From The Pit To The Crowd: Goo Goo Dolls with Phillip Phillips

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August 30th was the next tour stop for the Goo Goo Dolls’ Long Way Home Tour with Phillip Phillips. The tour started back on July 14th and is finishing up in mid-September. It’s the third time the Goo Goo Dolls was heading a tour and the 2nd time the Goo Goo Dolls was stopping on tour in Orlando, FL. I had the opportunity to cover the Goo Goo Dolls when they were headlining the All I Want For Christmas show at the House of Blues on December 7, 2016. You can read that review HERE. This night, the show was held at the Hard Rock Live at Universal Studios.

It was a good sized crowd inside right before Phillip Phillips took the stage. Named Phillips LaDon Phillips Jr. he was born in Albany, GA and he and his family moved to Leesburg, GA. He learned to play guitar by age 14  and even won a local singing competition in 2010. In 2012 he auditioned in Savannah, GA for the 11th season of American Idol. He made it into the Top 13 of the season and was crowned the American Idol winner. He was the only contestant not to be in the bottom rankings throughout the entire season. Since then Phillip Phillips has release two albums, ‘The World from the Side of the Moon’, which debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200, and went platinum, and ‘Behind the Light.’ He has opened for artists O.A.R., Matchbox 20, and John Mayer. He was in a lawsuit with 19 Recordings, which was recently settled, and will now be working on a third album after completing this tour.

The crowd cheered when Phillip took the stage with a guitar strapped on him. He stood center stage with a bright spotlight on him while the rest of his band was shaded in dark orange hue. I would have preferred to see the other artists with him on stage clearly instead of them spotlighting Phillip for most of the night. He opened with “Lead On”from ‘Behind The Light’. His vocals with crystal clear and resonated with the crowd immediately. His guitar playing was also impressive as was his lead guitarist he had with him on tour. He followed up with “Don’t Tell Me” also from ‘Behind The Light’. But, once he got into “Gone Gone Gone” from ‘The World from the Side of the Moon’ the crowd was completely hooked.

Phillip had a bassist on stage bowing an upright bass. The sounds he played from it were chilling and actually made my hair stand on edge. I truly enjoy seeing artists play classic instruments in a rock setting and this player completely got it. Phillip also played that night “Magnetic”, “Nice and Slow”, a cover of Usher’s song, and his most recent single “Miles”. When Phillip said goodnight to the fans they applauded and cheered for his solid performance.

The Goo Goo Dolls were coming up next. The band from Buffalo, NY formed in 1985 by John Rzeznik (lead vocals, guitar) and Robby Takac (bass, vocals). The band has currently release 11 studio albums, and a 1 compilation Greatest Hits album. Their success has shined through in multiple Top 10 Billboard singles, 2 Gold albums, and 2 platinum albums in ‘A Boy Named Goo’ that went double-platinum and ‘Dizzy Up The Girl’ that went triple-platinum and had 5 Top 10 hits off the album. And by the time they went on stage, the Hard Rock Live was packed.

When they did take the stage the background behind them was an enormous light ensemble. It was bright and beautiful with multiple colors running at any point and time. The band opened with “Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy” from the latest EP ‘You Should Be Happy’.  Unlike the previous show at House of Blues where John stayed in one spot, he was all over the Hard Rock Live stage walking and singing from one side to the next. They followed up with “Home” from the 2010 album ‘Something for the Rest of Us’.

Goo Goo Dolls were sounding great, smiling on stage, and had an amazing light show. The fans were definitely enjoying themselves. They continued on with “Slide” from ‘Dizzy Up The Girl’. Some of the other songs they played included “Big Machine”, “So Alive”, and “Black Balloon”, which they dropped down balloons for the crowd to play with as they sang. The Goo Goo Dolls were just getting started as they performed a huge setlist that evening. Some of their other songs that night included “Here Is Gone”, “Use Me”, “Name”, “Bringing on the Light”, “Better Days”, “Broadway”, “Long Way Home”, and probably their most popular song “Iris”. They ended up performing one encore song “Boxes”, the title track from their 11th studio album.

The Looking For Home Tour stop in Orlando, FL was a great time. The crowd was lively, both Phillip Phillips and Goo Goo Dolls put on great performances, and everyone was just having a fun time. I look forward to the next time Goo Goo Dolls comes to town and highly recommend you catch them on one of the tour stops this year.