Goo Goo Dolls at Rock City

Dolls bring the house down with classic 90s power ballads.


“This song’s probably older than most of you in here” called out Goo Goo Dolls’ frontman John Rzeznik as he dived into the main riff for Cuz You’re Gone  – a song released in February 1993 – to a packed out Rock City.

It’s easy to forget just how old Goo Goo Dolls are.  The New York rockers have recorded ten studio albums over twenty-five years before they hit the big time in 1998 with the release of their single Iris for the popular City of Angels soundtrack.

They might be old but Goo Goo Dolls have Instagram

They might be old, but Goo Goo Dolls do have Instagram

Even easier to forget is that Goo Goo Dolls aren’t just a one-hit wonder. While it can’t be denied that last night’s penultimate track Iris  had everyone blubbering in the Rock City balcony, Rzeznik and co. belied their age with fresh-sounding revamps of other old classics.

Last night’s show opener and former chart topping (in Canada) single Slide had a brand-new stomping bass-line that raised the tempo right from the off; Black Balloon, taken from the same 1998 album Dizzy Up the Girl, soared to a violin-fuelled chorus that provided a real mid-show highlight; breakthrough 1995 hit Name sounded updated, modern and punchy.

Throughout these fan favourites, Rzeznik was hardly even needed, as his loyal fans belted out the words in his stead. The show faltered, however, when Goo pulled out tracks from their latest album, Magnetic.

John Rzeznik can save his voice, Rock City carried him through last night

In particular, new lead single Rebel Sound failed to convince a visibly disgruntled audience, with its shouty, cringingly tropical chorus contrasting uncomfortably with the fifteen songs that were played around it.

Luckily, Rebel Sound was a distant memory by the show’s encore – a cover of Supertramp’s Give a Little Bit (a song that is definitely older than most UoN students) – leaving Goo Goo Dolls’ first stop on their UK tour a highly satisfactory one.