Goo Goo Dolls with Phillip Phillips Review
July 21st at Stir Cove
Review by: Pat James
Summertime concerts outdoors are always a good idea, even when temps are well over 100. This was certainly the case when 90’s chart toppers The Goo Goo Dolls came through town. Joined this time by Phillip Phillips, fans young and old braved the heat and came out in droves. Only a little daunted by said heat, I was among that drove and found myself enjoying the show more than expected.
First up was Phillips, who cut his teeth in the music biz via America’s Got Talent & then by winning American Idol in 2012. Now, after releasing two full length albums, kidney surgery and a wedding, Phillips is back on tour and preparing to release his third studio album. Historically, I’ve never been a huge fan of the music that comes out of American Idol, but I have to admit to being fairly impressed with Phillips and his band. The crowd was definitely into it, singing along with many of his songs. Phillips definitely has a strong voice, but his band makes him shine. He has put together a nice touring ensemble who I hope he keeps around for a while.
Next came the Goo Goo Dolls. With only 2 original members still with the band, John Rzeznik (vocals, guitar) and Robby Takac (vocal, bass), I expected their sound to be considerably different. That was not the case as the band tore through all their hits and even some new music from their recently release “You Should Be Happy” EP. With the fairly recent “in thing” of older bands reuniting for large tours, many seem to get a little stale. That was not the case with the Goo Goo Dolls. Rzeznik & Takac were able to make 20+ year old songs and make them feel fresh and relevant. This, to me, is a testament to the staying power of 90’s music. A time when musicians seemed to be making music for themselves and not so much for the masses.
Joined on this tour by Brad Fernquist (guitar, mandolin), Korel Tunador (keys, guitar, sax) and Craig Macintyre (drums, percussion), the band has seemed to reinvent itself without sacrificing their body of work. The mix of old and new was more than enough to keep the capacity crowd engaged and entertained (with only a small group heading for the exits after playing their big hit “Iris’). My only complaint would be with the light show, which to me, was a bit much. The right balance of lights in a good show can be a tough nut to crack. Not enough leaves things a little bland and uninspired, but too much can definitely be a detriment to the crowds enjoyment. The latter seemed to be the case here. As I found out, there is such thing as too many lights. The band, at times, seemed to be drowning in some of the larger lights and some of the smaller lights seemed to be overshadowed by the rest. While not enough to leave a bad taste in my mouth for the entire show, it was still a little distracting.
Click the following link to see the gallery from the show: http://nightlifeco.com/omaha/gallery/goo-goo-dolls-w-phillip-phillips