red lights

Dolled Up and No Place to Go

Goo Goo Dolls / Third Eye Blind
Marcus Amphitheater
Milwaukee, WI
Aug. 6, 2002
Goo Goo Dolls
The Goo Goos team-up for some high moments.

Review by Max Jensen
Photos by Phil Bonyata

The Goo Goo Dolls set-up their temporary music shop at the Marcus Amphitheater Tuesday night and hoped the listeners would buy into their somewhat generic, but at times spirited, brand of rock n' roll.
Goo Goo DollsAs the backlit curtains fell to the ground, the band blew off the dust, gave a collective banshee call and decided to start things off right. "January Friend" had bassist Robby Takac chop the crunchy chords down like a hungry lumberjack finishing off the last giant redwood knowing that mama's flapjacks are waiting on the table. Lead singer Johnny Rzeznik, yesterdays sex symbol du jour, looked the part with signature spiky hair (surprisingly covered up by a bandana), square jaw and 1000 watt smile, swooned the mostly female audience with "Slide, " Black Balloon" and "Way Down Now" with his raspy, but finely tuned voice.
It was these middle-of-the-road numbers that typifies most of the Goo Goo Dolls music. No danger or kinetic energy, but can be slightly sinful like the guilt men have over leaving the toilet seat up. There are strong melodies without the hooks that are needed to keep you wanting more. Songwriter Rzeznik keeps the lyrics at a level that mostly inspires girls who have yet to discover the concept of substance over style. "Name" came off surprisingly fresh and inspired. The rhythm guitar fed off of Takac's deep tonal ramblings. Rzeznik's voice started warbling off the down beats until the song tore off the chains of mediocrity and declared it's artistic freedom.
And there's the rub.
One minute they're doing Bon Jovi lite and the next their kicking some hard layered rock n' roll.
What's it gonna be boys? A lifetime of county fairs or maybe a new path to rock respectability?
Openers Third Eye Blind were simply bland and uninspired. Lead singer Stephan Jenkins was so bored that he looked like he might just lie down and take a nap. The band followed suit with a robotic performance that lacked any artificial intelligence.

Goo Goo Dolls
Johnny Rzeznik
Third Eye Blind
Third Eye Blind
Goo Goo Dolls
Johnny Rzeznik

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