Goo Goo Dolls with Lifehouse at the Tweeter Center on July 22

A review of the Goo Goo Dolls with Lifehouse at the Tweeter Center on July 22, 2007

, Staff Writer

After what many felt was an uninspired performance the last time they were in town, the Goo Goo Dolls returned the area on Sunday night to rock the Tweeter Center.

It was show that displayed the band’s ever-adorning fanbase, which surprisingly seems to get younger as the band gets older. An abundance of teenagers who were barely through middle school packed the venue (probably due to affordable ticket prices) and combined with the older fans helped propel the band’s set. Consequently, the Buffalo natives were tight on stage and sounded better than ever with a breadth of songs that highlighted the talented trio’s twenty-year career.&

Goo Goo Dolls hit the stage running with “Long Way Down” off A Boy Named Goo. From that point on, there was a little bit for everyone. In an effort to keep things interesting for their fans (and keep themselves on their toes), the band has been changing the set list nearly every show, adding songs to the line-up that have not been played live in recent memory. Boston was no different as they shifted effortlessly between the distinctive facets of the band’s personality.

Led by frontman Johnny Rzeznik, ‘the Boys named Goo’ played a range of songs that appealed to fans both young and old alike. There were classic hits such as “Black Balloon,” “Slide” and “All Eyes On Me” off their 1998 multi-platinum selling album Dizzy Up The Girl, and new fan favorites, “Become” and “Stay With You” off the 2005 album Let Love In. The set also included brand new material with “Before It’s Too Late,” the love theme from this summer’s big screen mega hit Transformers.&

For the good or the bad, it would not be a Goo Goo Dolls show if bassist Robby Takac’s vocals were not featured in at least one song. Unfortunately, on Sunday night, Boston got three. Takac’s punk rock vocals are absolutely a nod to the band’s early days; however once he took command of the microphone, many in the audience took the opportunity to head to the concessions. While Takac’s rough voice and frankly unkempt appearance cannot compare Rzeznik’s good looks and smooth voice, he does at least bring enthusiasm to his performance. However, for most attendees, his three-song set of “Lucky Star," “January," and "Slave Girl" brought the show to a dreary lull.

Clearly influenced by their time on the road with Bon Jovi, the 75 minute set cumulated with the highlight of the night, a “Livin’ On A Prayer”-like sing-a-long of the huge hit “Iris” – in which Rzeznik barely sang one bar of the song. After a brief break, the boys returned to the stage to perform a two-song encore that began with their top ten hit ‘Broadway’ and ended surprisingly with a cover of the Tommy Petty and the Heartbreakers classic “American Girl.” Whilst the boys put their on unique spin on the classic, the younger crowd, perhaps expecting the band’s standard cover of “Give a Little Bit,” took an opportunity to get a jump on the traffic.&

While several of their big hits, such as “Big Machine” and “Here Is Gone,” were conspicuously absent from the set list, the show was nonetheless a return to the classic Goo Goo Dolls as the boys clearly are enjoying “Better Days”.&

In contrast to the Goo Goo Dolls, Lifehouse’s hour-long set primarily consisted of songs from their recently released 4th studio album, Who We Are. The LA based group was all business as they opened with their hit single “Spin” off 2002’s Stanley Climbfall and quickly moved on to their number one hit “Hanging by a Moment”.&

With two of their major hits behind them the group, led by singer-songwriter Jason Wade, played the majority of what has potential to be another platinum selling album. Highlights include their new single, “The First Time,” the love song, “Whatever It Takes,” the quirky,” The Joke,” and the album’s title track. While Lifehouse did play the wedding song of the century, “You and Me,” towards the end of the set, it was their yet to be released song “Broken” that closed out the set. The ballad, inspired by a friend on dialysis, left Wade spent but the audience wanting more.
MySpace darling Colbie Caillat opened the show in support of her debut album, Coco. While refreshing, the "Bubbly" California native\’s laid-back sound (think Norah Jones meets Jack Johnson) and lack of stage presence did little to impress the crowd. That being said, Caillet did boast some impressive vocals that proved her potential.

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