The Goo Goo Dolls bring back the ‘90s in ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ tour

Goo Goo Dolls /Courtesy

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Past the crowd of middle-aged diehard fans stood five men ready to reminisce and perform songs that are now more than 20 years old. The Goo Goo Dolls have always cascaded on and off of the top music charts, starting with songs such as “Iris” or the more modern “So Alive.” But on the stage of The Fillmore, underneath a warm spotlight, an entirely different sound came from the band.

While the Goo Goo Dolls play as pop rock on the radio, the rest of their repertoire is straight-up rock ‘n’ roll. With the “Dizzy Up the Girl” tour, the group was able to show fans that throughout the years of different sounds and different hits, it was still the same rock band from Buffalo, New York.

The band’s lineup was, for the most part, a good mix between its hardcore rock songs and its popular radio bops. There did come times when the transitions between songs or the organization of the set list seemed irregular, however. For example, the crowd-favorite song “Iris” was followed by an unfamiliar song called “Extra Pale,” killing the hype created by the preceding classic. Yet the Goo Goo Dolls made up for these interestingly chosen transitions by pouring their heart out into every song, with plenty of guitar and bass solos to boot.

Once the band concluded performing Dizzy Up the Girl in its entirety, the lead singer John Rzeznik got his time to shine further with a couple of soft solo songs. Many great Goo Goo Dolls hits were played, including “Better Days,” “Sympathy” and “Come To Me.” The lead singer made an active effort to personalize this part of the concert, even talking about his wife, who inspired a lot of his songs. The audience responded with “oohs” and “aws.”

What wasn’t as cute was when John Rzeznik forgot the lyrics to his first solo performance of the night.

After the first verse of “Better Days,” the singer continued to play the guitar without singing, admitting to the audience that he forgot the words. While the admission was appreciated, it was still an awkward blunder. About 30 seconds later, the artist was back on track, but for those 30 seconds of strumming, audience members were left in a state of confusion.

Artists make mistakes, and while this was slightly upsetting, especially to those who really enjoy the song, Rzeznik was able to recover well. The rest of the band shortly reappeared, and the background image projected behind the musicians, which was originally of the album cover for Dizzy Up the Girl, now simply read “goo goo dolls.” This was a great transition into “Lucky Star” — a mix of what the band does best: pop and rock ‘n’ roll.

The concert highlighted the band’s talent as a transcendence through time. Through a sea of iPhones and cheers stood a single lighter, which one fan kept lit throughout the entire set. This single lighter stood as a great metaphor for the band’s timeless feel. Regardless of its history, its songs remain classics, and its fans remain faithful. Nothing will dull the group’s light. Except a guitar chord that Rzeznik managed to trip over in the last 20 minutes of the set. He recovered well, however, just as he had with the earlier mishap.

The members of the band displayed great talent in myriad guitar, synth and drum solos. The Goo Goo Dolls are, without a doubt, a talented group. Each member displayed his skills and seemed genuinely invested in every song regardless of the varying genres. The soft songs were powerfully moving, and the rock songs were wildly crazy. One audience member yelled to the band, “This is your best concert.”

The Goo Goo Dolls’ “Dizzy Up the Girl” tour displayed the band’s history of hits beautifully and reminded the world that it is possible for a band to cover multiple genres both on the radio and in its lesser-known repertoire. In the words of “Iris,” the band members “just want you to know who (they) are.” And who they are is a killer rock band with everlasting hits and a wide variety of tracks.

Contact Samantha Banchik at [email protected].