Hometown Show Anything But Normal For Goo Goo Dolls

Concert Review
Goo Goo Dolls
Phillip Phillips

Darien Lake PAC
Darien Center, NY
Saturday August 12, 2017
Review/Photos: Joseph Suto

Once again Buffalo’s own Goo Goo Dolls invaded the Darien Lake PAC Saturday night. The band played the PAC for the ninth time as the venue celebrates its 25th year this season. Touring in support of last years Boxes as well as a recently released EP You Should Be Happy, the band seemed to be firing on all cylinders. Singer and guitarist Johnny Rzeznik along with his cohort bassist Robby Takac both seemed ecstatic to once again be playing in front of their hometown. Rzeznik in particular “We keep meeting here at this place” he exclaimed as he told many stories about the bands’ early days throughout the night.

Following a solid set by opener Phillip Phillips, the band wasted no time digging into the new EP as they kicked off their set with “Tattered Edge/You Should Be Happy”. “Slide” is one song that is guaranteed to get the crowd going with out fail and as usual delivered the goods. “Big Machine” the lone cut played off 2002s Gutterflower promptly followed.

Rzeznik told how they worked at the Continental and around that time had a cult like following around town. He said they always played a lot of shitty clubs and when he wrote this next song all that changed. He thanked the fans for believing in the band all these years. As he strummed the first few chords to “Name” the crowd screamed, “Oh you know it!” he exclaimed.

Rzeznik said when he was going through what songs to play for this tour he came across the lyrics to this next song and said they were relevant again with all that’s taking place in the world. The band dusted it off “Flat Top” and gave it an arousing performance. Until this year the band hadn’t played it on a full tour in quite a number of years.

The big surprise of the night was when Rzeznik called out 10,000 Maniacs singer Mary Ramsey who played viola on “We Are The Normal”. The gem from Superstar Carwash had last been played on the band’s short acoustic tour in 2014 but not in a regular show since 2003.

The band has come a long way from the days of playing places like the Continental and other small local establishments. They paid their dues time and time again in those early days. To see the band evolve into a platinum plus national selling act is dream come true for Rzeznik and Takac. It is something neither takes lightly. They still care on how the fans perceive them. I think most fans walked away from this show with an extra bounce in their step. It was clearly one of the bands’ best performances in front of the hometown faithful to date.

Set List
Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy
Big Machine
Over and Over
So Alive
Black Balloon
Lucky Star
Free of Me
Use Me
Come to Me
Already There
Bringing on the Light
Flat Top
We Are The Normal
Acoustic #3
Better Days
Long Way Home


About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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