Goo Goo Dolls show Syracuse fans a good time

Concert ReviewSeptember 28,

Published: Tuesday, September 28, 2010, 11:15 PM
Mark Bialczak/The Post-Standard

The this-is-so-cool buzz grew steadily Tuesday night in the Crouse-Hinds Concert Theater in Syracuse.

Rock ‘n’ roll fans of many ages were awaiting the arrival of that huge band from Buffalo to play its first note. A rock concert in a hall more commonly associated with the symphony? Sweet.

And then the Goo Goo Dolls appeared under a swirl of lights, lead singer and guitarist John Rzeznik, bassist-singer Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin joined by a keyboard player and second guitarist to pump it up and fill it out.

People were smiling, waving and jumping up and down as the band started with “Sweetest Lie,” from this summer’s recording “Something for the Rest of Us.” And that was Rzenik and Takac; out in the crowd the reaction was even more emotional.

So went the love affair between the band and the fans. Through 22 songs, the Goo Goo Dolls showed that 24 years after Rzeznik and Takac started the band out playing Buffalo bars, they are masters of four-minute bursts of hooks, emotion and power.

Early on, they served up favorites “Big Machine,” “Slide” and “Dizzy.”

Rzeznik related quite well with the crowd. He spotted a woman up front and in the middle hoisting a sign adorned with twinkling lights. He had her pass the oaktag up to the stage. “Can I see that? That’s fantastic,” he declared, spotting the proclamation “Biggest Fan” underlined by two red arrows outlined by the twinkling lights.

Rzeznik had the techs turn out the lights. “Yes, even the one on me,” he ordered, better to admire the sign in its full glory.

“This is a technological marvel,” he said. “This is some serious wiring (stuff). Did you go to college?

“Keep rolling,” he told the camera-holders. “I want to see this (stuff) on YouTube.”

Indeed, many cameras and smart phones poked up in the air to catch the favorites from all points of the Goos’ career in all their glory. Rzeznik switched between electric and acoustic guitars, keeping the night charged with “Dizzy,” “Black Balloon,” “Better Days,” “Stay with You,” “Name,” “Let Love In” and “Isis.”

Takac had his turn on lead vocals on “Second Time” and “Smash,” his voice a distinctively different flavor than Rzeznik’s more polished sound. As Takac sang “Now I Hear” from the new record, Rzenik played rock guitar god, dancing around the stage. The chemistry and affection for each others’ talents was striking, an obvious answer to the question how does a band make it through a quarter century these days?

Takac had his fun addressing the crowd. “I always thought Syracuse was smart, dressing its drunk college kids in safety orange before sending them out in the streets. Go Orange!” he said.

Rzeznik put his all into a handful of songs from the new record, too.

“Did you all go out and buy the new one?” he asked, chuckling. “Anybody download illegally? I’m not here to lecture you, just to have a good time.”

The power and glory of “One Night” just might cause a bump in downloading.

For the encore, Rzeznik started with another new one. He called “Notbroken” a love letter to somebody he hopes will hear it someday.

Then they sent the crowd home with a rousing rendition of “Broadway,” their take on the curve of life in all of its twists and turns.

Syracuse rock band Silent Fury opened with a solid set of original songs. Singer and guitarist Mick Fury was ready to chat up and enchant the crowd as well as providing the steady rock parade that led to the Goos.

“Kick Down My Door” and “Faded Glory” showed off Fury’s panache on guitar and vocals as the drummer who goes by simply The Wildman kept a relentless and enthusiastic beat and bass player Joel Grosvent made it look like he’s a longtime mate even though it was only his second gig with Silent Fury.

Before closing with the robust “Girl in My Head,” Fury invited all to the band’s CD release party Nov. 5 at The Westcott Theater.

The details
What: Goo Goo Dolls in concert. Silent Fury opens.
When: Tuesday night.
Where: Crouse-Hinds Concert Theater, Mulroy Civic Center, Syracuse.
Crowd: 1,300 (estimated by box office).
Times of performances: Silent Fury 30 minutes; Goo Goo Dolls 95 minutes