By Daniel Bocchino
It was a big night for rock fans in Syracuse on Wednesday, as The Goo Goo Dolls brought their Big Night Out Tour to Lakeview Amphitheater. O.A.R. opened the show.
It’s been a long road for The Goo Goo Dolls. The Buffalo natives formed in 1986 and have maintained their core two members, John Rzeznik (vocals, guitar) and Robby Takac (vocals, bass guitar) since day one. They are now joined by Craig Macintyre, who took over drumming duty in 2014. Along the way, the band have released 14 studio albums and have an impressive 19 top-ten singles. The band saw their popularity explode in 1997 with the release of “Iris,” which was included on the City of Angels soundtrack. The song spent an impressive 18 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 airplay charts.
The evening kicked off with a set by Maryland rockers, O.A.R. The amphitheater was already well on its way towards full when O.A.R. took the stage at 7:15pm. The band launched in to “Love and Memories,” off their 2005 release Stories of a Stranger, which brought those in attendance quickly to their feet. It was clear early on that many in attendance were passionate followers of the band, as many made their way to the front of the amphitheater to sing and dance along. The band wasted no time playing their familiar hit “Shattered” early on in the set. The band would close out their set with the ever popular “Crazy Game of Poker” which saw the front pit section jump up and down and throw playing cards in the air.
After a lengthy stage change over, the Goo Goo Dolls took to the stage at 9:10. The band took no time breaking out the hits, opening with the high energy “Broadway” off 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl. It was the perfect upbeat opener, and quickly it was clear the band was excited to be there. Rzeznik and Takac bounced from one end of the stage to the other, with smiles fixated across their faces.
Early in the set, Rzeznik paused to thank the fans of his band who have been there since day one, as well as to pay homage to legendary Syracuse rock club, The Lost Horizon. “I remember coming here in 1986 and playing at the Lost Horizon, and just being amazed that anyone actually came to see us.”
The remainder of the 25 song set saw the Goo Goo Dolls perform their various classics and fan favorites, like “Slide,” “Here is Gone,” “Black Balloon” (which saw fans toss black balloons in the air) along side newer hits like 2023’s “Run All Night” and “Yeah, I Like You.” Along the way Rzeznik took multiple opportunities to thank the crowd and convey his appreciation, proclaiming “I can’t believe I still get to do this, and I want to thank you guys…” before performing one of the band’s earliest hits, “Name.” As the evening neared a close Rzeznik introduced the second to last track as “One you all will know” before playing a cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” a track the Goo Goo Dolls and O.A.R. recently teamed up to record in the studio. The band would then close the evening with their 1997 smash hit, “Iris”, much to the crowd’s appreciation. It truly was a big night out for rock fans.
Click the link for a photo set - https://nysmusic.com/2023/08/22/goo-goo-dolls-bring-big-night-out-tour-to-lakeview-amphitheater-in-syracuse/#google_vignette