LIVE: Goo Goo Dolls – 17/11/10 – O2 Academy, Leicester

On 17th November, for the first time ever, Leicester was treated to a visit from Buffalo-based rockers, the Goo Goo Dolls. Touring in support of their first album in four years, Something for the Rest of Us, excitement levels were running high throughout the two-month-old O2 Academy. Warming up the crowd were Unkle Bob, a reasonably soft rock band who were admittedly more exciting live than on record. Not a stunningly good band by any measure, they were nonetheless generally well received by the crowd.

Due to the Academy being used for club nights a fairly early finish was expected – fortunately this was made up for by starting relatively early, with the Goo Goo Dolls hitting the stage at about 8:50. As expected, they opened with “Sweetest Lie”, the excellent first track from the latest album. Fortunately the crowd seemed to both know and appreciate the song and as such provided a superb reception for the band. The set list as a whole was a definite highlight of the evening. There was, predictably, a healthy supply of newer songs; all of these went down well – the crowd singing along to every track. Incredibly impressive was the fact that even if you hadn’t heard the new album, you’d still find yourself singing along to seemingly almost every song. It sums up the lasting legacy of the band when you discover you still know all the words to a song you haven’t listened to for a while. One of the most memorable parts of the evening came in the form of the crowd’s rendition of the band’s most famous song, “Iris”. Vocalist John Rzeznik requested they take over and that was that; it was a truly beautiful and moving moment. Rzeznik, along with bassist Robby Takac, were both on excellent form, helping to maintain the electric atmosphere through their fantastic interaction with the audience. The group as a whole were very tight musically – every song being pulled off flawlessly.

It says a lot about a band, where a review of one of their shows has no negative points at all. This is most certainly the case here – it was a truly incredible performance by a truly incredible band. Rarely are groups so engaging, musically interesting and just generally enjoyable. It’s always nice to see a band who’ve been around for a while, prove they still have it and prove they’re still relevant to the music scene of today.