Goo Goo Dolls – Live Review & Photos From Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, London, 24th June

Goo Goo Dolls - Nick Allan, London, June 2023 - CoverPhoto

Johnny and the boys aka Goo Goo Dolls arrived back in our nation’s capital for a sold out show at the famous Eventim Hammersmith Apollo, originally booked for Brixton Academy but through unfortunate circumstances moved across town.

As the lights go down the excitement is palatable. With a career of over 30 years they have a huge catalogue to chose from and as you look around the venue there is a variety of audience members from die hard fans, young kids and boyfriends of girlfriends that just absolutely love Iris. However you found the band, all are welcome.

The band walk on stage and play new track ‘Yeah, I Like You’, a sentiment that is very much reciprocated from the audience and then into another more recent track from the 2010 album ‘Something For The Rest Of Us with track ‘Home’. Being the seasoned professionals they are they definitely know how to get a crowd going as they fly into hit Slide, and the hits did not stop from there as the band launched into Big Machine then into Here is Gone and finally into another mega smash of Black Balloon.

However, throughout the night you could see Johnny having issues with his on stage sound, disappearing numerous times off of the stage which came as a welcomed relief when Robbie lead the track Smash. The arc of the show came to a climax with an acapella singalong of the bands first hit Name. This felt like a really poignant part of the set. The new track Going Crazy went down well on a warmed up crowd. If you want your fans to love new tracks lead up to it with a hit first. Rockstar 101.

A pleasant surprise came from a real deep dive into the bands back catalogue with track Lucky Star from the album Superstar Carwash released in 1993. Robbie’s vocal sounded as good as it was when it was first recorded. The price of admission was fulfilled when biggest hits Broadway and Iris got the Hammersmith Apollo choir singing at full voice.

Reflecting on the bands set; on a personal level I have seen the Goo Goo Dolls many times and I believe this was maybe the worst I’ve seen of them and it wasn’t through any fault of the band at all. They played and sounded great however there was no oomph in the volume in the room; you could hear the crowd audibly from the back of the room over the band. The drummer almost looked like he was scared to hit the drums too hard, or if he was hitting them hard that certainly wasn’t translated in volume. This is certainly a bigger conversation around gig volume regulations but if you can hear an audience talking over a band when they are playing rockier, involved tunes, it’s time to turn it up. All low end from the kick drum and bass guitar was lost.

The set was full of hits and the band (when you could hear them) sounded fantastic. On paper this should have been a perfect set to match all the other times I have seen them. However the band were desperately let down by the sonics and regulations. Hopefully next time they will get the sound performances like this deserve. 6.5 / 10

Please check out our exclusive gallery of Goo Goo Dolls from the night’s action in Hammersmith below:

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