Goo Goo Dolls Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion June 27, 2014
"Darling, I'm sorry," the Goo Goo Dolls' frontman John Rzeznik said from the Woodlands Pavilion stage Friday night, addressing a young woman he had just publically chastised for being on her phone during his band's performance.
"I just want you to have a good time tonight," he continued. "So this song is for you."
He then began strumming his acoustic guitar, and the opening chords to 1995's breakthrough hit "Name" echoed through the amphitheater as the crowd roared its approval.
Then Rzeznik abruptly stopped playing.
"How old are you, darling?" he asked the girl. A few moments of silence later, he exclaimed, "Fifteen? JESUS."
"Awwwwww," cooed a woman nearby. "She's a baaaaaaby."
The front man and co-vocalist turned his back to the crowd and walked away in an attempt to collect himself. Strolling back to the microphone a second later, he wore a smirk of self-assuredness.
"So do you know what your parents were doing to this song before you were born?"
As fans applauded and laughed, a few of them turned to one another with open mouths, silently relaying the message, "Oh no, he didn't." It was by far the funniest moment all evening, and it conveyed an eagerness that had otherwise been missing from the night's entertainment.
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At nearly 30 years old, the Goo Goo Dolls are comprised of only two of three original three members, and their concerts now consist of peppering an otherwise forgettable set list with a hit song here and there.
In between the radio singles, the night consisted of quite a few lesser-known fillers.
Not much about their sound has changed in the past two decades. Instead, the group has cashed in on euphoria, nostalgia and a sound that has been refined over time.
Absent from the equation Friday night, however, was any hint of passion. On their older albums, Rzeznik's voice soared high and Robby Takac's raspy vocals provided a distinctive tone for alternative songs.
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Instead, Rzeznik allowed his fans to do most of the legwork Friday night, sidestepping well-known choruses and altering the tone of nearly every song fans hold so dear.
Wistfulness aside, the Goo Goo Dolls sound isn't bad, but it isn't what it once was either.
Personal Bias: Dizzy Up the Girl still holds a special place in my heart, as it was one of the first albums I ever purchased. Sixteen years removed, those songs still resonate with quite a few fans, myself included.
Random Notebook Dump: Some of the kids in attendance were younger than the band.
Overheard in the Crowd: Most of the crowd cheered when Rzeznik said, "It's like we're old friends," but a woman standing just in front of me leaned to her friend and stressed it further, "Really, really old friends."
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