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The Goo Goo Dolls show on the 16th of February drew in a fairly large crowd of devoted fans. Perhaps, once upon a time, one would have needed to sit in the rafters of the Bell Centre in order to see these guys, but, regardless of where music has gone in the last decade, these guys are still legendary. The 90s just wouldn't have been the same without songs like "Iris," "Black Balloon," "Slide," and so many others. Who can't remember spending afternoons in their bedroom blasting albums like "Dizzy Up The Girl" (probably while eating a Pizza Pop and surfing dial-up internet with Windows '95)? If anybody could capitalize on nostalgia, it'd be these guys. This was a concert attended by fans that knew all the words, and the Goo Goo Dolls knew how to give them exactly what they wanted to hear.

As the Olympia packed up, it was surprising to see how there were people of all ages. Anticipation was thick in the air and it was obvious that there were fans, young and old, who were all thrilled to be seeing these 90s rock legends. However, it wasn't just the main act that brought a welcome injection of nostalgia. The opening act, former Barenaked Ladies frontman Steven Page, was a welcome surprise, and the crowd was nicely warmed up by his set, which included both new and old tracks.

However, the crowd clearly demonstrated whom they were there to see when the Goo Goo Dolls finally took the stage. Their first song, "Sweetest Lie," was more than warmly received. It was super pleasing to see right away that this was a show all about the classics; the band wasted no time diving right into songs like "Big Machine," "Slide," and "Dizzy". Though, for me personally, the highlight of the performance was when they played "Black Balloon" almost in the exact middle. If I were to compile a list of songs that sum up the 90s for me, that would certainly be in it.

On top of it all, the guys had incredible energy while moving around the stage and putting on a show that would put many bands comprised of younger guys to shame. What was great was how the band interacted with the audience. The Buffalo, NY natives mentioned several times how much they enjoyed their time in Montreal and how they always looked forward to coming back. However, it was more than just compliments; the whole audience was singing along to each and every song and more than once lead singer, John Rzeznik, really got into and encouraged this audience participation. He'd smile and reach the mic out into the audience, which gave the whole evening a more personal feel. It was as if the band recognized that the music had surpassed them and had become a part of a generation. They were sharing the music rather than performing it. This became all the more apparent when they finished up their set list with "Iris," the quintessential song of the 90s.

All this nostalgic merriment aside, the Goo Goo Dolls did come with some new material. They recently released a new album called Something for the Rest of Us. Those parts of the show came with the usual hangups common to bands that are so recognized; when people come to these shows they're happy to see that their band is still producing music, but there's always a certain impatience that has presence in the room. This being said, those moments were brief and, overall, the show was a success. People who were casual fans were surprised at how many of the songs they knew the words to with ease, and diehard groupies walked away justly satisfied. The show definitely gets my recommendation, and if the Goo Goo Dolls are coming to a town near you, head on out and support them. This is good ol' 90's rock, and I for one am glad it's still around.
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