Goo Goo Dolls ‘Let Love In’ the MEC

Concert ReviewOctober 17, 2011The Daily Athenaeum

The Goo Goo Dolls performed last night at one of the first University-sponsored concerts at the Morgantown Event Center.

The Buffalo, N.Y., native band played to an audience of both WVU students and a substantial amount of the band's older fans.

"I grew up with their music," said Cara Bacher, a freshman pre-occupational therapy student.

The audience varied in age, spanning from younger students to people who have been listening to the band since its inception.

"(The age difference) doesn't matter. They're an older band, and these people have probably been listening to them for a while," Bacher said.

The concert opened with a 45-minute performance by Ryan Star, a singer/songwriter sprouting out of New York City.

Though being unrecognized, Star's music held a certain quality. However, it was quite evident who most of the audience was there to see.

Near the end of Star's set, he was able to salvage his performance by engaging the crowd and playing songs that seemed somewhat familiar.

Star ended the performance with a mash-up of one of the band's original songs and "Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster the People.

Though the mixing of the two songs was unexpected, it gave the set a certain defiant character.

When the Goo Goo Dolls came out around 9 p.m., the whole room was buzzing, and the band fed off this energy.

For their second song, the band played "Slide," which was released in 1998, and the entire audience sang along.

With each song played, the concertgoers adoringly cheered on the band as they played their hearts out for the Morgantown area.

While the Dolls have created an extensive repertoire since the mid-1980s, their performance incorporated their newer tracks as well.

Each song held its own relevance and meaning, as lead singer and guitarist John Rzeznik sang some of the better-known songs such as "Black Balloon" and "Name."

As "Black Balloon" was being performed, the crowd was electrified, singing along with Rzeznik, while deliberately- placed black balloons floated amongst the fans.

A note of nostalgia and devotion to the Goo Goo Dolls was obvious throughout the night, and the band was surely delivered a concert worthy of said loyalty.