By Thomas S. Orwat Jr.
Buffalo, NY – The multi-platinum, music kings of Buffalo, NY, the Goo Goo Dolls returned home to perform their first night of three consecutive sold-out shows on their ‘Dizzy Up The Girl’ 20th Anniversary’ tour. The three shows in Buffalo, NY are being filmed for a future feature.
This highly anticipated performance certainly lived up to the hype, and was extra special, because it was in a much more intimate venue – Shea’s, which has a capacity about 3000, as opposed to were the band usually plays – Darien Lake PAC, with capacity of 21,000.
The Goo Goo Dolls hit the stage at 8:30 pm, 30 minutes late. The audience was getting a bit restless, but when the house lights went down, and the band kicked into the first track, “Dizzy” the audience put down their phones and stood up from their seats, and for the next 2 hours remained standing and cheering on their hometown heroes.
Band members, John Rzeznik (guitar/vocals), Robby Takac (bass/vocals) along with hired guns Brad Fernquist (guitar), Craig Macintyre -(drums) and new member Jim McGorman (keyboards) were focused, energetic and musically brilliant through their set, which consisted of the entire ‘Dizzy up The Girl’ released, plus a second set of hits mixed with many rarely played fan favorites.
With the first half of the show dedicated to the ‘Dizzy Up The Girl,’ which was released on September 22, 1998 and sold over 4 million, and consisted of 5 chart singles, you could really sense that most people in the audience were familiar with not only the hits, but the seldom played songs from that release as well.
Watching the band perform the entire record live gave a new appreciation to the brilliance of the well crafted songs and profound lyrics. The first track, “Dizzy” followed up by the radio smashes “Slide” and “Broadway” sent the audience, which consisted of fans from young to old, into a near frenzy.
Goo Goo Doll’s songwriting genius, John Rzeznik, is a true perfectionist and was especially intense during this evening. Although, he seemed a bit irritated by some issues he had with the monitor mix and a missed cue by one of the hired hands, he delivered an unforgettable and passionate performance both vocally and musically.
And while Rzeznik played the role of the focused leader, Takac was the more jovial one, bouncing and running around the stage, making funny faces and playing and singing his heart out. His raspy voice is the perfect companion to Rzeznik’s, and his songs, while not the huge hits, are an integral part of the magic of the Goo Goo Dolls live.
The Goo Goo Dolls have come a long way since they formed in 1986. It took 7 years before that had their first hit, with “Name,” and during that time they came very close to breaking up, many times. But, like the great people of Buffalo, NY Rzeznik and Takac are extremely resilient, and it’s played off. They have remained relevant and are one of the most accomplished and important bands of the last 25 years.