Music fans at Leicester’s O2 Academy were treated to a fantastic performance from American rock band Goo Goo Dolls on Wednesday, 17th November. The quintet from Buffalo, New York hadn’t played in the city before and so the fans came out in droves to show their support.
The night was not all about the headliners though. Supporting act, Unkle Bob, took to the stage and showed exactly why they have attracted so much attention in the USA. The band have had a number of hits across the ocean thanks to their appearances on the hit TV shows “Grey’s Anatomy’ and “CSI: Miami”.
Almost three thousand fans were packed into the modest venue as front-man, Rick Webster intertwined passion and melody with the thumping bass lines of Chloe Treacher.
The bridge between mere song and anthem on almost every track was filled by lead guitarist, Stuart Cartwright. The melody and emotion produced at his fingertips almost stole the set from the rest of the band.
However, the charisma and energy of the entire band meant that they could be knocking on the door of stardom in the UK now.
It was then the turn of the headliners to try and top what their support act had been able to produce. The fans were left waiting for almost an hour before the show continued, as a thick cloud of smoke engulfed the stage as red and blue lights bled onto the smoke to create a sea of hazy purple.
From behind the smoke came the voice of singer John Rzeznik as the headliners burst into “The Sweetest Lie” — the smoke disappearing with each verse of the song, revealing the band in all their glory.
Rzeznik continued to entertain throughout the night with the charm of a seasoned veteran. One moment of the night saw the front man chastise one fan for “studying rods over the summer”. Bassist Robby Takac joined in the humour and the crowd laughed, cheered and screamed their way through the next hour.
Everyone, including the band, looked like they were enjoying themselves. This showed on stage as the band stormed through a number of hits including “Slide” and “Let Love In”.
But between every song someone in the crowd would shout for the anthemic “Iris” to come next. Each time Rzeznik picked up his acoustic guitar, the crowd thought the time had come.
Inevitably, before the final song of the night the front man left almost thirty seconds of silence before whispering the words that sent a shiver down the collective spine of the room – “We had to play this one…”.
As the first few chords were strummed, the building was shaking from the noise of the crowd. From the balcony, you could see the divide on the floor below where some people were jumping manically and others were slow-dancing with their partners.
A ten minute rendition of the classic track which was almost entirely sung by the crowd capped a night to remember for the Leicester crowd as well as the band.
It was their first time playing in the Midlands city, but after an atmosphere as electric as this one, everyone will be hoping it’s not their last.Tweet