New Yorker rockers Goo Goo Dolls recently finished off their Asian tour in a most welcoming air-conditioned venue on the top floor of the Bangkok Convention Center. It was the first visit by the band to Thailand and a delight for their many fans here, many of whom have waited since 1986 to see the group perform live on home soil.
Former drummer Mike Malin had departed from the band in 2013, leaving what was felt by many to be an insurmountably large hole in the Dolls’ line-up. But additional new musicians brought into the ranks have quickly gelled into a very fine professional unit, leaving many not noticing any changes at all, and besides, the main two protagonists are still there.
In Bangkok the band gave a satisfying two hour set packed with 22 tracks, with each one being a real Goo Goo Dolls style hitter. Their acoustic rock driven program started with the recent “Over And Over”, with the young female fans down the front clamouring to get the attention of poster boy pin up John Rzeznik, a frontman who has managed to keep his stylish good looks throughout his career. His sidekick, bassist Robby Takac, is an energetic soul who adds the power to the boppy rebel beat and later in the show he took over the vocals for the punk charged “Bringing On The Light”.
It was Rzeznik though who predominantly held court, especially with his acoustic guitar playing on the more subtle “Name” and the ballady “Better Days”, while a jovial heckler couldn’t falter him on the country flavoured “Come To Me”.
From their most recent album “Boxes”, “The Pin” was a standout amongst many of their Stateside hits but inevitably it was group’s biggest hit, “Iris” from 2012, a number one on the American Pop billboard charts, that raised voices all around the packed arena.
A solitary encore of the apt “Long Way Home” saw a snowstorm of confetti and giant white balloons released down from the ceiling rafters, ensuring a mass party atmosphere. It concluded a refreshing set from one of most inoffensive of rock bands who really know how to please.
Goo Goo Dolls in Bangkok:
John Rzeznik – guitar and vocals
Robby Takac – bass guitar and vocals
Brad Fernquist – guitar and mandolin
Karel Tunador – keyboards, saxaphone and guitar
Craig Macintyre – drums
Over & Over
Long Way Down
Here Is Gone
Bringing On The Light
Come To Me
Stay With You
Long Way Home