The Goo Goo Dolls

Concert ReviewApril 12, 2011Speak Easy Mag

In spite of the unseasonably warm weather, a sold-out crowd filled Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium April 6 to see the Goo Goo Dolls perform old favorites and new hits.

As 7 p.m. rolled around and the doors of the auditorium opened, early arrivals began to file in and take their seats.  The auditorium filled with people of all ages, ranging from those who remember when the Goo Goo Dolls first hit it big to those who heard of the Dolls from their parents growing up. The excitement in the air continued to build as showtime neared.

As the stage lights lit up the room, the crowd got anxious. Finally, a relatively-unknown group of four young musicians appeared and began their first song. The band, special guest Kingsfoil, are a small group from Pennsylvania comprised of lead vocalist Jordan Davis, guitarist, keyboarder and vocalist Tristan Martin, bassist and vocalist Tim Warren, and drummer Joe Cipollini. Kingsfoil performed original songs including “Albatross,” “Love is Like a Carnival Goldfish” and “Give It Up Now.” The crowd-pleasing Kingsfoil can be found on iTunes, Facebook and Twitter.

After a 30-minute intermission and amid building anticipation, purple lights doused the stage and the Goo Goo Dolls finally entered. The crowd cheered and rose to its feet as the band played songs from their older albums as well as songs from their 2010 release “Something for the Rest of Us”.

Vocalist John Rzeznik thanked fans for “remembering those songs and being fans for 15 years.”

As the Dolls moved through their set, the air in the crowded room thickened and the smell of the beer became almost overpowering. The Dolls performed hits like “Big Machine,” “Slide” (which turned into a choir version as the entire crowd sang along), “Here is Gone,” “Can’t Let it Go,” “Black Balloon” and “Better Days.”

Throughout the show, Rzeznik talked and interacted with the audience, even giving one lucky young lady a kiss on the cheek and dispensing high-fives into the crowd. The Dolls ended their set with “As I Am” and perhaps their most popular song, “Iris.”

Templeton-Blackburn went dark as the Dolls left the stage, but a moment later they returned for an unexpected encore. A smiling Rzeznik walked up to the microphone and said, “We did the whole walking off the stage thing waiting for you all to beg us to come back.” After a burst of laughter throughout the room, the band performed two final songs, “Notbroken” and “Broadway,” the perfect ending to an already great show.

As the massive crowd began to exit the auditorium, praise was heard all around. In the lobby, Kingsfoil signed autographs and took photographs with their new fans while people bought t-shirts and students congregated outside to talk about the show.

While eventually the escape from beginning-of-the-quarter-blues had to end, the exhilarating experience of hearing a much-loved and renowned band performing a fantastic live show will not soon be forgotten.