Goo Goo Dolls make an impression in St. Louis

Concert ReviewAugust 22,

For all the times the Goo Goo Dolls have played in St. Louis they tried something new Wednesday night in St. Charles; ooey gooey butter cake. For bassist Robby Takac at least, it was another reason to love St. Louis. No word yet if lead singer/guitarist John Rzeznik liked it or not, but it didn’t matter one way or the other as they played a stellar show at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

Coming to town in support of their upcoming CD “Something for the Rest of Us”, due out August 31 the band stuck to what they know best; music, and lots of it.

Opening the set with “Sweetest Lie”, “Big Machine” and “Slide” the Goo Goo Dolls showed early that they were not going to wait until late in the show to play hits. They also showed a simple stage setup, one that consisted of a backdrop that resembled a cave wall. The reason was simple; let the music be front and center, not driven to the side by a bunch of pyrotechnics, lasers, or other large apparatus’ usually found on other major tours. It was a breath of fresh air.

The band tore through hits like “Here is Gone”, “Black Balloon”, and “Better Days” much to the delight of the crowd, while also showcasing new songs from “Something for the Rest of Us” like the first single “Home”. Others, strewn throughout the set included songs that Takac sang lead on- “2nd Time”, “Smash”, “Tucked Away”, and off the new CD “Now I Hear” which was a different direction from the punk style that normally encompasses Takac’s songs he fronts.

Takac and Rzeznik started Goo Goo Dolls in 1986 as a punk band with Takac on lead vocals. He has kept that direction usually on the songs he sings. In concert it’s nice to have variable sounds, which they have shown over the years they can do nicely.

The band rolled into various themes throughout the night. From "acoustic #3" which Rzeznik said "really bums me out" to "Not Broken"- tabbed as a love letter by Rzeznik. The band showed it's varied musical ability was very much intact. As was their sense of humor, with Rzeznik mistaking a female in the audience for a male. He apologized, blaming his poor eyesight and said he would "shut up and just play music.'

With Rzeznik’s recognizable voice on the new songs like “As I Am”, as well as old staples like “Let Love In”, and the ever popular “Name” (Which he thanked the crowd for “remembering that one”), and “Iris” the Goo Goo Dolls showed why they are a St. Louis favorite, just like ooey gooey butter cake.

Newcomers Green River Ordinance opened the show. While still very green (no pun inteded) they showed a deep promise for a bright future. Not to be outdone Switchfoot followed GRO and also were well recieved by the crowd at the Family Arena, especially after singer Jon Foreman jumed the barrier and lept into the audience to, as he put it "Get up close and personal" with the entire audience.