Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Boxes’ tour is a peaceful mix of the past and present

Goo Goo Dolls. Photo by Allie Trozzi

Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul and the newer Tribe Society. It’s a quintessential rock lineup made up of bands that define music’s last 15 years better than most – majestic guitars, soothing lyrics, unrivaled joy and smash hits that transcend multiple decades.

A near-capacity crowd peacefully stood under Charlotte’s skyline as the sun set and the lights shined down. Collective Soul coasted onstage and captivated an audience that eagerly awaited their introduction. Fans swayed back and forth as the Georgia natives gave Charlotte their best. From the renowned “Shine” to “December,” each track gave off a euphoric feeling, alleviating any possible stresses. The band’s purple backdrop that displayed their spiral shaped logo seemed hypnotic and matched the vibe perfectly.

Photos by Allie Trozzi

Collective Soul’s tone is more or less faultless and incredibly soothing despite presenting rock elements. The five-piece band’s charisma is through the roof and lead vocalist Ed Roland possesses an abundance of swagger. He knows how to entertain a crowd while leading a band that’s simply in synergy with each other. Whether it’s spinning the microphone stand around on its circular edge or swinging his body back and forth, he’s in sync with the music and audience’s emotion.

There’s a reason Charlotte filled nearly every seat in the amphitheatre as soon as the gates opened.

The Goo Goo Dolls slid onto stage with “Over and Over,” the first track off their 11th studio album Boxes. The anthem was a perfect opening as the crowd rose to its feet and chanted in unison with the Goo Goo Dolls while the onstage smoke jets punctuated every “turn it up!” line. The audiences enthusiasm quickly became a reoccurring theme as the veteran rockers moved into “Long Way Down” and “Slide.”

Photos by Allie Trozzi

John Rzeznik chatted with fans between songs and acknowledged one specific diehard that shouted out how far they traveled to see the Goo Goo Dolls from the front row.

You drove 12 hours!? You like my band more than I like my band!

The Goo Goo Dolls kept the mood light and kept the same blissful flow for the entire 22-song set. Boxes‘s single “So Alive,” “Name” and Prince’s “I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man” which the Goo Goo Dolls covered late in the night all led to what felt like the pinnacle of the show, despite not being the encore – “Iris.”

The former chart-topping single never lost its appeal and brought each and every fan together once more as the night’s end grew closer. Couples danced and vendors mouthed the lyrics as they began to close up shop. The moment didn’t steal the show but it did define the performance. The feel-good mood stuck with the crowd and drifted out of the amphitheatre as the Buffalo natives waved goodbye with “Broadway” and “Long Way Home.”

About author

Jared Allen

Jared Allen

Jared is a music journalist, photographer and avid music listener living in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys live music, long car rides with Kellin Quinn and trips to the local record store, even though he still doesn't own a turntable in fear that his roommates will evict him.

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