Live: Goo Goo Dolls Big Night Out at St. Joseph’s Amphitheater at Lakeview

On Wednesday August 16th, it was a perfect summer night at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater in Syracuse as the Goo Goo Dolls took the stage after a killer opening set by alternative rock band O.A.R.

The Goo Goo Dolls hit the stage just after 9pm with their hit “Broadway” and their 25 song set included many classic hits, with newer songs woven in-between. The Goo Goo Dolls have been at it since they formed in Buffalo, NY in 1986 and after a few songs, lead singer John Rzeznik took a moment to reminisce about Goo Goo Dolls playing in Syracuse early in their career. “I remember playing at the Lost Horizon and just being amazed that anybody actually came and saw us. You guys have been good to us for a long time,”

The audience was ready when “Black Balloon” began, the balloons started bouncing thru the audience. Following the Goo Goo Dolls played two newer tracks from their album Chaos in Bloom which was released in 2022 “Yeah, I Like You” and “Going Crazy.”

A highlight of the evening was when Rzeznik sang over Jim McGorman’s wonderful piano playing a stripped down version of “Symphany” which certainly caught my attention.

Singer John talked briefly about how he finds new AI technology a bit concerning, noting that it feels like they are trying to make humans obsolete. He made a comment about how he thinks interacting with ChatCPT would be like having a conversation with a psycho ex-girlfriend. Then he went on to explain how for the upcoming song, they had some amazing studio musicians on the song, but couldn’t afford to bring them on the road, so he replaced them with “technology.” The “technology” being an old tape recorder with the named “TAPEY” spray painted on it. He laughed as he commented he was surprised it even still works, as they started the hit “Lost.”

The Goo Goo Dolls played several more songs spanning their entire catalog, from “Name” to “Better Days” to “Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy.”

I wasn’t sure that they could top what had already happened, but they certainly did as Rzeznik invited Marc Roberge from O.A.R. on stage to perform Tom Petty’s “Won’t Back Down” a song they have been collaborating on together since earlier this year. The Goo Goo Dolls closed out the evening with their most renowned hit “Iris” as the entire audience sang along.

Overall it was an enjoyable night out on a gorgeous evening, listening to wonderful music.

Setlist: Broadway, Over and Over, Slide, Big Machine, Here Is Gone, Black Balloon, January Friend, Yeah, I Like You, Going Crazy, Lucky Star, So Alive, Dizzy, Sympathy, Lost, Come to Me, Name, Miracle Pill, Run All Night, Life’s A Message. Bringing On the Light, Better Days, Stay With You, Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy. I Won’t Back Down (cover), and Iris

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