Goo Goo Dolls treat DTE like home

The Goo Goo Dolls were at home Sunday evening. At least they felt at home.

The boys from Buffalo, N.Y., gave plenty of shout outs to Detroit during Sunday night’s performance at DTE Energy Music Theater in Clarkston, Mich., including a subtle salute to the Motor City with bassist/backup singer Robby Takac’s guitar displaying a “Made in Detroit” sticker.

The band was accompanied by rising artists and soon to be headliners, Switchfoot, and alternative rockers, The Spill Canvas.

The Spill Canvas opened to a rather empty venue as patrons were hydrating themselves at concession stands and gawking at the light pole that had fallen in DTE’s parking lot, damaging two cars. Reportedly no one was hurt as witnesses say a woman had simply leaned on the pole, causing it to topple.

As the excitement dwindled on the black top, fans worked their way into their seats.

Walking out to Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir,” the once Christian rock band got the crowd riled up when they went into the opening riff of “Meant to Live,” quickly transitioning to “Needle.” They saved the rest of “Meant to Live” for later in the set.

Switchfoot catered to all ages by covering Danzigs’ “Surrender,” reaching out to an older generation, who were the original fans when the song came out, while the younger generations are likely more familiar with the song due to its appearance on Guitar Hero.

The San Diego-based band gave a powerful nod to civil rights during “The Sound (John M. Perkins’ Blues),” an ode to the civil rights activist. A few songs later, front man Jon Foreman — who, with his disheveled look and anthemic voice, resembled Kurt Cobain and sounded a bit like Bono from U2 — really got the crowd revved up when he walked into the aisles. He was flanked on both sides of the aisle by camera ready fans as he made his way up to the sound board.

They ended their nine song set with “Dare,” allowing for a half hour set change for the night’s headliner, The Goo Goo Dolls.

Though not a sell-out, everyone cheered and sang along to familiar hits like “Slide,” “Here is Gone,” and their breakout hit, “Iris,” which launched the band to superstardom in 1998 when it appeared on the soundtrack for “City of Angels.”

Unlike your average show at DTE, no beach balls were present; instead, the audience bounced around black balloons, most notably during the band’s 1999 single of the same name.

Amidst paying homage to the many hits over their 24 years as a band, Goo Goo Dolls also played several songs off their upcoming album, “Something for the Rest of Us.”

The album, which drops on August 31, will mark the band’s ninth studio album. The album’s first single, “Home,” was released on Apple’s iTunes store June 8.

The audience ranged from teenagers and 20-somethings to middle aged adults who were around for the beginning of the Goo Goo Dolls’ 15 year career and now have kids of their own.

What can only be described as adorable, lead singer John Rzeznik said to an excited little girl named Abby, “You’ve been taking my picture all night; let me take yours.” The girl eagerly gave Rzeznik her camera and let him take several photos of her with her mom and sister.

Wrapping up the regular portion of the show with “Iris,” the Goo Goo Dolls came out for a three-song encore to conclude their 22-song set. Preceding the illumination of the house lights, Rzeznik, Takac, and the rest of the Dolls belted out a new and an old ballad, “Not Broken” and “Broadway.”

Throughout the evening, Rzeznik stated how Detroit reminds him of home. That’s good, because by the end, he and the Dolls didn’t look ready to leave.