Darien, NY – The chart-topping, multi-platinum, iconic band from Buffalo, NY, The Goo Goo Dolls, returned for a highly anticipated show at the Darien Lake PAC on Friday evening. For many music fans in the WNY area, the summer is not complete without seeing the Goo Goo Dolls play a show at Darien Lake. And, although the band is at the tail end of a grueling tour, still in support of their 2013 record, ‘Magnetic,’ they managed to give the 9,000 fans in attendance another performance to remember.
The Goo Goo Dolls – which consists of band founders John Rzeznik (vocals/guitars), and Robby Takac (bass/vocals), plus a group of outstanding hired hand musicians – seemed thrilled to be back home. The Rzeznik/Takac dynamic duo was all smiles and full of energy for most of the evening. It is no secret that when Rzeznik is engaging and in a good mood, the Goo Goo Dolls have a good show. On this night, Rzeznik was in great spirits, interacting with the audience and talking quite often between songs. But, most importantly, he was spot on with his vocals.
The Goo’s opened the evening with the fan favorite track, “Dizzy,” and played a predictable, yet effective set list, consisting of all of their major hits. They also played the song that is scheduled to be their next single, “When the World Breaks Your Heart.” This song should do very well on the radio for them. The big question is: why wasn’t this song released as a single before their summer tour started?
Before starting the mega-hit, “Name,” Rzeznik dedicated the performance to the supportive hometown audience. He had everyone in the audience on their feet and singing along to this pop music masterpiece.
During the song written about a street in Buffalo, “Broadway,” Rzeznik played a small portion of a guitar solo, and then quickly aborted it, explaining that it was all he could play, because he used all of his money meant for guitar lessons on beer instead. He then stated that Takac used all of his money meant for bass lessons on pot. Takac responded to that accusation by playing a very cool bass solo; who knew that he could play like that?
Takac also took center stage for four songs – doing two songs at a time. This has been a standard part of a Goo’s show for years. Although some of the causal fans may not recognize the Takac songs, this part of the show is always fun for the loyal, diehard followers. The Takac song, “Bringing on the Light,” from ‘Magnetic,’ is really a great song. Takac always takes this one to the next level when performing it live.
However, the highlight of the show was a powerful and epic performance of the #1 Billboard hit and song of the 90’s decade, “Iris.” Rzeznik’s passionate vocals had everyone’s attention. This song is a musical masterpiece – perhaps even the greatest song written in the 1990’s. Rzeznik really gives this song all he has, night after night.
The Goos ended this incredible evening with a two song encore, consisting of “Sympathy,” in which Rzeznik came out and played by himself, followed by the rest of the band coming out to join him for the Supertramp classic, “Give a Little Bit.”
The Goo Goo Dolls always deliver, especially when they play to their hometown crowd. Even though the city of Buffalo has never won a major sporting championship, we have something very special that no other city has, and that’s one of the greatest bands of the last twenty years – the Goo Goo Dolls.
When the World Breaks Your Heart
Another Second Time Around
Come to Me
Stay With You
Here Is Gone
Caught in the Storm
Bringing on the Light
Slow It Down
Give a Little Bit
The biggest THANK YOU ever to Greg Grzebielucha for all of his help. Also, thank you to Dana Kaiser.
For more on the Goo Goo Dolls, check out our interview with Robby Takac here.