Train, Goo Goo Dolls kick off summer at Utah USANA show
Train and the Goo Goo Dolls seem to have brought summer with them on their nationwide tour with Allen Stone.
The rock bands’ stop Tuesday at USANA Amphitheatre in West Valley City was as bright and energetic as the warm summer night that played host to the concert.
“This has been a lot of fun touring with Train,” Goo Goo Dolls guitarist and vocalist Johnny Rzeznik told the crowd. “This feels like a good summer.”
Train performed a lively set featuring the group’s greatest hits from “Drops of Jupiter” to “Drive By.”
The set balanced upbeat tunes like “50 Ways to Say Goodbye” with slow, thoughtful numbers such as “When I Look to the Sky,” a song Train’s lead singer Pat Monahan said has reminded fans of people they have lost and helped him remember what music is about.
“When they look to the sky, they feel like they can still connect with their loved ones,” Monahan told the audience. “It’s about bringing us together, like tonight.”
Stone returned to the stage after opening the show with a powerful vocal set to perform “Cab” and “Bruises” with Train in two beautiful duets with Monahan.
“I met him … several months ago at ‘American Idol,’ and I asked him if we could be best friends, and he said yes, so he came here with us,” Monahan said of Stone.
Train guitarist Luis Maldonado of Salt Lake City got his chance to shine in an exhilarating solo during “Meet Virginia” and while doing justice to Freddie Mercury’s vocal part in the band’s cover of Queen hit “Under Pressure,” also featuring bassist and vocalist Hector Maldonado.
The group paid tribute to Tom Petty as well in a cover that fused “American Girl” and “Free Fallin’ ” together.
Monahan kept the crowd engaged throughout the night and surprised fans with an impromptu hip-hop cover of Drake’s “In My Feelings” in the middle of “Hey, Soul Sister.”
Beach balls bounced throughout the audience as Train performed “Save Me, San Francisco,” in front of a colorful skyline backdrop.
The Goo Goo Dolls likewise captured the attention of the crowd, which seemed to sing along to every word of the band’s hit “Iris,” with a series of black balloons that fans passed around while the group performed “Black Balloon.”
Rzeznik said he remembers sitting on a dirty, secondhand sofa in an attic apartment in Buffalo, New York, about nine years into the Goo Goo Dolls’ time as a band when he wrote “Name.”
“This was the first song that I ever wrote that got on the radio, so it was like our first hit song,” Rzeznik said. “We never got to be the biggest band in the world, but for one minute, we were the best, and that was amazing.”
Goo Goo Dolls members reminisced about their 30 years as a band.
“It is so great to be back here with you guys,” Goo Goo Dolls bassist and vocalist Robby Takac said. “There’s a tear in my eye. First time we played here was to about nine people up three flights of stairs, and this is amazing, you guys. Thanks for sticking with us all these years.”Daily Herald