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Ben O'Brien Smith
Issue date: 4/23/10 Section: A&E

The Goo Goo Dolls made a stop in our humble town of Potsdam on April 16 to headline the Clarkson University Springfest concert with the band Rocket Summer opening at Cheel Arena.

People began lining up for the sold out show as early as 1:00 p.m. in an effort to get as close as possible to the well-known rockers from Buffalo, NY. The doors opened at 7:00 p.m. and concertgoers began to stake out their spots in front of the stage.

The Rocket Summer, fronted by Dallas Texas native Stephen Bryce Avary, opened the show just after 8:00 p.m.. As the band took the stage, the crowd on the floor roared with approval, despite the fact that many of the people present were not familiar with the band. The band played for about 45 minutes and then left the stage as crew members changed over the equipment in preparation for the Goo Goo Dolls.

After a brief stage change, the lights came down and the members of the Goo Goo Dolls stepped out. The audience erupted with noise as the stage lights came up and the band launched into "Sweetest Lie," a track off of their soon to be released album Something for the Rest of Us.

Frontman John Rzeznik and bassist/vocalist Robby Takac wasted no time standing still. In between lyrics, both ran around the stage as if to take in every square inch. As a result, a glowing vocal microphone was setup on either end of the stage, in addition to John's center stage microphone, just in case he happened to end up on the side when the lyrics continued.

The band played through well-known singles "Slide," "Here is Gone," and "Black Balloon" followed by two more songs off of their forthcoming album. Rzeznik announced that they would be playing some new material and the crowd was quite receptive. The audience clapped along with "Home," a new song about wanting to get back to your roots that sounds oddly familiar.

It was obvious that Rzeznik was toning down the vocal lines for live performance compared to the album recordings but the crowd didn't seem to care much. They sang along with all of the hits and many of the deeper cuts from albums spanning the bands 20 plus year existence.

Many of the song arrangements seemed to be cut shorter in order to maximize the amount of the material covered throughout the night. It's possible that Rzeznik may have accidentally left out the bridge to "Here is Gone," as there was a moment of tension among the band where a transition should have existed.

The obvious favorite of the evening was the rock ballad "Iris," off of the band's triple platinum album Dizzy Up the Girl. Rzeznik aimed his microphone at the crowd several times, leaving it up to the audience to sing many of the vocals.

After much cheering and chanting from the audience, Rzeznik returned to the stage to play the solo acoustic song "Sympathy." The band joined him for the last two songs of the encore, "Flat Top" and "Broadway."

Though some questioned the music per dollar value of the concert and age of the band members, the show had an obviously successful turnout. The Clarkson Union Board (CUB) did a fantastic job of putting on such a successful event. The security was well-run and logistical elements were simple and organized.

Source: http://media.www.theracquette.com/media/storage/paper1301/news/2010/04/23/Ae/Goo-Goo.Dolls.Pack.Cheel.For.Clarkson.Springfest-3911475.shtml
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