GOO GOO DOLLS / THE XCERTS - O2 Academy, Bristol - 24.07.18

CLAIRE HILL
(PHOTO CREDITS: MARTY MOFFATT)

 

It’s coming to the end of a scorching day in Bristol as the long queue of people wait patiently for the doors to open ahead of tonight’s sold out gig. There’s something about the sunshine that seems to bring out good humour in everyone.

 

Support tonight comes from THE XCERTS, a three-piece rock/pop act from Aberdeen/Exeter, who get a really good response from the crowd from the first song ‘Daydream’, that just continues to grow with each subsequent song. I can see plenty of nodding heads and people dancing; the atmosphere is great. The rhythm section of Tom Heron and Jordan Smith is fantastic, with thwacking drums and booming bass that get you right in the chest, with clear, soulful vocals and accomplished guitar playing from Murray Macleod. These guys certainly make a lot of noise for a trio! The band play a tight seven song set from their latest album ‘Hold on to Your Heart’, that displays their experience and talent perfectly and certainly gains them new fans; ‘Show me Beautiful’ is a highlight. The trio finish with the catchy ‘Feels Like Falling in Love’, and receive a brilliant reaction from the crowd.

 

Band members:-

Murray Macleod - lead vocals/guitar

Jordan Smith - bass/backing vocals

Tom Heron - drums

 

Find out more about The Xcerts here:-

http://www.thexcertsband.com

https://www.facebook.com/Thexcerts/

https://twitter.com/thexcerts

 

New album ‘Hold on to Your Heart’ available now here:-

http://radi.al/HoldOnToYourHeart

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

Suddenly any remaining gaps are filled as the O2 is absolutely rammed to capacity, and THE GOO GOO DOLLS arrive onstage with a boom that scares the shit out of me, it’s so loud! Founding members John Rzeznik and Robby Takac are joined onstage by a full band and they immediately launch into ‘Dizzy’, from the 1998 album ‘Dizzy up the Girl’, for which this is the 20th anniversary tour. The crowd are lapping it up, and by the time the rather sad second song ‘Slide’ is in full flow, I can see that the audience are enraptured. John takes a moment to address the audience, “It’s been a while since we’ve seen you but you still look good! Last time we were here was before the election…I’m not apologising for Trump, not while you have that guy that’s Ed Sheeran’s crazy uncle - who is that guy?” The crowd are laughing as they shout out “Boris!” John’s response is, “But we’ll always get through that shit!” John is charismatic and seems incredibly humble too.

 

The audience are having the time of their lives, dancing and singing along, the band sound awesome, the vocals are crisp and clear and it seems like the band are all having great fun too. As Robby takes a turn at lead vocals for ‘January Friend’ and ‘Free of Me’, I realise there are a lot more men in the audience that I’d expected. It’s an even 50/50 split and there are pints held aloft, cheering and whistling as Robby finishes and John resumes the lead vocals, encouraging a sing-a-long and then playing ‘Name’, the song that started it all for the band. This gets a huge round of applause, but what really elicits the best response of the night is ‘Sympathy’. John explains that he was accused of writing songs with no meaning, so he decided to be honest, that the song is about “being fucked up all the time and it’s the saddest place in the world…you want to stop and you’re not able to. This is something we should all be able to ask for…sympathy”. While he is playing and singing, just him and an acoustic guitar, you could’ve heard a pin drop in the room. The applause and the end was immense.

After another few songs, John played an epic guitar solo that I was not expecting at all, followed by undoubtedly the band’s most well-known song, ‘Iris’. I like the song, but live, oh WOW…I had serious goosebumps! Time then for a newer release, ‘Boxes’ and a cover of Supertramp’s ‘Give a Little Bit’ to finish the set. I went into this gig with no expectations, and came out loving both performances (and with a new CD and t-shirt! #BuyTheMerch).

 

The Goo Goo Dolls is:-

John Rzeznik - Lead vocals/guitar

Robby Takac - bass/vocals

 

Live band members:-

Brad Fernquist - guitar

Jim McGorman - keyboards

Craig McIntyre - drums

 

Find out more about The Goo Goo Dolls here:-

http://www.googoodolls.com

https://www.facebook.com/googoodolls 

https://twitter.com/googoodolls

https://www.instagram.com/googoodollsofficial

https://www.youtube.com/googoodolls

 

PHOTOS ARE NOT TO BE USED WITHOUT THE PRIOR CONSENT OF DOWN THE FRONT MEDIA. PLEASE DIRECT ALL MEDIA ENQUIRIES TO LINDSAY@DOWNTHEFRONTMEDIA.COM

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