John Reznik is the self proclaimed “love song guy.” The lead singer of the Goo Goo Dolls has written a good many of them. He covered this topic in his first ten minutes on the intimate stage at The Mountain Winery, a venue with picturesque views in Saratoga.
His new mushy offering “All That You Are,” has been climbing the charts and was featured in the newest Transformers movie. Right before Rzeznik launched into the catchy single he explained “I wasn’t gonna write this one, then they put the checkbook to my head so…” Rzeznik’s rock star swagger along with his distinctive voice and talented band made for an entertaining night.
Fellow Warner Brothers recording artist Michelle Branch took the stage first and ran through her songbook that includes a little bit of rock and a touch of country. Branch has always been a solid performer and makes her way through the Bay Area many times each year. She always connects with the audience immediately and it was no different on this cool summer night. The audience was on their feet when she launched into “Breathe,” and gave an equally enthusiastic reaction when the chords of “Pick up the Pieces,” were struck.
No doubt Branch’s country days are missed by the fans. The reaction she got was still positive but once she made way for Rzeznik the subdued Winery audience erupted. The band started out quickly with a few recognizable songs. Dozens of beach balls were thrown into the crowd and the party began.
The Goo Goo Dolls have been hard at work as of late. Touring non stop, putting out two albums, and releasing another hit single. “Something For The Rest Of Us,” was just released and was preceded by a live album that covered their show in Soho. Much of the night’s material was off the new disc, and surprisingly, some of the fans were singing the new stuff as confidently as the old hits.
The show wrapped up in 90 minutes. They went by quickly. Some of the songs start to blend together as the band does have a unique sound. It’s the same sound that’s an immediate identifier for radio listeners, but the sound gets redundant.
It was Rzeznik’s personality which not only made the show more memorable, but it also gave the music a different dimension. He made the audience feel like they were in on a secret. That they got a behind the scenes look into what created the songs and band that they have become such fans of. The Bay Area music scene is full of choices but the Goo Goo Dolls always sell out whichever venue they choose to stop in. That has much to do with the music but more to do with the connection they make with their fans.