As one of the most successful and consistent bands of the last 20 years, the Goo Goo Dolls played well into the evening Tuesday night at the Family Circle Tennis Center on Daniel Island.
The large and enthusiastic crowd stood, sang and cheered as the band played their numerous hits and new songs from their most recent album, "Magnetic."
This summer's tour with the Goo Goo Dolls headlining larger and mostly outdoor concerts contrasts their two most recent rounds on tour. Last summer, the band co-headlined shows with Matchbox 20, playing an abbreviated acoustic tour during the fall. Johnny Rzeznik described this performance as bound by a totally different set of rules.
"We're doing the big light show. We also have more stage time so we can dig deeper in the catalog and do older songs. It's a lot of fun for us and hopefully is for the audience, too. Obviously, the energy level is much higher than with a solely acoustic performance," he said.
The "unplugged" tour was smaller and more intimate, he added. "It is a totally different way of trying to communicate with the audience. We're storytellers there and more so performers here."
In 2008, Rzeznik won the prestigious Hal David Starlight award and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Regarding the award, which "honors songwriters who are at an apex in their careers and are making a significant impact on the music industry via their original songs", Rzeznik said, "It was an amazing accomplishment and I am honored and humbled. I don't feel like a rock star at all. I am at my best writing rather than performing. I even feel out of my comfort zone on stage. I don't get stage-fright but there are nerves for sure as I psych myself up for a good show. "
Although he doesn't describes himself as a technical guitar player, Rzeznik is known for his multiple and unconventional guitar tunings when writing and performing.
"Why be limited by one traditional setting? I looked up to Jimmy Page and Joni Mitchell, and I feel these crazy tunings broaden the creative canvas when writing," he said.
With the exit late last year of long-time drummer Mike Malinin, the Goo Goo Dolls is essentially a duo, Rzeznik and bassist and fellow founding member Robby Takac, with a touring band backing them.
Regarding a possible solo effort, Rzeznik paused, but clearly stated, "I'm a band kind of guy and will be keeping it all there."
Though Rzezkik was recently married and Takac has a two-year old child, the band plans to keep writing new material and playing live.
"I also want to have a kid, and the band will always be second to family, but I don't see any reason for an extended break," Rzeznik said.
For the latest album, Rzeznik completely changed his process for the "Magnetic" writing sessions. Prior, he would write the bulk of the band's songs alone while Takac would write a few alone, as well.
After 2010's Top 10 album "Something For The Rest Of Us," Rzeznik reflected that he was not having fun writing. As he was then writing songs for others, Rzeznik realized he enjoyed working with fellow musicians.
"I was having fun and knew I wanted to do it again," he said.
He collaborated with Gregg Wattenberg and John Shanks for most of the songs on "Magnetic."
As each of the band's original albums since 1995 has charted high on the Billboard 200 album charts and they have had 14 singles reach the Top 10, Rzeznik reflected on the time variable of a live show, saying that somehow they manage to play all of the hits.
"I hate it when I see a band and they don't play their hits. It's arrogant even," Rzeznik said. The band has extended the length of their show to accomplish this, to play a "smatter of other less-known songs" and to perform at least five songs off the new album, which is exactly what they did Tuesday night.