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Live Review: The Goo Dolls (Uptown Theatre / Kansas City, MO)

“It’s been 20 years; we might hit a rough patch here,” joked John Rzeznik to the crowded Uptown Theater. The lead singer of Goo Goo Dolls had nothing to fear, though; the band’s Kansas City stop during Dizzy Up The Girl’s 20th Anniversary tour was wonderful from start to finish.

With no opening act, fans were treated to two sets from the band. Essentially, this was a concert in two parts: Dizzy Up The Girl, all the way through, and a second set of popular songs and B-sides from the rest of their massive catalogue.

As I mentioned during my previous interview with John Rzeznik, Dizzy Up The Girl holds an important place in my heart. Hearing the entire album played live, surrounded by a room full of like-minded fans all singing along, was an unforgettable experience. Rzeznik’s lead vocals varied from the beloved melodies I had memorized, but that change added a sense of newness to it all. Listening to Robby Takac’s lead vocals on four songs, however, was just like listening to a recording – very impressive, given the 20-year difference between then and now.

After a brief interlude wherein hold music was played as the cover art for Dizzy was torn down form the stage, the band’s second set began. Whereas the first set was mostly back-to-back songs, they took time during the second half to really interact with fans. Rzeznik shared his thought process behind “Better Days,” which he said was a song about finding one great friend, at its core.

The band looked very comfortable during this set, ribbing each other between songs and having more fun moving around the stage. It was easy to picture this group as a bunch of young men, living out of a small van and playing anywhere that would have them. The energy of Goo Goo Dolls’ origins is still there, even after the many triumphs they’ve had since starting out.

Catch the Goo Goo Dolls on the remainder of their tour, dates found here.