Archive for July, 2016

Gone Goo Goo

Posted: July 16, 2016 in Music

It was a night years in the making.  The band had been around for two decades, had placed well in the charts with several singles and albums, and yet I was essentially oblivious to their good deeds within the music world.  I may have been somewhat familiar with their biggest song, but I honestly can’t say definitively that I was.  How quickly things can change.

The one specific song that I can thankfully blame for it all started getting increased playtime during the holiday season of 2005.  It was a new single that I believe had been out for several weeks, but given its underlying themes and message it fit perfectly for the more current time of year.  That 3-1/2 minute package of brilliance is titled, “Better Days” and it was penned by the genius that is John Rzeznik – brilliant Goo Goo Dolls front man.

It jumped out at me the first time I heard it because the band had just recently been put onto my radar by a good friend whose life has been greatly influenced by the boys from Buffalo.  It was all over from there.  I was a fan.  It didn’t take long for their music to grow deeper within me to the point of becoming an important, invaluable part of my life.

Too many years it took for it all to finally culminate in seeing John, Robby Takac, and the rest of the band live, but I finally did so on Friday night, July 8th, 2016.  My wife and I made the trek down to Troutdale, Oregon for a night we will never forget.  Yes, my wife is a fan as well.  Like so many people, she didn’t even realize how much she enjoyed the band until hearing so much of their stuff in my car that she recognized.  They have provided the perfect soundtrack for our life together.  I went a bit cliché and had “Come To Me” playing when I proposed, but it was only fitting.  The song is an eerily relatable story of the history of our friendship through the years on up to our marriage.  It has always been the perfect theme song for us and has always been there: it randomly started playing at the jewelry store the night we bought her ring, it randomly started playing several days later when I went to pick up the ring, and in addition to the proposal it was our first dance at the wedding.  We also used “Hey Ya” for the bridal party’s procession, and had “All That You Are” playing when we were introduced at the reception.

So, for many reasons this particular rainy night in Oregon was monumental for us both.  The years of waiting were completely worth it.  The opening shows from Tribe Society and Collective Soul were great and the atmosphere went through the proverbial roof of the amazing outdoor venue when the guys hit the stage.  It was a great set that flew by all too quickly in a nearly exact hour-and-a-half.  From the old to the new, and everything in between – dancing and singing virtually non-stop to every song made for quite the evening.  That included getting to dance to our song once again – live.

The energy of the experience is something I will never forget.  John knows how to bring it as lead vocalist, lead guitarist, comedian in-between and during songs, and even when he gives up the stage to Robby when it’s his turn at the mic.  Speaking of Robby, watching that guy is almost worth the price of admission in itself.  His charisma, his excitement, his overall enjoyment and love for the fans and what he is doing – they all ooze out of his every movement, every jump and run around the stage, and every smile and goofy grin that he gives.  Well, I shouldn’t say “every” smile and grin because that implies that he stops doing those things at some point.  He doesn’t.

It’s always a moment of mixed emotions when the band that you’ve gone to see walks off of the stage for the final time at the end of the night.  You’re raging with adrenaline.  You’re raging with mystery of “I wonder what they’d play next had they kept going”.  You’re even raging with a bit of disappointment at having to come to grips with it being all over, and having done so too quickly regardless of it was an hour or three.  Mostly, however, you’re raging with the mesmerizing excitement of what you just lived through.

That night took too many years to happen.  I’m thankful for that.  Not because it gave me time to appreciate it more (I would have appreciated it equally as much had it been five years ago), but because the timing ended up being perfect.  The venue at which it happened, the night on which it happened, and the fact that I got to share it with whom I did.

I know it won’t take me as long to see them the next time.  At least, I can only hope there’s the opportunity for a next time.  If and when there is, my wife and I will be there.  You should, too.

In your home, in your car, or best yet live – Goo Goo Dolls certainly makes for better days.