REVIEW — Goo Goo Dolls: Long Way Home Tour ft. Phillip Phillips (Las Vegas)
Goo Goo Dolls returned to Las Vegas on Saturday, July 15th, the second stop of their Long Way Home Summer Tour featuring special guest Phillip Phillips. Goo Goo Dolls performed to a filled-out Downtown Las Vegas Events Center, making them the first band to perform the venue twice.
“We had to bring them back,” said The D Las Vegas and DLVEC owner Derek Stevens. Goo Goo Dolls made their first appearance at the outdoor venue in September 2016, with special guests Collective Soul and Tribe Society.
Opening act Phillip Phillips kicked off the night with “Unpack Your Heart,” second single off his sophomore chart-topping studio album, Behind the Light. Phillips followed with “Raging Fire,” the album’s first single, as well as “Miles,” a new and little-heard track from a forthcoming third album. “Thanks for coming out in this heat,” the Georgia native told the crowd. “It’s hot as Hades.”
Things only got hotter with the certified-platinum “Gone, Gone, Gone,” and soulful hit-in-the-waiting “Magnetic.” Phillips’ set continued with the singer’s five-times-platinum debut single “Home” and the passionate and guitar-heavy “Fly,” signing off with “Don’t Tell Me,” another sure-to-be-single from Phillips’ yet-to-release third album.
Goo Goo Dolls’ latest nationwide tour marks the band’s third headline run since the release of 2016’s Boxes. With more than 12 million albums sold worldwide and debuting 19 top ten singles since the bands’ Buffalo, New York inception in 1986, the multi-platinum and Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls are among the most recognizable performers in alternative rock.
Bursting onto stage with Gold hit “Slide,” vocalist and guitarist John Rzeznik capped off the performance by exchanging his guitar for a high-powered water gun. “Alright, cool off,” he said, spraying a crowd assembled in spite of the 113 degree Las Vegas heat. “We haven’t seen you in a year!”
Their return was greatly appreciated, the audience eating up vigorous performances of the energetic “Big Machine,” “Over and Over,” and “So Alive,” the latter pair of songs the first two singles off Boxes. Angsty and emotional old school classics “Black Balloon” and “It’s Over” followed, as black balloons released into the crowd, giving way to the fresh “Free of Me” and classic “Here is Gone.”
“This is a very sappy love song and I have no shame about it,” Rzeznik said, introducing “Come to Me,” paired nicely with “Let Love In.”
“We’re gonna try a new one on you,” Rzeznik announced, prefacing “Use Me,” from EP You Should Be Happy, released May 2017. “Usually people don’t like songs they don’t know, but I swear to god I think you’ll like this one. Or you can use this opportunity to go take a piss. Either way you want it.”
The Dolls’ first radio player, “Name,” followed, segueing into “Already There,” “Bringing on the Light,” and “Flat Top,” the set climaxing with “Broadway,” “Better Days,” and the tours’ namesake, “Long Way Home.”
Ending the night with a prolonged performance of the Goo Goo Dolls’ signature hit “Iris,” members John Rzeznik and Robby Takac with touring musicians Brad Fernquist, Korel Tunador, and Craig Macintyre make the Long Way Home Summer Tour the absolute must-see concert of the year.
With the Goo Goo Dolls’ longevity and staying power fueled by sincere and passionate performances, the three-decades-old band delivers the perfect live music experience. If you only see one concert this year, have it be Goo Goo Dolls: Long Way Home. The tour runs through mid-September, culminating at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on September 13th, 2017. Tickets.
The Downtown Las Vegas Events Center will next see I Love the 90s: The Party Continues Tour (featuring TLC, Biz Markie, and Coolio) July 21st, Retro Futura: America’s Premiere 80’s Concert Tour (featuring The English Beat, Modern English, and Paul Young) July 22nd, and Rancid & Drop Kick Murphys: From Boston to Berkeley Tour August 25th. Tickets.