Concert Reviews

Concert Review: GOO GOO DOLLS and THOSE DAMN CROWS at Manchester Academy

Manchester Academy 1 - Friday, June 23rd, 2023

The Goo Goo Dolls have an extensive musical legacy but until now our musical paths have never actually crossed. Promoting their latest album release, “Chaos In Bloom”, they set foot on UK shores. On discovering that my favourite current rock band, Those Damn Crows, were to support on these dates, it was an easy decision to make and witness their majestic live power again in a familiar setting.

Dressing suitably in my Crows hoodie and hat I joined the Crow family early in securing a good vantage position at the front of the stage early doors. The rising stars had attracted a large portion of their increasing fan base along with the Goo Goo Dolls UK dates. All reports and feedback from earlier dates indicated that they had been very well received and not just by audience members who already knew of them.

Unfortunately, like the band’s own anthem, their all too brief six-song set quickly passed by in the “Blink of an Eye.” I have now seen the band in a variety of settings, from Hmv acoustic set to their own headline shows and festivals. Never letting energy levels drop they deliver passion and quality songs every single time that they step onto a stage. If you are not yet familiar with them do yourself a favour and give them a listen from emotional ballads to hard-hitting anthems they have it all.

The venue was already close to capacity when after a short changeover the headliners came on calmly and without pomp and any ceremony. In quite a surprise they opened with a new song, from their latest album. Despite it being relatively unfamiliar it immediately engaged with the audience who greeted it like an old friend.

A major part of the set was focused on their most successful album release, 1998’s “Dizzy Up the Girl.” The difficulty for most bands of a certain vintage is how to compose a setlist that plays homage to their past but at the same time also focuses on the present, while looking ahead to the future.

Despite not being overly familiar to me personally, it was to the band’s credit that they kept me engaged and actually enjoying their set. It actually turned out that the band had created many more earworms over their musical legacy that I was actually aware of after all.

In conclusion a great night out with the hard-hitting rock anthems of the support combined with the more subtle musical nuances of the Goo Goo Dolls’ musical repertoire.

Photos by Angela Meech


Mark Dean

I'm a 40+ music fan. Fond mostly of rock and metal - my staple musical food delights. Originally from Northern Ireland, I am now based in the UK-Manchester. I have a hectic musical existence with regular shows and interviews. Been writing freelance for five years now with several international websites. Passionate about what I do, I have been fortunate already to interview many of my all-time musical heroes. My music passion was first created by seeing Status Quo at the tender age of 15. While I still am passionate about my rock and metal, I have found that with age my taste has diversified so that now I am actually dipping into different musical genres and styles for the first time.

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