The Goo Goo Dolls have been mainstays of American alternative rock for two decades now. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of their ground-breaking album, Dizzy Up The Girl, the band has been touring across North America playing the record in full as part of two sets performed for their diehard fans. We caught up with the run as it made its way to a sold out House of Blues in Boston, MA on Wednesday, October 17th.
The queue to get into the venue that night stretched all the way down the street and wrapped around to the next one. As such, the band delayed their start a bit to allow every fan lined up to get in. And it showed–the venue was completely packed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the venue so full! The crowd was a mix of lifelong fans and those who were familiar with the big hits. At last the Goo Goo Dolls emerged, with the cover of Dizzy Up the Girl hanging as a backdrop. The Goo Goo Dolls took stage and opened with the track “Dizzy.” Frontman John Rzeznik took some time to address the momentous record being celebrated on the tour, exclaiming, “This tour is both exciting and sad. It’s exciting because it means the music has held up, but also I’m really old!”
“Slide” into the mellow vibes of the band’s hit single.
The rest of the first set was comprised of the remainder of the record, from start to finish, but tracks “Slide,” “Broadway,” “Black Balloon,” and “Iris,” elicited the biggest responses from the crowd. Rzeznik didn’t shy away from interacting with the exuberant fans, applauding a woman in the front row at one point for knowing all of lyrics to the songs, which he joked proved helpful for when he inevitably forgot the words. He also wasn’t afraid to call out bad behavior, saying to one concert-goer who had been on his phone since the start of the performance, “I applaud you sir for coming out to a concert that you clearly don’t want to be at and probably paid for.”
Following this with an anecdote, “My wife, who is Latina, dragged me to see Enrique Iglesias. I absolutely didn’t want to go, but by the end of the night I was a fan boy! I found myself yelling ‘el guapo!‘ The point I’m trying to make, sir, is it’s a learning experience. You need to open your heart because I’m about to play a song that I know you probably won’t like.” The crowd erupted with laughter at this, cheering Rzeznik on as he proceeded to strum the opening notes to “Black Balloon.”
The second set began in a slightly cringeworthy, yet hilarious way, with only Rzeznik and a wheeled video screen on stage. Rzeznik began by talking about how bands often bring famous guests on stage, but quickly stated how he “hates famous people because they are all obnoxious and annoying.” He then turned on the video screen to introduce the crowd to their only famous friend, which in a strange plot twist was just a pre-recording of Rzeznik himself.
The two Rzezniks’ bickered for a short while in scripted banter, with each one upping the other until finally (the real, not recorded) Rzeznik yelled at his recorded self, “If you really want to go there I can tell everyone how you pissed the bed until you were 15!” The video screen Rzeznik quickly said, “Let’s just play the song!” The two Rzeznik’s then played acoustic duets of the songs “Better Days,” and “Can’t Let It Go.” After the two songs bassist Robby Takac came onto stage and began to hassle Rzeznik (real) saying “I see how it is, you send all the other band members off stage to just play with yourself!”
This is the song “Iris”. If you don’t know it, now you do.
The second set would go on to contain fan-favorites from the albums, Let Love In, Hold Me Up, Superstar Car Wash, A Boy named Goo, Something For the Rest of Us, Boxes, and Gutterflower. It was a perfect representation of the Goo Goo Dolls past and present. They closed out their set with their first big hit, “There You Are,” followed by an encore of “Big Machine” and “Flat Top.” You can catch them on their special tour celebrating 20 years of Dizzy Up The Girl through November 10th. The remaining tour dates are below!
Remaining Tour Dates:
11/01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/03 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theater
11/08 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
11/09 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
11/10 – Las Vegas, NV @The Joint