A generation may be between them, but the Goo Goo Dolls and Daughtry are just as regularly neighbors on the rock charts as they are mutual appreciators of one another. The smartly paired arena and amphitheatre outing also appeared to bring a shared fan base who were pretty equally engaged with both acts at a just shy of sold out FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island (nestled between the breathtaking skyline and lakefront of downtown Chicago).
Rzeznik was at his peak during rockers like “Stay With You” and “Broadway” (though he continues to struggle on range-testing power ballads like “Iris”), while Takac’s punkish take on the pre-fame cut “Another Second Time Around” and a few others sent hundreds to the bathroom.
Touring behind its tenth studio project, “Magnetic” (Warner Bros.), the Goo Goo Dolls naturally closed out the night with a practically endless onslaught of hits right up to present day. Kicking off with the triple threat of “Dizzy,” “Big Machine” and “Slide,” co-founders John Rzeznik and Robby Takac came across like the seasoned veterans that only perseverance can produce, while their equally well-oiled backers kept right on up as the new “Rebel Beat” found the fellas adapting with today’s radio trends.
Rzeznik was at his peak during rockers like “Stay With You” and “Broadway” (though he continues to struggle on range-testing power ballads like “Iris”), while Takac’s punkish take on the pre-fame cut “Another Second Time Around” and a few others sent hundreds to the bathroom. Even so, it didn’t diminish the general dependability of a band who came up in final boom of the CD era and has miraculously managed to survive if not thrive thanks to consistently melodic songwriting supported by an increasingly loyal fan base.
Speaking of possessing a stable of singles, Daughtry’s quickly catching up to those co-headliners, especially now that the group’s fourth full-length “Baptized” (RCA) spawned the smash “Waiting For Superman.” While some have criticized the project’s softer sound compared to its earlier edge, the songs definitely came alive on stage thanks to a full-throttled presentation led by the “American Idol” finalist of the same name (who’s since shed the show’s stigma with repeated modern rock scene success).
The rousing title track fit right alongside the charging older cut “Feels Like Tonight,” while monster ballads “It’s Not Over” and “Home” (dedicated to America’s troops) further showcased the leader’s massive voice. Nevertheless, Daughtry is definitively an aggressive act at heart, perhaps best noted with “Long Live Rock & Roll,” during which a handful of lucky attendees were brought on stage to help close out the set with a bang. Throw in the homecoming of power pop openers the Plain White T’s, and it was indeed a front to back sing-a-long in what became one of this summer’s most palatable musical parties.