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Story and photos by Kate SeesholtzIts hard to believe that the Goo Goo Dolls have been playing music for over two decades, but Monday night's show in Nashville proved they haven't lost their edge. The crowds (and the band) may be a little older, but they still screamed just as loud when lead singer Johnny Rzeznik flashed his famous smile. The band played songs from their entire career, leading the majority of the audience on a musical journey of their youth.
The Goo Goo Dolls brought out hits "Slide" and "Big Machine" early on, with the band making sure to connect with every part of the Ryman Auditorium. He took time to joke with the couples in the front row, saying "we all know that getting groped in public by someone you truly love is a good thing." The night took a more serious turn when Rzeznik encouraged the crowd to sign a petition online against big corporations' control and political fundraising, called "Get Money Out." It brought mixed feelings from the audience, understandable since the Goo Goo Dolls are closer to the top 1% than most.
Singles "Iris" and "Black Balloon" brought the biggest reactions from the crowd, while their earlier songs, voiced by former lead singer and current bassist Robby Takac, left the crowd distracted. With Takac's gritty vocals and unfamiliar songs, the audience seemed more focused on watching Rzeznik float around the stage, than listening to the music. The night was not all about Rzeznik though, as "Broadway" saw extended solos from the other touring members. The Goo Goo Dolls ended with a one-song encore featuring 1995's "Naked." The band may have lost some of their rock star style (Rzeznik sported cargo pants and a plaid shirt), but their talent is undeniable.
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