Concert Review: Goo Goo Dolls, August 8, Budweiser Stage


After a few years away, Goo Goo Dolls were happy to be back in Toronto again.

Sure, it’s a line we’ve heard a fair bit over the last little while as musicians have been making their return to touring, but with the band having roots in Buffalo, it may be that Goo Goo Dolls feel the Toronto connection a little bit more than others might. The band made reference to the fact that they’d been away for a bit a few times during the night, with John Rzeznik joking that he felt hurt that the border to Canada was closed for all that time during the pandemic, adding that he thought about renting a rubber dinghy and rowing it across the Niagara river to get “one of those good Canadian vaccines.”

Robby Takac also made mention during their set of how good it was to be back in Toronto and even reminisced about playing Lee’s Palace before launching into “Lucky Star” off of 1993’s Superstar Carwash, one of a few tunes throughout the night where he would take the lead. It’s kind of weird to think back to that period in the band’s career, a time before they became the masters of the alt rock power ballad and were a Replacements-esque punk band who were also signed to Metal Blade records for a bit. Yes, for a brief moment in time, Goo Goo Dolls were labelmates with the likes of Cryptic Slaughter and Cannibal Corpse. There’s your fun fact of the day.

Touring in advance of their upcoming fourteenth studio album Chaos in Bloom, the band previewed a few songs off of it, including set opener “Yeah I Like You,” a decent bit of power pop that hearkened back a bit to the sound of those earlier albums. Of course, the biggest crowd reaction of the night came for the hits, and Goo Goo Dolls certainly have their fair share of those, with tunes like “Slide”, “Black Baloon”, “Name” and “Iris” inspiring big singalongs throughout the evening.

Surprisingly though, the band didn’t save “Iris” for last, opting to close out their set with two more songs after that one, including a cover of Tom Petty’s “Runnin’ Down A Dream.” An unexpected move perhaps, but maybe they’re just being courteous to fans who want to make their exit a little early to beat the traffic. If so, that’s fair. After all, the band may sing “I’d give up forever to touch you,” but some may not want to give up that few minutes head start on their commute.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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