FORMING back in 1986, American rock band, The Goo Goo Dolls took to the stage at Manchester Albert Hall on Wednesday (October 12) evening and our entertainment reporter, Abi White, went along to check out their set…

Returning with their latest album, ‘Boxes’, which was released early in May 2016, the crowd, inside the temple that is the Albert Hall, were to be treated to a 22-track set list filled with a selection of songs from over the years.

As the restored Wesleyan chapel began to fill, opening up the evening was support from Johnny Lloyd, former front man of Tribes.

What became noticeable during Lloyd’s set was his impeccable stage presence.

His interaction with his band really made for a great show and his emotionally infused lyrics really grasped the audience’s attention.

As the atmosphere in the room built with excitement for the appearance of The Goo Goo Dolls, it wasn’t long before the band took to the stage to open their set with the first track off their new album, ‘Over and Over.’

The invigorating drumming and uplifting guitar riff instantly had the audience captivated, with everyone clapping along and even the audience sat at the back on the balcony stood on their feet.

The crowd were then transported back in time to 1995, where The Goo Goo Dolls released the next track on their set list ‘Long Way Down’.

The somewhat mature audience reacted to this heavier track with just as much appreciation as the first.

It became obvious by this point that the night was to be filled with a great deal of cheering, clapping and audience participation.

‘Slide’ then followed on the set list, providing yet another throwback.

This song was notably popular amongst the audience; who were still up on their feet clapping and dancing – many with a brimming pint in hand.

The iconic band’s return to Manchester after some years was a quite simply a fantastic spectacle.

Last performing in Manchester in 2013 at the Academy, the venue of the Albert Hall seemed a lot more suited to this gig.

The mellow track, ‘Name,’ made for a perfect track for the middle of the set with it being one of the well-known tracks from the band.

The way the set list was structured held the audience’s attention throughout – that is sometimes hard to do with a 22-track set list but they pulled it off with aplomb, mixing the more popular tracks around the less familiar records.

The moment the audience had been waiting for came three songs prior to the end of the set.

‘Iris’ is an absolute classic rock song that simply must be heard live in its rawest form to appreciate it in its entirety.

This along with ‘Broadway’ and ‘Long Way Home’ rounded off the set beautifully – leaving the audience wonderfully satisfied with their performance.

By Abi White

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