Homecoming Lives Up To Billing For Goo Goo Dolls

Concert Review
Goo Goo Dolls
Blue October
KeyBank Center
Buffalo, NY
Saturday September 24, 2022
Review: Joseph Suto
Photos: Joseph Suto

Everyone’s favorite hometown band, Buffalo’s own Goo Goo Dolls came home to Keybank Center Saturday evening to close out their 2022 summer tour.
Oddly enough the last time the band played the arena was in 2003 as a special guest to headliner Bon Jovi that particular evening. The band seems to have played every major venue in town between that time. Let’s hope they just keep future shows at the arena as the atmosphere is so much better than any other venue in town.

The band wasted no time hitting us with the first single “Yeah, I Like You” from their latest effort Chaos In Bloom. They promptly followed that up as they slid into “Slide” before delving into “Big Machine”. Vocalist John Rzeznik seemed to be in a great mood and full of energy throughout the show. After witnessing many of the bands shows over the years this one seemed very special to him. At one point during the show he mentioned if it all ended tonight he would die a happy man.

Formed in 1986, the nucleus of the band has always been Rzeznik at the helm along with his sidekick bassist/vocalist Robby Takac. Joining them were guitarist Brad Fernquist, keyboardist Jim McGorman and drummer Craig Macintyre. With this being the end of the summer tour, the band were really dialed in and sounded spot on. They even gave “Broadway” a facelift featuring a rollicking organ and with Rzeznik playing a little harmonica at one point. Rzeznik was left out by himself for “Sympathy” which derailed at one point when he had what he called a “brain fart” which was understandable considering the emotions running through him.

When a band has thirteen albums of material not counting other songs (movie soundtracks), it can be very difficult in coming up with a set list. Not only do they have to cater to the newer fans but they still have to satisfy the cravings of many who were there when songs such as “Name” and “Iris” broke big. A daunting task to say the least. While the set performed may have pleased a fair majority of the crowd the band definitely delivered a cohesive set. My only whine being why not play something special for their hometown? Are we not deserving of an encore all our own than one that has played out in most every city during this tour?

Saturday was declared Goo Goo Dolls Day in Erie County by County Executive Mark Poloncarz. He received a good amount of boos when he first came out but once he told the crowd it was his decision to honor the band they seemed to go away. He left with cheers as he ended by yelling “Go Bills”.

Rzeźnik and Takac have always done the city proud. The final song of the night “Runnin’ Down A Dream” seemed to sum up their journey perfectly. Just two kids who had aspirations of making it big and did exactly that through hard work, writing great songs and always remembering where they came from. I think that is the one attribute that the bulk of the fans appreciate the most. This was one Goo Goo Dolls show for the ages. We can only hope for many more to come.

Set List
Yeah, I Like You
Big Machine
Here Is Gone
Black Balloon
Miracle Pill
Over and Over
Lucky Star
Free of Me
Come to Me
So Alive
Going Crazy
Life’s a Message
Bringing On the Light
Better Days

Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy
Runnin’ Down a Dream (Tom Petty Cover)

About Joseph Suto

Location: Buffalo, NY Photographer/Reviewer
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