Goo Goo Dolls live / DeKalb review
« on: Mar 8th, 2007, 12:02pm »
Goo Goo Dolls live
Posted on March 7th, 2007 in Live Reviews, Weekly by IE
Goo Goo Dolls, Augustana
Friday, March 2, 2007
NIU Convocation Center, DeKalb
Fortunately for Goo Goo Dolls, most Chicagoans are tough when it comes to winter weather. Friday night’s blizzard-like conditions didn’t keep the fans away as they nearly packed the Convocation Center (barely big enough to be called a true “arena”) on the campus of Northern Illinois University in the far-western “suburb” of Dekalb.
And Goo Goo Dolls, on tour supporting their eighth LP, Let Love In (re-released in 2007 as an extended edition CD/DVD), did their best to make the dangerous trip worth it for the fans. From the first moment Johnny Rzeznik hit the stage, donning a rare beret that hid his trademark hair, all eyes were on him — and they never left. Even on the songs where guitarist Robby Takac handled lead vocal duties, the crowd followed Rzeznik’s every move, cheering any time he ventured to their side of the stage. The band played their 90-minute set on a very simple stage, with the female face from the Let Love In album cover hanging as the backdrop.
Goo Goo Dolls seemed to find the right balance of mixing their newer material with the standards that earned them such a following throughout the ’90s. After opening with the 1998 hit “Dizzy,” they let the audience share lead vocals on classics like “Slide,” “Black Balloon,” and “Name,” and on newer singles “Feel The Silence” and “I’ll Stay With You.” The end of the show provided the best highlights, as they closed with sweeping anthems “Better Days” and “Iris” (maybe one of the best 1-2 arena ballad punches there are) and the new hit, “Let Love In.” The encore was short and sweet, as Rzeznik crooned through just two songs over his acoustic guitar, including their now-famous cover of Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit.”
Newcomers Augustana, a young five-piece outfit hailing from Chicago to St. Louis to LA, opened the show to a crowd that was surprisingly familiar with their music. Their piano-infused rock (think Five For Fighting meets The Fray) kept the crowd pretty engaged. They played a slightly longer-than-normal opening set, closing with their soon-to-be hit single, “Boston,” which ignited the crowd.
Even though Goo Goo Dolls have seen better days, playing much larger venues a decade ago, they’ve still maintained enough fan loyalty to thrill a small arena full of fans in a rural town in the dead of winter.
– Carter Moss