Surprise! Matchbox Twenty Were Terrible Last Night. The Goo Goo Dolls Were Good, Though.

Categories: Last Night

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The Goo Goo Dolls. Photo by Chapman Baehler

The age old dilemma of having one band on the bill you (kind of, sort of, used to) like and one you (pretty much) hate was thrust upon me Wednesday night at Gexa Energy Pavilion. Back in the early '90s, I found the Goo Goo Dolls to have that same devil-may-care attitude of the Replacements. Sure, Goo music wasn't as interesting as the 'Mats and songwriter/singer John Rzeznick has none of Paul Westerberg's cloy wordplay, but nothing's perfect.

I grew to like the Goo Goo Dolls. I even liked it when they got all emotionally acoustic and scored an unlikely hit with "Name." I even liked it when "Iris" went through the roof even though the movie it was in really sucked. But then every song became a power ballad or a cover of a song that didn't need to be covered. The power ballad well soon ran dry and the most recent releases were catchy at best and vacuous at worst.

See also:
-Q&A: John Rzeznik of the Goo Goo Dolls Has Come a Long Way since Manning a Hot Dog Vending Cart

What about Matchbox Twenty? Music for yuppies was my first inclination. Rob Thomas' vocals always struck me as obnoxious and overwrought, like Eddie Vedder as the president of some frat house in Austin. Some folks claim that the band plays a radio friendly version of grunge. Case closed.

So with temperatures hovering close to 100 and with the lowest expectations imaginable, I made my way to the shade as quickly as possible and prepared for the onslaught.

The Goo Goo Dolls were OK. Equal doses power pop and power balladry, the augmented trio played the expected hits, only a few new songs and that mundane version of Supertramp's "Give a Little Bit" (a song that was mundane when it was first released back in 1977).

And while the new songs sounded better live (especially the single "Rebel Beat"), it was the older tunes that held sway. "Naked," "Another Second Time Around" and "Slide" were performed early in the evening and showed John Rzeznik and crew on top of their game. Looking quite a bit younger than 47, Rzeznik was funny and engaging throughout.

"How are you guys doing out on the lawn?" he asked before strumming the opening chords of "Name." "Out there is where all the interesting shit happens."


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9 comments
RoseRed1791
RoseRed1791

Thanks for this.  I've always found that the Goo Goo Dolls lyrics to be what draw me to their songs.  Even they admit they are not musically gifted.

If you are drawn to the poetry of music, GGD are for you.  I mean really, even their older stuff had a depth, "You know that something I can't touch, I always want it way to much, anyway..."

Everyone knows how that feels... you know?


Anyway, I appreciate your critique.  I thought it to be a fair assessment.

fireflydrew
fireflydrew

Attended the ATLA concert sat night, Goo Goo's started off well then lost all momentum when the bass player Robby was allowed to sing 3 songs. TERRIBLE singing voice! He's great on bass and writes many of their songs, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't let him sing!!! It really diminished our enjoyment of their set.

p.s. MB20 ROCKED as usual! (our fourth concert of theirs).

:(

fireflydrew
fireflydrew

Attended the ATLA concert sat night, Goo Goo's started off well then lost all momentum when the bass player Robby was allowed to sing 3 songs. TERRIBLE singing voice! He's great on bass and writes many of their songs, but PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don't let him sing!!! It really diminished our enjoyment of their set.

p.s. MB20 ROCKED as usual! (our fourth concert of theirs).

Drew

thechitownhustler
thechitownhustler

I think the heat got to you. And I don't mean that any other way than literally. It was nasty, and I think it affected everyone on stage and off. GGD were solid, and Johnny was in a better mood than the multitude of times I've seen them. MB20 was far more impressive than expected. Thomas was in full voice. I came away a bigger fan. Expectations were low, but they impressed.

shirleyujest
shirleyujest

"I thought the whopper was awful.  but the big mac?  oh the big mac! Incredible!!!" And please tell me you didn't just compare the GGD to the replacements. both stinson  bros are rolling over in their graves, and only one is dead.

the validity of your "widespread panic is old" comments is erased by the fact that you went to go see a 47 year old goo goo doll concert. 

and liked it.

(that's right, some of us still remember)

siserv1
siserv1

Were we at same the same concert? GooGoo Dolls were crass and dumb comments mostly. For a newly wed he was insulting to guy who proposed to girlfriend. Match Box Twenty was Fabulous! Rob really puts it all in his performance. Worth the heat & torture to hear Rob Thomas sing. What a super star powerful voice! Gexa is pretty uncomfortable but worth it to hear Rob sing PUSH.

Barf
Barf

It's funny how you try to differentiate one crappy band from another in this article.

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