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Goo Goo Dolls

Goo Goo Dolls “The Big Night Out” tour Kicks Off at The Sound in Clearwater

| Vicky Sullivan |

The first show of the tour and there is a rain delay, but a little rain is not going to stop the Goo Goo Dolls from performing this show! We are talking about the band that on July 4th, 2004, played their hometown of Buffalo, New York in the POURING rain in a show that has since become iconic!  This band has weathered decades of the music business from 80’s punk to rock & pop and have survived just fine into 2023.  


After the rain, the weather was breezy which allowed the crowd at The Sound in Clearwater, Florida to patiently wait it out and was on their feet when the Goo Dolls made their entrance.  True to his punk roots, Robby Takac was sporting purple hair and barefoot.  John Rzeznik was dressed for Florida heat & humidity in tank top and knee length cargo pants. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of their hit album “Dizzy Up The Girl” they opened with the hit “Broadway”. Coming next was “Over & Over” from 2016’s “Boxes” album showed that this was going to be more than just a greatest hits tour.  The Goo’s have plenty of hits but they have continued to make new music. Their latest album being 2022’s “Chaos in Bloom” from which they played, “Yea, I Like You”.  Their 26-song setlist included an array of hits and tunes from about every album they have had since 1995!

Robby takes his turn at the mic with Dizzy’s “January Friend.”  Robby keeps the Goo punk sound alive with his contributions to the band.  His raspy voice is perfect on “Life’s A  Message”.  John’s “So Alive”, written about his struggle with alcoholism and sobriety is an anthem in the making for concerts.  “Sympathy” is one my personal favorites and usually played on acoustic guitar but this version was with piano and it was beautiful!  For “Lost” from the album “Miracle Pill” they brought out an AI machine called “Tapey” to add what was recorded in the studio to the song.  “Name” was a big, fun sing-a-long.

Goo Goo Dolls

“Long Way Down” from the album “A Boy Named Goo”, what most people may not know was on the soundtrack for the movie “Twister” in the 90’s.  It has been covered and sampled over the years. It had the fans out of their seats rockin’! There was a cover of Supertramp’s “Give A Little Bit”.  They played “Better Days” and the title track of the 2005 album “Let Love In”.  We also got the live debut of the new single, “Run All Night”.   The encore brought O.A.R. lead singer Marc Roberge to the stage for a rousing cover of Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down”.  Goo has always been a fan of Petty, playing his “American Girl” tune for years at their shows.  Closing out the show, you know what’s coming, that epic, amazing extravaganza of a song, “Iris” with everyone on their fee and singing along.   For Goo fans this is a great show, a mixtape of their career.  Don’t miss it!


Opening the show was O.A.R. (Of A Revolution).  A seven-piece band with lead singer Marc Roberge, that has excellent musicianship  that includes a horn section with trumpet and sax, they played an 11-song setlist.  They played their hits, “Lay Down” and “Love & Memories”, and a cool cover of Zeppelin’s “Fool InThe Rain”. Their song “That Was a Crazy Game of Poker” had fans throwing playing cards in the air during the song.   I loved the vibe of their song “Peace”.  Another summer tour to put on the list for great music!

Vicky Sullivan Photos

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