It was a perfect evening for an outdoor show in Charlotte as fans of the Goo Goo Dolls packed the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Ampitheatre for a night of rock and roll to remember. It’s kind of a summer tradition for the band to make a tour stop in the Queen City and the crowd was eager to see this show on the “Long Way Home” Summer Tour. A lot of Charlotteans are transplants from the Buffalo, NY area, hometown of guitarist and vocalist John Rzeznik and bassist and vocalist Robby Takac, and there were a sea of Buffalo Bills shirts adorning the audience.
As the band hit the stage with “Tattered Edge/You Should Be Happy” off their latest EP, it was clear that they were on top of their game. Both Rzeznik and Takac were all over the stage interacting with the audience. The sound quality was top notch with touring members Brad Fernquist on guitar, Craig Macintyre on drums, and Korel Tunador on keyboards and guitar helping to round out the sound. The audience was treated to a terrific light show with LED’s changing colors throughout the set. The Pride parade occurred earlier that day in uptown Charlotte and Rzeznik took a moment to say how fantastic the parade was and how beautiful all the buildings looked as rainbow lights filled the uptown skyline. The mood was fun and energetic both in the crowd and on the stage and made for a very enjoyable evening. The setlist was heavy with new material with five songs from their “Boxes” album and a couple from their latest EP. Of course, the biggest reaction from the crowd came with some of the biggest hits like “Slide” and “Name” with Rzeznik commenting that the song was for all those husbands and boyfriends that got dragged to the show that night. A highlight was “Lucky Star” from their “Superstar Car Wash” record with Takac on lead vocals and a poignant live version of “Bringing on the Light.” John acknowledged his Buffalo roots throughout the set telling stories of writing songs in his apartment and having to shovel through five feet of snow to get to work. The cheers were loud and hands went up in the air when he asked if there was anyone from Buffalo here tonight before launching into “Broadway” which featured Rzeznik on
harmonica and a tender sax solo from the multi-talented Korel Tunador. Closing out the set was their biggest hit “Iris” as Rzeznik said, “You all knew it was coming, here it is.” After exiting the stage for only a minute or two, the band came back for just one more song finishing the night off with a one song encore “Boxes” as giant light up beach balls were released into the air from the rear of the arena.
Nobody could have asked for a more perfect night. The Goo Goo Dolls rocked the house in fine fashion leaving everyone with pleasant memories and anticipating next summer’s show.
Tattered Edge/You Should Be Happy
Over and Over
Free of Me
Here is Gone
Come To Me
Bringing on the Light
Long Way Home
We would like to thank Peter Quinn of BB Gun Press for the credentials to review the show.