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Even though Goo Goo Dolls frontman John Rzeznik sat on a stool because of a sore appendage throughout Monday night’s Enmax Centre performance in Lethbridge — the Buffalo band was in top form, as they belted out a set of back-to-back hits for a welcoming southern Alberta crowd. From “Naked,” “Slide” and “Better Days” to “Iris,” “Name” and “Broadway” — the radio-friendly hits kept coming between songs from the band’s latest CD “Magnetic,” which has an impressive selection of tracks.

Goo Goo Dolls is indeed a great rock and roll band, which is often forgotten because of the many ballads the band is mostly known for. Bassist Robby Takac is also a big part of the equation, as well as the backing band and of course a new drummer. Simply put, the new drummer seems at home in front of a Goo Goo Dolls audience and was flawless Monday night. It’s good to see the band has persevered through an original band line-up change and an often times fickle and oversaturated music scene.

I had a chance to see the Goo Goo Dolls in Calgary a few years ago at a theatre. The band seems comfortable in both settings — an intimate theatre setting and an arena. As luck would have it Steven Page, formerly of the Barenaked Ladies, opened. This time around Autumns Cannon was the opening act. The true Canadian rock and roll five-piece band (mostly bearded for warmth I would assume) delivered a great set of tunes and got the crowd in the mood for a rock show on a cold dark southern Alberta March night.

Sadly, Lethbridge and surrounding area didn’t come out in droves, like they should have. Southern Albertans missed a great show by one of North America’s underrated bands and missed the opportunity to check out one of Canada’s up-and-comers. Live music should be consumed more in Lethbridge. Support live entertainment because without it music would be stale, stagnant and pointless. Sitting at the Enmax Centre Monday night was a joy. You could feel the music, as it bounced off each and every live music enthusiast in the room. Come on southern Alberta, we need to fill those seats at live events so more big acts will visit the area.

As for the Goo Goo Dolls — keep writing great songs and we will come. It’s been years — but my fiancee even bought me a T-shirt.
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