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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Goo Goo Dolls play an intimate show in Syracuse

What: Concert Review
Who: Goo Goo Dolls
When: April 7th, 2014
Where: The Oncenter Carrier Theater, Syracuse, NY
Why: Beginning date of the band's acoustic sessions

Last night billboard ranking artists and gold platinum album sellers The Goo Goo Dolls performed in front of an audience that could be the size of a large house party in Syracuse, NY. The band played at the Oncenter's Carrier Theater, one of three buildings part of the entertainment complex in downtown Syracuse. The small theater holds a maximum of 486 people, and all those seats were completely filled for the concert Monday night. The show had sold out in less than five minutes, with no big surprise there considering how small the venue was.
Syracuse got a very special concert that night, despite the weather being miserable and a complete downpour and cold outside. This was the first date of the Goo Goo Doll's acoustic tour, and one of the smallest venues the band had ever played in a long time. To be able to see such a popular and lovable band in this intimate setting where every seat in the house was superb was a true enlightening experience.
The crowd was in for a real treat.
Opening the concert was all Asian group Run River North, from Los Angeles where the Goo Goos now live. The all Asian young band was able to hype of the crowd with their slower and soothing tunes complete with two violins. Despite mixing up Syracuse to Albany, the lead singer was able to rebound with several jokes that got the crowd cheering and much more accepting. The indie folk group's music sounded like a softer and more folky blend of Syracuse's own Ra Ra Riot.
Lead singer John Rzeznik graced the stage first with his acoustic guitar, getting the crowd going with hit song Symphony. During the beginning of the show, his figure dominated the show as he warmed up to the crowd when eventually all the other members of the band, including Robbie came on stage to join him.
Later, it was a please to see the Goo Goo's inviting the opening band to join and play with them and contribute violins to several of their acoustic songs. By the middle of the concert, it was clear that the focus of the room had switched from Johnny to Robbie, who had even sang a few songs by himself. The crowd seemed to love him with many shouting out his name and cheering him on.
Both Robbie and Johnny were equally inspiring and great to listen to as they told story after story of the band.
Being at the concert last night was like watching a VH1 story tellers in person. It was just an incredible experience hearing how the band got together and how they wrote each one of their songs. It wasn't like how most concerts where the band may tell you how they wrote one or two songs. John and Robbie told everyone how every song they played was written. While most of the inspiration of their songs were love stories, some of them were a bit different, including some tunes based from their old neighborhoods around Buffalo and living there.
Musically, the band was great, strumming along their acoustic guitars throughout the night. Even at the end of the last song, an hour and 45 minutes later, they didn't seem tired at all showing the group has endless energy. Each guitar and musical instrument you could hear splendidly, as well as vocals. There was nothing wrong sound wise, which for being such a small venue, there shouldn't have been anyways.
The crowd was at times a bit harsh with shouting demands, but Johnny and Robbie were able to take the heat and even play off of it well. Some members of the crowd, mostly younger women got up and actually danced, which was a pleasure to see in such a small theater.
"We know most of our songs are about love and attract tons of chics to our concert," lead singer John Rzeznik told the crowd in the beginning of the show. "But, let's be honest, even though we love you guys, we'd much rather play in front of a room full of girls any day."
By the end of the night, everyone knew who the band was a lot better than the beginning of it. It was also good hearing their experiences in Buffalo. "Syracuse, let's see," Robbie said at the beginning, "Is the Lost Horizon still here?" To which the crowd answered, yes, of course! Even now that there famous and headline Darien Lake and SPAC each year, it's nice to know the Goo Goo Dolls can remember something a lil' about Syracuse.

Grade: A-

Set list:
1) Sympathy
2) 2 Days in February
3) We'll be here (When you're gone)
4) Name
5) Slide
6) Already There
7) We are the normal
8) Black Balloon
9) Come to me
10) Rebel Beat
11) Can't let it go
12) Think about me
13) Better Days
14) Bringing on the Light
15) Happiest of Days
16) Slow it Down
17) Broadway
18) Acoustic #3
19) Iris

20) Become

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