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14 months on from their last visit to the capital, the Goo Goo Dolls head back to London to play a warm up show for their V festival appearances the following weekend. This show was at the Hammersmith Apollo, another converted cinema venue with a rather dated decor, think stripy wallpaper. Still this venue was one of the larger london spots around the same capacity as the Brixton Academy and had great acoustics.

The only warm up act were Kids In Glass Houses, whom I’d briefly glimpsed at while at Give It A Name. Let me now revoke any comments i made then about them being any good. This was car crash gigging. Fun to watch as the carnage unfolded. Firstly the lead singer got really irritated by a “faulty” mic, which was clearly fine. Instead his vocals were just awful and his on stage antics were laughable for warm up a US radio friendly pop/punk band . Clearly no one cared at all and his growing frustrations at the lack of crowd motion were hilarious. Only the lead guitarists lumberjack impressions raised a bigger smile on my face. “Its Been a bad day” muttered the lead singer, no shit sherlock…we had to endure it for the last half hour. To the sheer glee of all they powered down and got the hell out of Hammersmith, tail, between legs! Thats what you get if you rise too fast, you fall harder!

After being subject to the calamity beforehand, The Goo Goo Dolls recieved a rapturous universal gratitude. Set starter was the great hard rockin Long Way Down, which set out the bands intention tonight to pull out some lost gems. With a cumbersome back catalogue to select from, the usual suspects crept up alongside hidden classics. Pop numbers Iris, Name, Slide were greeted with massive crowd singalongs.

Bassist Robbie Takac was on his best punk form once again throwing in some lesser known favorites such as Lucky Star and Slave Girl, with his trademark squeaky voice. Its this balance of energetic adultrock and youthful pop-punk that makes this band so special. After relentless barrage of pop monsters Johnny Rzeznik (Balladeer extraordinaire!) took the stage alone to strum out the superb Acoustic 3#. Rejoined by the rest of the band for the evenings final parting song, an extended jam of Dizzy up the girls Broadway.

Goo Goo Dolls once again produced a fantastic performance. But they really need to do some research into decent support bands!
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