The Goo Goo Dolls took us back to their punk rock days Tuesday night at the Family Circle Cup Stadium. But before the main act took the stage, another two big-name acts opened the show.
The evening began with the Plain White T’s, known for a slough of romantic hits like “Hey There Delilah” and “1234,” both of which they strummed dreamily. They also threw in their new, sweet ballad “The Giving Tree” based on the Shel Silverstein children’s book. Unfortunately and surprisingly, the hype of the audience had not yet arrived to the stadium when they went on 15 minutes before the show was supposed to start, and the mellow crowd who had taken seats seemed, for the most part, uninterested. The band almost seemed humored by the crowd’s lack of enthusiasm, advising several times to get louder, making shout-outs to anyone who responded.
The break between sets seemed extended until more people could float into stands. Slowly but surely the venue filled up as the sun gradually sank. By the time Daughtry took the stage, there was a livelier air about the place and some die-hard rock ‘n’ rollers were on the floor sloshing beers and getting pumped for the American Idol Season 5 finalist. A rock show ensued with blasts of psychedelic electric-guitar solos and a pop overtone amongst radio hits. “It’s Not Over,” “Feels Like Tonight,” and “Home” of course made the setlist. “Wild Heart,” Daughtry’s self-proclaimed favorite, also made the cut. He demanded a tambourine from one of his staff members for the song, which he attempted to hit periodically on his thigh under the overwhelming drum and bass. The most confusing track was “Long Live Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which was not even a rock n’ roll song … it was entirely pop as far as I could tell. I’ve never seen a show with two encores before, but Daughtry came back to the surprise of the audience with a few more numbers.
The Goo Goo Dolls arrived in a dubstep-dusted cloud of smoke and a blinding flash of lights, like something straight out of a Chris Angel performance. They hit the stage right away with their older punk and heavier rock tunes from back in the day when Robby Takac graced the stage more frequently. The show was like one big throwback to earlier Goo Goo Dolls, which I guess makes for a more energetic performance compared to their soft ballads. John Rzeznik stepped back into the vocal lead for a few softer, singalong favorites like “Iris,” “Slide,” “Stay with You,” and “Let Love In.” The energy definitely picked up during those numbers and stayed that way through the remainder of the performance. Most recent tracks “Slow it Down,” “Caught in the Storm,” and “Rebel Beat” from Magnetic all made their way into the show as well, offering a splash of new amid the old. Rzeznik left the stage claiming it was one of his favorite shows he’s played on the tour, so I guess Charleston gave him something to be happy about.