As I walked past the queue of people stretching right down Oxford Road Manchester, a queue of people all waiting for the doors to open, all looking forward to one thing an exhilarating evening of live music with American rock band The Goo Goo Dolls. Formed in 1986, they gained international fame in the 1990s and are known for their alternative rock sound and heart-string-pulling ballads.
As I walked into the Manchester Academy, it was already pretty much full, and even though the main reason for being here tonight was the Dolls, there was a bonus to tonight’s proceeding, and it came in the form of tonight’s support band, Welsh hard rockers Those Damn Crows formed in Bridgend. The band’s lineup consists of Shane Greenhall on vocals, Ian “Shiner” Thomas on guitar, Ronnie Huxford on drums, Lloyd Wood on bass, and David Winchurch on guitar.
Those Damn Crows have built their reputation on their powerful and energetic live shows, they play rock, hard rock and tonight it was loud, heavy guitar riffs were bouncing off the walls, bass and drums smashing into your chest like a clenched fist, big fat chorus’s and emotionally charged lyrics. Some of tonight’s stand-out tracks were “Sin On Skin,” “Blink of an Eye,” “This Time I’m Ready,” and “See You Again.“
Those Damn Crows are an anthemic, hard-hitting rock band with a difference. throw in their dedicated fan base, and relentless work ethic and the Crows will continue to make big waves in the rock music scene.
1/ Who Did It
2/ Sin on Skin
3/ Man On Fire
4/ Blink of an Eye
5/ This Time I’m Ready
6/ See You Again
Anticipation fills the air as fans eagerly await the appearance of the Dolls and the venue is completely packed, I believe it was a sellout. and the heat is beyond stifling, The stage setup is simply a retro 70s Goo Goo Dolls Backdrop.
And then the crowd erupts as the band takes the stage, and kicks straight into the electrifying “Yeah I Like You” before Rzeznik addresses the crowd, “Manchester it’s great to be back, it’s been a while, this is always the loudest crowd we have on any tour, thank you for coming out”.
As you always get at a Goo Goo Dolls concert, they deliver a dynamic and energetic performance filled with a mix of their greatest hits and new material. Lead vocalist and guitarist, John Rzeznik, runs the show with the bassist and vocalist, Robby Takac, along with a superb supporting touring band.
“Big Machine“, “Black Balloon”, along with the superb “Miracle Pill”, showcase their musical prowess and stage presence. John Rzeznik’s powerful vocals, coupled with his skilful guitar playing, create an immersive atmosphere. Robby Takac adds his energetic bass playing and occasional lead vocal, bringing a dynamic element to the band’s sound.
As the mammoth setlist develops and grows, “Stay with You“, and “Better Days“, majestically make way for the final track of the initial set, which was “Broadway“. Throughout the show, it’s the band’s connection with the crowd and equally the crowd’s response to the connection that defines a Goo Goo Goo Dolls performance. There was even the time to take a video call to a member of the crowds mum. This is what gigs are made for?
As the concert nears its end, the atmosphere reaches its peak with a memorable encore performance. The band returns to the stage, beginning with a powerful rendition of “Naked”, and as anticipated the one they all came for, the icing on the cake, “Iris”, which is one of those songs done live that can transcend from the most intimate setting to vast arenas, tonight they created an intimate and personal moment to a very delighted and enthusiastic fanbase.
Tonight, Goo Goo Dolls delivered an exciting blend of rock anthems, heartfelt ballads, and an engaging live experience. It was an opportunity to witness the band’s musical talent, and how they connect with their passionate fan base, creating lasting memories of a night filled with great music.
1/ Yeah, I Like You
5/ Big Machine
6/ Here Is Gone
7/ Black Balloon
9/ Life’s a Message
10/ Miracle Pill
11/ So Alive
12/ Let Love In
15/ Going Crazy
16/ January Friend
17/ Bringing On the Light
18/ Stay With You
19/ Better Days
FOLLOW THE GOO GOO DOLLS
FOLLOW THOSE DAMN CROWS