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August 27, 2011:  Nederlander Concerts presents… Goo Goo Dolls with special guests Michelle Branch and Parachute at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles. . .  This was the last night of the summer tour for the three.

It was a nice surprise to see Parachute on the bill.  Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of seeing the band open for the Plain White T’s during the “Wonders of the Younger” tour.  Parachute’s music is a blend of alternative, pop/rock, with keys and a saxophone in the mix.  They caught my attention with their energetic performance then, and once again, did not disappoint.  Among their set is their latest single, a collaboration with Lady Antebellum called “Kiss Me Slowly”, and a cover of The Wallflowers’ “One Headlight”.  They have been touring in support of their latest release called, “The Way It Was”, released in May.

Michelle Branch is an artist who can very much hold her own on this male-dominated tour.  As her music matured over the years, the old favorites, “All You Wanted”, “Are You Happy Now” was still good to hear.  It is testament to the longevity that she’s had with her catchy brand of pop rock, since breaking out with the single “Everywhere” in 2001 (Yes, it’s been that long!).  The lady with the guitar is a positive light amongst a current music scene where the usual attention-grabbers would make their rounds by doing things for shock value.  There’s been less emphasis on actual talent.  No stage diva attitude here.  It was all about the music.  Her latest release is an EP of hits, “The Loud Music Hits EP”.

Within the hours before the Goo Goo Dolls were to take the stage, I got to talk to some of the female fans.  Some of whom were waiting to participate in the meet & greet with the band earlier in the evening, and the others I would later meet while standing in the pit.  I found it funny to hear of their love for a particular band member.  It was either Team Johnny, or Team Robby.  By the time the set was about to start, I had summed up that it was a tie between the two. . .  The venue was nearly packed this night.  After an intro complete with a mini flashing light show, the band stepped out to thunderous applause.  I would say that overall, the Goo Goo Dolls are better to see live than to just listen to their recordings.  They gave the audience an energetic performance, with lead Johnny Rzeznik engaging the crowd as he moved toward them from one end of the stage to the other.  A good time was to be had.  For a band that started back in the 80s, the gentlemen look no worse for wear as they rocked the stage.  Judging from their 21-song set list, they had plenty to draw from–a career that spanned over two decades.  The Goo Goo Dolls has been touring in support of their latest, “Something For the Rest of Us”, released last year.  They currently have a single, “All That You Are” on the Transformers:  Dark of the Moon soundtrack.

This tour was well put together.  It all amounted to a group of songwriters who can and have continued to grow, moving past the trends that have come and gone.  Keeping things real. . .  This is the way it should be.

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