Aboard the Goo Goo Dolls TrainJul 14, 2019 11:37PM ● By Lamarr Fowlkes
“Ecstasy is all you need”, the opening notes of “Big Machine” as alternative band the Goo Goo Dolls opened to the crowd at Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Saturday night. Devoted fans were treated to the band’s catalog including “Slide” and “Here is Gone”. Known for their 90’s and 00’s hits, the band continues to produce new music as they debuted the track “Miracle Pill” from their upcoming September album of the same name. “Black Balloon” (with the ever appropriate drop of giant black balloons) and rocking’ anthem “So Alive” followed. “Name”, THE song that put them on the map more than 20 years ago, was recounted by the ageless wonder, front man Johnny Rzeznik humorously telling the audience that he wasn’t sure what he was going to do with his life back in 1995. That was until he looked at a Billboard Magazine and saw the song had gone to number 1 on the charts and eventually was nominated for a Grammy. In Johnny’s mind, that solidified the band as the best in in the world and you’d be hard pressed to find a longtime GGD fan that would dispute it, given their enduring presence. Hailing from Buffalo, NY, their encore set was in the vein of a big musical production complimented by signature anthem “Iris” and New York themed sing-along “Broadway”.
San Francisco contemporaries Train praised the crowd with the positive vibes of “Calling All Angels”, then subsequently bid them adieu mariachi style with “50 Ways to Say Goodbye”. Soulful front man Pat Monahan taking selfies with cameras phones thrown to stage by audience members was absolutely delightful during their ode to San Fran, “Save Me, San Francisco”, The band from the bay of the west also showed affection for the hometown crowd with a moving camera highlighting their raucous play with several beach balls and several Carolina shout outs (a surprise video appearance from rapper Travis McCoy on the collaboration “Everybody Calls Me Sir”). A sweaty, steamy evening in Raleigh, NC concluded another date on a great summer tour of music.