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Goo Goo Dolls - O2 Academy, Sheffield 22.06.2023

After being at work for 12hrs I knew I needed and good night and so took a walk from the office to a great pub (The Yorkshireman) to meet my friend and photographer for the show Claire. The queue to the venue already had a couple of hundred people in it as it was a humid evening so lots of t-shirts were being worn. What was great to see was the support for the support band THOSE DAMN CROWS (TDC).

I had a chance to speak with TDC 3 weeks ago when they headlined the Sunday at Call Of The Wild 2023 festival in Lincolnshire. Watching a full set from these guys is an experience so I was intrigued what they would bring to a 30-minute set as an opener.

Now to be fair, I have been a fan of the band since they started and have seen them grow as individuals, musicians, and a band.

The recently released INHALE/EXHALE album which reached number 3 in the UK album charts and number 1 in the Rock charts and is a testament of how far they’ve come.

The venue was about 80% percent full when TDC hit the stage and I believe the TDC fans strategically placed themselves on the barrier and throughout the venue as one thing I knew was that they would be singing along. As the intro music hits and drummer Ronnie Huxford came on sporting the blonde Mohawk the crowd lit up followed by Lloyd (Bass), Dave & “Shiner” (Guitars) the shouting didn't stop. However, when vocalist, keyboardist, guitarist Shane Greenhall comes on there is an eruption. For those who were there seeing TDC for the first time they were probably wondering what it was all about.

Well after the TDC intro sing along the first chords of WHO DID IT were struck, and the crowd chorus started and pretty much didn't stop until the end of the short set.

Shane is on fire and his vocals are amazing as these songs are emotional rockers while riff laden there is a softness to them. They crowd is loving this and I can see that those who had not seen TDC before were enjoying it.

For me the highlight was when Shane sits down behind the piano for BLINK OF AN EYE. The song was originally released back in 2018 as full on guitar anthem which had become a fan favourite but Shane also did a piano version which was also released. Morphing the 2 versions together, TDC have created a monster of an experience and there were those who did have tears in their eyes as the song ended.

The power and musicianship of the band is amazing Ronnie is a powerhouse drummer but with impeccable time keeping combined with the energy of bassist Lloyd Wood who cannot stand still as he runs around the stage using the platforms with a full-blown smile. What can I say about guitarists Dave and “Shiner” but awesome, fantastic, heavy, light, technical these two work so well together and is what gives TDC the unique sound. Shane is an amazing vocalist who knows how to write lyrics that touch his audiences’ heart and soul and combined with the guys, are able to leave an audience gobsmacked and new fans made.

TDC have proven that with perseverance and hard work great songs and always giving a 100% at each show they are a force to be reckoned with.

Set List:

Who did it – Point Of No Return (2021)

Man on Fire – Inhale / Exhale (2023)

Blink of an Eye – Murder and The Motive (2018)

This Time I'm Ready– Inhale / Exhale (2023)

See You Again– Inhale / Exhale (2023)

With a 30 min break before The Goo Goo Dolls come on the fans have time for drinks, cigarettes, and merch. Purchasing.

But as soon as the Intro started the crowd immediately made its way back into the arena and the venue was at about 90% capacity.

Now as bands go the Goo Goo Dolls are a genre jumping song writing force that have been churning out great songs since they started in 1986. They duo of Robby Takac (bassist, vocalist) and John Rzeznik (Guitars, vocals) have taken no prisoners from their punk beginnings to more mainstream and crossover rock sound as tonight's set shows they have 14 albums to choose material with only 2 tracks coming from 2022's Chaos in Bloom.

As Robby started out as the original vocalist back in 1986, he does step up to the microphone on several tracks throughout the set while John handles the rest.

In a musical partnership over 35 years old John and Robby still act like they are teenagers on stage with the energy and jokes and musicianship to prove it. They are rockers, guitar infused with a disdain for the norm at the same having a compassionate side that endears them to their fans.

The fans are an important part of any band experience and when you have played more than 1,500 shows over your career - they will follow you.

The fans tonight in Sheffield were no exception as like the TDC fans couldn't stop singing along during the set. I have seen many a shows in this venue but nothing even comes close to the ending of this one.

As John and Robby showcased their back catalogue, the intensity of the set got bigger with the touring band giving it their all. With fantastic versions of Stay With You, Better Days & Broadway,

finishing off the normal show they said good night and left the stage....but the fans knew they were coming back as they hadn't done THE song yet.

So of course, John and Robby came back on stage and started Naked and the crowd went crazy because they knew what the final song was going to be as the onstage clock was already up to 80mins.

So as the first chords of IRIS hit…that was it, game over, knock the door down time the crowd hit it note perfect and on time and off we went in the loudest sing along the 02 in Sheffield has ever had.

There is something about that song that resonates in people with the single selling over 10million copies globally and currently having over 1.2 billion streams on Spotify alone.

But when you get to sing along with the band, then you give it 110%. I know because I did.

The perfect ending to a great show!!!!

So tonight, this one gets a 10/10.

The Goo Goo Dolls are finishing up in London on the 25th of June 2023 before heading back to the US and resting before their summer tour there, while Those Damn Crows finish up the UK leg of their tour with the Goo Goo Doll's in London and then continue on the 27th of June in Hamburg, Germany as the main support for Hollywood Vampires for most of July before returning to the UK for their slot at Steelhouse Fesitival 2023 on 29th July 2023.

Set List:

Yeah, I Like You – Chaos in Bloom (2022)

Home – Something For the Rest of Us (2010)

Slide – Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)

Dizzy – Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)

Big Machine – Gutterflower (2002)

Here is Gone – Gutterflower (2002)

Black Balloon – Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)

Smash – Gutterflower (2002)

Life's a Message – Miracle Pill (2019)

Miracle Pill – Miracle Pill (2019)

So Alive – Boxes (2016)

Let Love In – Let Love In (2006)

Sympathy – Gutterflower (2002)

Name – A Boy Named Goo (1995)

Going Crazy – Chaos in Bloom (2022)

January Friend – Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)

Bringing on The Light – Magnetic (2013)

Stay With You – Let Love In (2006)

Better Days – Let Love In (2006)

Broadway – Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)

Naked – A Boy Named Goo (1995)

Iris – Dizzy Up The Girl (1998)

Photos - METAL as FVCK Photography

Review - Geno de Lora


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