27 February 2020 (gig)
28 February 2020
This evening sees New York rockers Goo Goo Dolls conclude their UK tour in support of 2019’s ‘Miracle Pill’ LP. Roundhouse Camden, the venue. Excitement and anticipation, the atmosphere.
9pm strikes, lights fade and conversations run dry; Goo Goo Dolls have arrived. Head to toe in black attire, John Rzeznik’s silhouette like portrait contrasts the vivid, vibrant pink lighting perfectly. Aesthetically pleasing. Beautifully sounding. A mix like whiskey and coke.
‘Indestructible’ initiates proceedings on the latest ‘Miracle Pill’ LP and serves the same purpose this evening. Microphone in hand and guitar merely hanging midriff, Rzeznik makes full use of the stage covering every inch simultaneously acknowledging the exuberant crowd. He’s at home.
Speaking of home; ‘Home’ follows the set opener and in a fast four minutes encapsulates Goo Goo Dolls sound. It’s the voice. The riff. The melody. Precisely what this sold out crowd is here for.
Electric now traded for acoustic, the opening riff to ‘Slide’ achieves the most resounding response thus far. Camden’s voices are ostensibly turned up a notch. Rzeznik’s remains pitch perfect. An inevitability.
The set itself is meticulously thought through. Whilst undeniably plugging their new tracks, it refuses to neglect the band’s punk rock roots. Tracks such as ‘Fallin Down’ and ‘Another Second Time Around’ momentarily rewind us to 1993’s ‘Superstar Carwash’ LP. A personal favourite. A refreshing reminder of youth and nostalgia.
Midway through ‘Black Balloon’, hundreds seemingly fall from the sky as Rzeznik asks ‘Why did that happen?!’. Balloons appear to fall from the very same place the song fell from. Undoubtedly a classic and an essential Goo Goo Dolls track.
The set consists of twenty three tracks and incredibly, the same amount of guitar changes. Famed for his love of distinctive and abnormal tuning arrangements, Rzeznik has as many guitars as he has songs. Some feat.
Tracks such as ‘January Friend’ and the new ‘Life’s A Message’, offers Rzeznik the opportunity to rest his vocal cords. Bassist Robby Takac takes to lead vocals with a noticeably more raw and punky approach.
An exquisite rendition of 1995’s beauteous ballad ‘Name’ provides a well deserved drinks break for the band as Rzeznik starts solo. An acoustic and a voice. The pinnacle.
The crowd are in awe and a small stumble as I rush towards a rare empty bar only confirms this further. Goo Goo Dolls are not to be missed.
Yet another guitar change and ‘Iris’ begins. An anthem which gains five thousand voices all striving to hit those chorus notes. Only one achieves. The rest are left striving. But with beaming smiles.
Rzeznik thanks the crowd and Goo Goo Dolls leave us with ‘Broadway’ which can only mean one thing. One more guitar change...
Sensational. As ever.