Goo Goo Dolls Bring 20 years of Classics to Manchester,s Albert Halls

For those who have not been initiated into the world of the Goo Goo Dolls. The band hail from Buffalo New York and came together in 1986.

John Rzeznik (vocals, guitar) and Robby Takac (vocals, bass), have been the ever present founding members of the group. It has been a 20-year career that has brought us to the bands 11th studio album and a 20th-anniversary tour.

This is a night not so much for the casual coinsure, this is for the loyal fans of the band, each of whom has paid nearly £30 to see their heroes perform. This was always going to be a sellout show.

Support for the night came from ex-Tribes front man and vocalist Johnny Lloyd. With a set that had a mixture of Pixies, REM and occasionally a vocal attribution to Nirvana, Johnny gave a set and a performance that should see some critical acclaim for his latest “Dreamland “EP.

Rzeznik opens with “Over and Over, followed by Long way down and the ever so popular, “Slide”, judging by the vocal accompaniment of the crowd.

As with most Bands that hop across the pond, there is a professional edge embedded within their performance, The Goo Goo Dolls are not about thrashing out tunes, its more about making that connection, Through Melodic and beautifully crafted songs that were enthusiastically received by a crowd, mostly couples who had come to embrace a band who deliver everything in abundance.

Big Machine”, “Rebel Beat” and “Here is Gone”, bring band and audience together, Rzeznik changes guitars on every song, Takac constantly bounding from the back of the stage pumping out the Bass. As the opening chords ring out hailing the start of “Black Balloon” brings the atmosphere up a notch, the guys working both sides of the stage as the consummate professional’s they are.

Smash back” and “Bring on the light” brings us to the half way point of tonight’s proceedings.

Rzeznik enlightens the audience of how to become a successful band, you don’t need talent, a good voice or even instruments he explains, after a night on the weed, he decided to form a band, so he had the drugs and Takac had the wheels, off they went driving around and exchanging weed for guitars, amps anything they could get together.

This allowed him to pen his first song one that has been at every gig in their 20-year career, “Name”, was the 10th song of the evening, received like a long-lost friend.

The Classics keep coming, “So alive” and “Naked” precede “Souls in the machine” and “Better days”,

Already there sees Takacs vocals in full flow, it’s rare for a band to have too distinct and excellent vocalists taking turns to belt out the hits, next up was a cover of, Princes, “Never take the place of your man”.

No time to rest “Come to me”, The Excellent “Pin” and “Stay with you” show why the band are so loved by their fans, subtle guitar work entwined with the melodic bass line both enriched by vocal delivery that perfectly  delivers on every level.

Up next  the song most people recognize as the group’s greatest hit, “Iris” up in the balcony looking down to the couples on the floor, each couple arms wrapped around each other, all clearly lost in a moment, every word received as if Rzeznik had given each and every couple their own personal performance, each line loving sang to each other, not many artists have that power, the only one I can think of is “One Day like this” by Elbow.

“Broadway” then “Long way home” bring to the end a 20 song blast from the past, a musical journey many dream of, but only a few actually do.

If as hinted the Goo Goo Dolls are coming back next year, it is a must see show.