Goo Goo Dolls @ The Commodore Ballroom – March 2nd 2011

Last night the Commodore Ballroom was full of nostalgic tunes. The Goo Goo Dolls and Steven Page, the Barenaked Ladies front man, lit the venue with their individual catalogs. It was a heartfelt performance by both acts, that had the people in attendance swaying with smiles on their faces.

Steven Page was the first act to take the stage. He walked on wearing a dapper gray suit with his mauve pocket handkerchief, all tied together by his well known thick brim glasses. With a big grin on his face, he jumped into the set. It was a definite mixture of new and old, with classics like Jane, It’s All Been Done, and Brian Wilson getting the crowd singing along. He was able to pepper in his new material, without to much separation.

Throughout his set, Mr.Page looked happy as a clam. Throughout the set their was a bunch of random insertions of miscellaneous theme songs and such. One second he is whistling the Andy Griffith Show theme song, then later he is playing the theme to the Price is Right. In between the last two songs of the set, their was an awkward pause so Steven just quickly did a solo acapella of Mombo #5 (well the first verse anyways). All around he was having a blast, and kidding around, but really keeping the music solid. It was a breath of fresh air just seeing someone on stage just enjoying what they do. The patrons were able to reciprocate this feeling with ease, and it made for a laid back environment.

After a very short break the Goo Goo Dolls took to the stage. The lead singer, John, and bass player, Robby, were high flying from the word go. The man with the bass was running back and forth on the stage in his black socks. Posing awkwardly at time at front stage with a silly smile to the audience. John is a great front man, he plays to the crowd, and really milks the vocals with a his patented rasp.

The audience was losing it from the get go. The nostalgia of the 90s was flowing through the club. One thing that was easy to see was the effect this band has on the female contingent. They were stirred up in a fury by the band. Many times the security guards had to warm woman to stop pushing and such. It was strange to see, but just shows you how powerful music can be.

The band went through many great songs from their set. Here is the set list:

Sweetest Lie
Big Machine
Here Is Gone
2nd Time
Can’t Let It Go
Black Balloon
Better Days
Stay With You
Now I hear
Tucked Away
Let Love In
As I Am
Not Broken

From that list you are able to see that covered all their bases, with the culmination of the evening ending on Iris. This song had some woman in tears, which is amazing. The band was really humble. They always thanked the audience for their reaction which in turn fueled a greater reaction.

For a night that I thought would be a simple stroll down memory lane, I was really pleasantly surprised to have such a great time. Both groups of artists, Steven Page (and band) and the Goo Goo Dolls were on the ball and put on an amazing show. Although the music wasn’t hard rock I still found myself tapping with the beat throughout the night. How could you not, the whole night was full of people who just love to perform. Vancouver would gladly have both groups back again, anytime.

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