Goo Goo Dolls & Matchbox 20 Live

goo goo dollsInstead of shamelessly exploiting the ’90s angle—like the way Summerland has when selecting their lineup over the years—the Goo Goo Dolls took a different approach when promoting their heavily anticipated tour with Matchbox 20; they made it completely about the music. Yes, nostalgia was palpable and seamlessly floated around in the audience, but A Boy Named Goo is what got us high in the first place—Rzeznik’s feverish yearning combined with their trademark melodic chords made it clear as to why their catapult into mega-stardom was inevitable as it was resounding.

Teaming up with Matchbox to hit the road this go-around was a brilliant move and one that came to fruition once Thomas and Co. hit the stage. Performing tracks from their most recent album, North, served as a glimpse into their musical and lyrical progression. Thomas still nicely balances acute sentimentality with debilitating self-awareness. Simply put, writing is the man’s strongsuit. But concert-goers wouldn’t be genuine if they didn’t ache for a little bit of their older material. Matchbox 20’s 1996 debut, Yourself or Someone Like You, had no shortage of hits. So when “Real World,” “Long Day,” “Back 2 Good,” and “3am” were delivered, the frenzy they caused was kinetic. Ending their set with “Push” was the perfect touch to a perfect evening—and nearly overshadowed their counterparts.

Sporting camouflage pants and his signature shaggy mane, Rzeznik stormed the stage with the sole intention of moving the crowd. Like Matchbox 20, it was clear the band couldn’t wait to showcase with winning sincerity, and opened with Magnetic’s “Last Hot Night.” But easing into “Slide” shortly thereafter put us right where we needed to be—in a perpetually gleeful state. “Here is Gone” and “Black Balloon” were well executed. For “Come To Me,” Rzeznik was so hellbent on a sing along moment that projectors on stage displayed lyrics to only that song. But it was right around “Name” where he opened up about his initial shock upon learning he can make money from making music, and how he couldn’t believe that the Goo Goo Dolls have been around this long. The intro to “Iris” prompted howling screams from onlookers (although Rzeznik reminded us that ‘we knew this was coming’). As “Broadway” rounded out their set, everyone left the venue knowing that they weren’t part of just a show—they were part of an era.

  • DATE: August 18, 2013
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