Goo Goo Dolls at the Manchester Academy – Review

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photo by Jane Hodgkiss

The Goo Goo Dolls are one of those bands that everyone has heard at least one song of (mainly their soaring arena-rock anthem ‘Iris’) so when I saw them in Manchester Academy on the 17th of October, I had no problem recognising the songs, despite giving their newest album ‘Magnetic’ only a brief listen.

The term ‘arena-rock’ is generally one used to describe a band that churns out endless pop-rock anthems designed to lift the human spirit and make you want to belt out the song unless your throat feels like it’s made out of sandpaper. That’s definitely the description I would give for all of the Goo Goo Doll’s songs, past and present. Their new album, ‘Magnetic’ ranges from heartfelt ballads suitable for singing alone in your shower, to catchy, uplifting anthems that you catch yourself singing into your hairbrush. Yes, they’re slightly cheesy and yes, they’re extremely soundtrack-ready, but the music is inspirational and makes you feel good, and that’s not a bad thing.

Feeling good was the definite theme of the night. The Goo Goo Dolls kicked off with an energetic rendition of ‘Last Hot Night’ from their newest album, a guitar-filled apocalyptic love song. The crowd were then treated to songs new and old, including ‘Slide’, their new album’s latest single ‘Rebel Beat’, ‘Name’, ‘Better Days’ and the show stopping ‘Iris’ to round off the night. Despite all the band being in their late 40s, the Goo Goo Dolls showed they are nowhere near slowing down and that you can still have it after nearly thirty years of being in the business.