The Second Goo Around

Posted: September 22, 2017 in Music

There’s nothing like the first time.  You never forget it as most firsts are preceded by years of anticipation, hard work, dreaming, or any number of combinations of the three.  Yet, there are cases in which the second time can be even better.

I can honestly say that my second time seeing the Goo Goo Dolls was definitely better than the first.  Yes, last summer ended years of waiting to finally see them, and it gave my wife and I a great, overnight road trip down to Oregon to make the experience even greater.  But, that night couldn’t even begin to compare to this year’s concert.

I had a feeling that was going to be the case heading into it as the Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery is somewhat of a home-away-from-home for the guys in the band.  It is a mainstay on virtually all of their tours, and they even spent time in its locale of Woodinville a couple of years ago when working on their Boxes album.  I figured their connection with the area would provide for a special energy coming from not just the band but the crowd as well.  It did.

At last year’s concert, John, Robby, and the rest of the band came out on fire but I felt the crowd didn’t really reciprocate so the guys just played through it.  There certainly was never a fear of a repeat this go-around.  The stage presence of John and Robby that we’ve all grown to love was on full display.  They both cover the stage from end-to-end, front-to-back with an energy and rock persona that’s tough to find anyone who can match it. But, let’s be honest in saying that Robby takes a definite edge over John in this category.  As my wife said during one of Robby’s first songs early in the set, “You can tell that guy really f—ing loves his job!”

As for the crowd and their energy, I don’t think they missed a beat all night long.  It’s always an incredible saturation of the senses when the voices singing along all around you seem to melt into one with those firing through the speakers.  There’s nothing like that brief moment as you’re scanning the crowd during a song when you make eye contact with someone else belting out the tune.  It’s a great sense of camaraderie in knowing that you’re all there because you share the same love of the same music from the same artist.

I might also be a bit biased toward this night over the first time because I got to have the unbelievable experience of the pre-show meet-and-greet.  There really isn’t a good way to describe it.  It was my first time getting to do it and it was an insane few minutes of whirlwind.  Though you know heading into it that it’s going to be an all too brief experience, nothing can prepare you for those handful of seconds that it’s just you and the guys.  My mind was going a million miles per second with what I wanted to say, what I wanted to ask, and with simply trying to compute how it was possible that I was standing between two of my idols.  It still seems unreal.

What is very much real, however, are the songs those two idols have put into my life.  Which, ultimately, is what put all of us there on that night. The new, the old, the classics, the surprises – they were all shared.  Some were exactly as we know them from the albums.  Some had curveballs mixed in that we weren’t expecting.  All of them were the live version of memories, people, places, and events that have meant so much to us in our lives.

For that I am grateful.  Or, should I say, we are grateful.  I feel that I can safely speak for the entire fan base that was in attendance when I express how thankful we are to have a couple of guys from Buffalo whose talents have played the role that they have in our lives.  What’s even better is that the journey is (hopefully) far, far from over.  We’ll do our best in whatever ways we can to see to that.

We need more new, unknown songs.  We need more summer days of driving with the windows down and the volume up.  We need more nights like we just got with The Long Way Home Tour where we can belt out our favorites alongside a couple thousand new friends.  We need more memories.

I know, I know – it’s all in due time.  As I learned with this second experience being greater than the first, the guys just keep getting better.  It can be said for both of them: you can tell they really f—ing love their job.

 

 

 

 

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