The Goo Goo Dolls
Live at the Refectory on 29th September 2006
Reviewed by HelenB on 8th October 2006
For a band that's been together for over 20 years, the Goo Goo Dolls show no signs of loosening their grip on the music industry, and what a relief, as that would be a travesty. Their gig at the Refectory in Leeds was class. They played a good combination of material from old and new albums. The band's current album 'Let Love in' is undoubtedly a lot more commercial than their old material, with songs like 'Better Days' replacing the more unconventional 'Up Yours' type tracks on past albums, but they didn't shy away from going back to their roots on stage, and played some of their more punky tracks, alongside their slower, more emotional numbers.
I was impressed by Johnny Rezeznik's on-stage charisma and his rapport with the audience. He had the women in the crowd eating out the palm of his hand, as he appealed to their vanity by commenting on the beauty of Leeds girls. He even managed to fit in time for some jokes about the moral laxity of George Bush (He did a particularly good impression of the repugnant human being).
There were a couple of things that slightly soured my enjoyment of the evening though, but it was nothing to do with the music, as that was awesome throughout. The one thing that really annoyed me was the screams of 'Play Iris' that were coming from two airheads standing behind me. That was clearly the only song they knew (probably from Ronan Keatings's cover, as they did look like teenyboppers who were
trying to be cool, but failing quite badly). They couldn't even be quietened down by evil glares in their direction and my informing shout of 'They've already played it, you wallies.' Fortunately though, they weren't near enough the front of the stage for the band to hear them, so hopefully, their view of the Leeds crowd will remain
positive, and encourage them to come back again in future.
I'd also like to take time to mention the support band The Tenderbox, as they were pretty damn good, and their enthusiasm for the evening was obviously catching, as they managed to get the audience clapping along to songs that most members of the crowd were probably unfamiliar with. The band were clearly giving it their all, as they were dripping sweat all over the stage. In normal circumstances, that might be viewed as quite gross, but given the circumstances, and the quality guitar playing that was going on, I think it's forgiveable. Their best song was clearly 'Mister Sister', as it's one of those tunes that stays stuck in your head days after hearing it.
All in all, it was a quality gig, and a good start to the band's UK tour.
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