By Molly Chinner
The multi platinum-nominated Goo Goo Dolls pulled the curtain down on their UK tour with a crowd-engaging performance that can only be described as energetic and sing-along at the O2 academy in Bristol.
The Dolls sold their Bristol date out to the crack in between folks at the bar. As a Nitelife reviews writer and gig-enthusiast, I have never seen the academy so full. Promoting their new tracks Boxes and Use Me and 20 years of their iconic Dizzy Up The Girl, the seasoned rockers had the crowd eating out of the palm of their hands with their upbeat performance and husky, American drawl.
Perfecting the stage sound to mimic the exact sound of their live album Dizzy Up The Girl released in 1988 on Warner Bro’s distribution label, the multi-platinum album is a Goo-Goo Dolls fans favourite and saw hundreds of Dolls fans streaming into the 02 academy from all across the south-west for an opportunity to see their favourite rockers perform live.
Opening their show with a huge light show and a sing-along rendition of their hit You Should Be Happy and of course closing the curtains with their Billboard number 1 track Iris, which could hardly be heard over the passionate singing of the fanatic crowd. Frontman John Rzeznik held the attention of the crowd with his glowing confidence and old-rocker swagger, getting a few laughs with his chat about the sorry similarities between Donald Trump and Boris Johnson.
After Rzeznik jovially made fun of the bands interesting name choice, “We had a band called The Sex Maggots, but a promoter refused to put us on with that name, we had five minutes to come up with another name. We found a copy of True Detective magazine, found an ad for a “goo goo doll, and after we sold a few records, the name stuck!”
Famous for their soulful, acoustic ballads, The Dolls made no moves in avoiding their famous tunes and churned out the big hits one after the other to the delight of the Bristol crowd. With all the grace and wit of a comedian, Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac bounced off one another with their humorous chatter and had their adoring fans grinning from ear to ear by the time they left the academy that night. Although The Dolls are in the era of the 1980s, the band’s energy would outdo any modern boy band and the bouncy Takac made his way about the stage with his famous dance moves. The dude was possibly the most excitable bassist I’ve ever seen.
The band would later make their way outside their enormous tour bus to chat with fans and sign merchandise. Bristol was one of only three UK cities lucky enough to host the Goo Goo dolls on their Dizzy Up The Girl 20th anniversary world tour, and judging by its sell-out success, we hope they’ll stop by again soon.