here to celebrate 20 years of Dizzy Up The Girl. What’s immediately evident from the start as the band take to the stage, is that the band aren’t bored with their material from 20 years ago. Beginning with the one-two punch of ‘Dizzy’ and ‘Slide’ from the album the band are confident in their material. Bass player Robby Takac has a smile a mile wide as he gets centre stage on ‘January Friend’ as lead singer Johnny Rzeznik takes a well earned rest.
Not known for their overtly political stance Rzeznik has a chat with the crowd about Trump and apologises for him half way through their set. It’s an odd moment in an environment full of songs about hope and love but as the years go on, artists have a platform to view their concerns about the current president, whether you agree or not, but it is odd.
As the plucked strings of ‘Iris’ ring out over the O2 tonight, everybody from front to back, side to side and on the balconies is singing every last word back at the band. This is what most people are waiting for and the band deliver the song like the consummate professionals they are. Ending on newer song ‘Boxes’ and a cover of a Supertramp song ends the night on a high. A fantastic song from a band that have the craft of song writing perfected in a three minute US radio rock style.