Train and The Goo Goo Dolls with special guest Allen Stone
The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
August 3, 2019
On Saturday, August 3rd Train and The Goo Goo Dolls along with opening act Allen Stone performed a barn-burner of a concert at The Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater. Each performance was filled with high energy and an amazing, kinetic, electricity that could be felt throughout the crowd.
The evening began with a dose of Pacific Northwestern blue-eyed soul and R&B as Allen Stone and his band took the stage. The singer, who sees himself as a “hippie with soul,” was clearly having a good time as he spoke about warming up for the co-headliners while delivering a stellar short but strong six-song set highlighted by performances of “Brown Eyed Lover” “Taste Of You,” “Freezer Burn” and the Jamiroqui cover “ Virtual Insanity.”
On this evening, Train was considered the headliner and as such The Goo Goo Dolls were on next. Johnny Rzeznik, Robby Takac and their supporting musicians took the stage, launched into “Stay With You” and it was off to the races. The band members clearly loved performing and the Long Island audience cheered and whistled and danced in the aisles.
The evening’s set covered the entirety of the Goo Goo Dolls career. Highlights included: “Here Is Gone,” “Black Balloon,” “Name” (which Rzeznik reportedly wrote about MTV personality Kennedy) and “Better Days.” Takac shined while handling the lead vocals on “Bringing on the Light” and “Free Of Me.” The new song, ”Miracle Pill” from the album of the same name (which is set for release on September 13th on Warner Brothers Records) fit in well with the band’s “classic” tunes such as “Slide,” “Rebel Beat,” “Over And Over,” “So Alive” (from the 2016 Warner Brothers album Boxes) and “Big Machine.”
The band’s set wound down with note-perfect renditions of “Iris” (arguably the band's biggest hit) followed by the infectious and rocking “Broadway.” When the song ended, Rzeznik and Takac came front and center, took their bows, waved to the adoring crowd and were gone. It was an amazing performance that proved that even after over thirty years, The Goo Goo Dolls can still rock ‘n’ roll with the best of them.
After a short intermission, the member of Train along with lead singer Pat Monihan appeared and kicked off its set with “Calling All Angels.” The audience members rose to their feet staying there throughout the performance while dancing to “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” “If It’s Love,” “Call Me Sir” and even the note-for-note perfect robust and rockin’ homage to Led Zeppelin--“Heartbreaker.”
The normally jaded New York audience was enraptured by Monahan and his cohorts. The band had had the crowd eating out of the palm of its hands. Then intimate venue by the bay was hoppin’ and boppin’ as oversized beach balls bouncing around the crowd, fans danced the night away and took cellphone pics and videos. The set featured flawless renditions of “Save Me, San Francisco” (an audience participation number), “Angel In Blue Jeans” and the group’s breakthrough 1999 hit “Meet Virginia” (which featured and amazing solo by guitartist Luis Maldonado). Allen Stone appeared from the wings and joined the band on for a short version of Alicia Keys’ and Jay Z’s “Empire State of Mind” before duetting with Monihan on a fantastic version of “Bruises.”
Other highlights included: the cover of Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ “American Girl” with a snippet of “Free Fallin'" and David Bowie and Queen’s “Under Pressure" (on which Maldonado sang Freddy Mercury’s part, including the fantastic scream at the end), the soulful and heartfelt ballad “Marry Me,” “Hey, Soul Sister” and the upbeat “Play That Song.”
The band ended the night with a bang. The audience members lost it as the opening notes of “Drops of Jupiter” rang out. Insanity reigned as the lights, blared, confetti filled the air and the audience members sang along staying in place until the last notes faded “back in the atmosphere.”
Photos by Christine Connallon