Staying power is a real show of success in the music business. The list of one-hit-wonders is endless, and many bands that manage to put together one or two great albums eventually fade away to obscurity.
On Sunday night, August 11th, two bands that have been rocking crowds for the better part of three decades rolled into the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, NJ.
The show kicked off with a short but entertaining set from singer/songwriter Kate Earl. Earl’s soulful voice and remarkably catchy pop-rock tunes opened the show on the right note for the evening. Many fans showed up early to catch her set and were quite pleased with their decision to do so.
Following Kate Earl, and a short break during which time a bear appeared on stage, it was time for The Goo Goo Dolls to take over. These guys have managed to not only keep their strong fan base from the 90’s, but have steadily increased it since that time. They have sold over 10 million albums, charted fourteen Top-10 singles, and in October 2012, their biggest hit, “Iris”, was ranked #1 on Billboard’s “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992-2012”.
Touring in support of their latest album “Magnetic” (which dropped in June 2013), GGD mixed in some new songs with a bevy of fan favorites during their hour long set. Front man John Rzeznik led the charge, giving way at times for bassist Robby Takac to take over on lead vocals. The crowd remained on their feet for the entire performance, and although the GGD’s sound doesn’t exactly provoke wild dancing in the aisles, it spawned its fair share of head-bobbing, and sing-a-longs.
Their set culminated with “Iris” and “Broadway” to a roar of cheers. They left the stage and did not return for an encore. At this point a lengthy 40 minute stage changeover took place as the crowd waited anxiously for Matchbox 20.
Also a staple of the rock music scene since the 1990’s, Matchbox 20 has also produced a staggering number of Top-10 hits and wildly successful albums. Their most recent album, “North”, debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200 chart last September.
Unfortunately we were unaware that Matchbox 20 was filming their entire 90 minute performance for an upcoming DVD and because of the numerous video cameras and cranes, no photographers were allowed to shoot their set. That didn’t stop us, and the rest of the Susquehanna Bank Center, from enjoying every minute of it.
Backed by a stunning (and bright) stage display, Rob Thomas and company brought their A-game to the stage during their 18 song set. They opened with “Parade”, the first track off of “North”, before diving into older favorites “Bent” and “Disease”.
After informing the crowd that the extra bright lights were necessary for the show because they were filming for a DVD (and warning the audience to not get caught on camera picking their noses), Thomas continued to sing his heart out on song after song, as MB20 mixed in a slew of new and old favorites from their extensive catalog.
Unlike the GGD, Matchbox 20 returned to the stage for a three song encore that consisted of a cover of INXS’s “Don’t Change” followed by “Back 2 Good” and “Push”. We wish we were able to provide you with photos from their performance but alas, you’ll have to wait for the DVD to see exactly what you missed (or to relive it if you were at the show).
The Goo Goo Dolls and Matchbox 20 don’t appear to be going away anytime soon and their fans wouldn’t have it any other way!
[Photos by D. Jacob Miller Photography]
You can view additional photos of the show and MB20’s set list below (click thumbnails to enlarge):
Matchbox 20 Set List:
She’s So Mean
How Far We’ve Come
If You’re Gone
So Sad So Lonely
Don’t Change(INXS cover)
Back 2 Good