Goo Goo Dolls don't disappoint at rodeo

Concert ReviewFebruary 14, 2009Unknown source

By Hector Saldaña - Express-News

The show: The Goo Goo Dolls made its San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo debut on Friday

Attendance: About 16,000 people (sold out)

First take: Singer-guitarist John Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin energetically led this expanded band, opening with the soaring “I’ll Stay With You,” a song that managed to somehow embrace the most epic, crashing rock and reinvent the power ballad at the same time. Goo Goo Dolls virtually perfected this genre — loud-quiet, emotional, slightly lovelorn Dylan-ish and post-grunge. Rzeznik had barely touched his acoustic guitar when gleeful cheers erupted for the hit "Slide." The band is rounded out with keyboards and a second lead guitarist these days making for a heart-tugging presentation, driven by Malinin’s symphonic touch a la Keith Moon.

Ooey Gooey: Rzeznik’s love songs are often brilliantly constructed, and he’s learned as much from Neil Diamond as the Replacements Paul Westerberg. "This is for all the young lovers," said Rzeznik before playing Supertramp’s ’70s hit "Give a Little Bit." But it was the classic hits, "Here Is Gone," "Name," "Broadway" and "Iris," which drew the biggest raves. And just when one wonders if the Goo Goo Dolls should be blamed or praised for birthing emo rock, bassist Takac makes it all moot with his perfectly raspy, if only occasional, punk rock lead vocal.