Goo Goo Dolls Hit the Stage with Train and Opener Allen Stone

John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls Photo by Jenna Kauffman

On Friday, August 9, Goo Goo Dolls and Train performed their co-headlining show at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Md., a part of their summer tour together. Allen Stone opened the show, followed by Goo Goo Dolls, with Train closing off the night.

Allen Stone and Keyboardist
Allen Stone with his Keyboard Player Swatkins
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Opener Allen Stone started at 7 p.m. with some American soul and R&B. The singer has very powerful vocals that hit all the right notes, and strutted around the stage with a confidence similar to Mick Jagger or Bruno Mars. His band seemed just as into the performance, each of the members playing with determination to show that playing music is what they were meant to do.

Stone played with his band for roughly half an hour before Goo Goo Dolls took the stage at 7:45 p.m. While they’re co-headlining with Train, their set seemed to go by in a flash, because no one wanted it to end. Of course, the band played their hits, such as opener “Stay With You” and third song “Slide,” but they also played later hits such as “So Alive” from their 2016 album Boxes. They also brought out a new song, the title track from their upcoming album release, Miracle Pill, a little over halfway through their set.

Robby Takac
Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Bassist/vocalist Robby Takac kept things lively with his on-stage antics, including running around stage barefoot. John Rzeznik, vocalist/guitarist, was center stage alongside Takac, more so on the serious side. But both put their all into the performance along with the rest of the band as they played on stage. Some further mischief went about as big black balloons were thrown into crowd as they played their song “Black Balloon,” which circulated the crowd as the audience members kept them afloat.

Surprisingly, Goo Goo Dolls didn’t close with “Iris,” as a typical fan might think when going to their show for the first time. But when they played “Iris,” the crowd loudly chanted along to the line, “Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive.” Many of their songs during the set had the crowd singing along, and during “So Alive,” Rzeznik officially instructed the crowd to chant to the chorus. The band chose to close with their single “Broadway.” This rounded off their 15-song set, getting ready for the final band of the night.

John Rzeznik
John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Train concluded the show, starting around 9:20 p.m. and ending close to 11 p.m. The group kept the crowd on their feet, with most of their set list being their radio hits, including “If It’s Love,” “Meet Virginia,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” and their timeless “Drops of Jupiter.” The group also threw in a few covers to their set list, to change it up a little despite the fact that they have enough of their own catalog to not have to do so. These covers included “American Girl” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Under Pressure” by Queen that served as a bit of an interlude, and “Heartbreaker” by Led Zeppelin that showed off both lead guitarist Luis Maldonado’s and bassist Hector Maldonado’s ultimate skills. It was also impressive seeing the female back-up singers keep up with lead singer Pat Monahan’s pipes; this wasn’t just a show, but a commitment and love for the profession.

Pat Monahan
Pat Monahan of Train
Photo by Jenna Kauffman

Train kept the summer vibe alive by throwing out beach balls during “Save Me, San Francisco,” similar to how Goo Goo Dolls threw out balloons during their set. They also brought out opener Allen Stone to join singer Monahan in a duet of the band’s song, “Bruises.” Stone again brought out his impressive vocals, giving the recorded duet partner, Ashley Monroe, a run for her money. Bringing out Stone was a nice touch, to show how close the acts have gotten on this tour. Train also gave a shout-out to Goo Goo Dolls amid their set, saying how much they’ve enjoyed touring with them.

The three acts put together a night that 90s music lovers and current music lovers would both be satisfied with. Unfortunately, Goo Goo Dolls’s summer U.S. tour with Train and Allen Stone wraps up this weekend. However, in celebration of their new album, Miracle Pill out September 13, Goo Goo Dolls are going on a U.S. fall tour starting October 25. You can find a date near you on their website. Also, you can pre-order their new album, Miracle Pill, here. Interested in seeing more photos from the show? Check out Jenna’s Gigs on Facebook.