Home Gigs Gig Review : Goo Goo Dolls – Basht – Vicar Street, Dublin

Gig Review : Goo Goo Dolls – Basht – Vicar Street, Dublin

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Review and Photography : Stephen Brophy for MPM

The last time I managed to catch the Goo Goo Dolls live was back in The Ambassador in Dublin when it was still operating as a venue and they were excellent.

Being honest the last couple of albums haven’t really grabbed me so it was going to be interesting to see how the band were performing in the live arena and how any tracks off the newest release Chaos In Bloom were sounding and going down with the fans.

Taking up the support slot for tonight’s show were Dublin’s Basht, who I am catching for the first time. These guys do have some very good tracks floating around, go check out “Never Love” and the excellent “Tomorrow”, a young band that already have a lot of depth in their music.

For me the singer goes slightly off kilter in the middle of the set, but both he and the band really get things back on track and the building crowd are getting into their set as it goes on, with the closing track being superb, a loud round of applause see them on their way off the stage and their first time playing Vicar Street has been a success. Not the easiest thing to do when you play a very different style to the headliner, so will look forward to catching them again.

The show is sold out and the venue is getting more and more jam packed and in conjunction warmer the closer we get to the headliners taking to the stage, liquids are of course essential and the bar seems to be doing a roaring trade, but you can feel a great air of anticipation building as the moment draws near.

When you start to hear the intros to songs like “Slide” or “Dizzy” you know what you are in for, John’s voice is on top form and as he has been for as long as I have seen the band Robby is all over the stage and still jumping around like a crazy man, they still have something that’s infectious to see and hear. The set is made up from tracks spanning their 14 album career, but there’s a great balance in it’s construction. The band power through the opening tracks and that workman like ethic is still how they do things, packing as much music into their shows alongside the usual banter, the guys always come across as funny without overdoing things.

When Bobby takes over on lead vocals the flow of the music always stays true and it’s great to hear the classic “Smash” and “Life’s A Message” which is one of my favourite tracks off the Miracle Pill album. Bobby’s voice and style are so very different from John’s but the feel is still always very much Goo Goo Dolls and his energy has always been infectious.

The newer tracks definitely work well in the set, but perhaps at times slow everything down a little more that I would like, but that’s not important, the crowd are loving the whole thing from start to finish and it’s refreshing to be surrounded by a number of fans that are just so into the music, the warmth spreads and brings you even more into the show.

The band barely get to the edges of the stage before they are back on, noting the futility of disappearing for a long time to come back and finish the set. And for the encore they dig deeper into the vault with “Naked” and the excellent “Long Way Down” from the album that really elevated the band to a different level A Boy Named Goo alongside their biggest hit.

What you can always be sure of when you play Ireland is an enthusiastic crowd that will raise the roof off when the opportunity arises, and lets be honest as the set went on we all knew what the band were going to finish off with, but damn when they started playing the massive hit Iris the whole place when nuts, it’s one of those songs that’s great to sing along to and Vicar Streets patrons needed absolutely no encouragement, but what really hit me was the sheer volume when the crowd sang pieces on their own, it was wonderful and electric.

For me this was just like stepping back in time, the band not only sounded great, were on terrific form and really enjoying themselves, but on a hot and sticky night the atmosphere was amazing, when they manage to make it back to these shores I will be there. The Goo Goo Dolls maybe a little be less raucous than they once were but they are still an excellent live band that manage to put a wide smile on their fans faces and that was certainly the case anywhere you looked tonight.

Goo Goo Dolls Setlist –

Goo Goo Dolls Setlist –
Yeah, I Like You
Big Machine
Here Is Gone
Black Balloon
Life’s A Message
Miracle Pill
So Alive
Come To Me
Going Crazy
Another Second Time Around
Bringing On The Light
Stay With You
Better Days

Long Way Down

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