The Goo Goo Dolls Take Center Stage in Atlantic City

By Gary W. Miller

November 27, 2019

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Well, let me start by saying that when it comes to the Goo Goo Dolls ... they’re one of my top 3 favorite bands and I’ve seen them several times over the years. In fact, I’ve been a “Goo Goo Head” (my invented word) ever since “Superstar Car Wash.” But don’t worry, I’ll try to come up with something negative so I don't come across as too biased!

Asbury Park Vibes had the privilege of catching up with the Goo Goo’s on their recent tour stop at the Tropicana in Atlantic City. They’re out promoting yet another one of their albums, Miracle Pill, which was released in September of this year. Yessss, I own this one too and I will say it’s awesome and invigorating to hear their magical sound still producing hits over 20 years later!!

James Alex of Beach Slang

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Wait, “stop the clock”! Let me back up here for a second to mention the opening act Beach Slang. Now, I must admit that I’ve personally never heard of this band out of Philadelphia before, but I quickly found myself quite entertained. They too were out promoting a new album, soon to be released, The Deadbeat Bang of Heartbreak City. James Alex was leading things off and getting the crowd revved up. He was very engaging and had great interaction with the crowd, to what I thought, was a brilliant way to capture the audience and leave a lasting impression.

As a photographer, he was fun to shoot, as he was very animated and you can see the band loved what they were doing, which always makes it easier to capture cool, candid and rockin’ shots! At one point, James took his pants off onstage as the crowd seemed a bit puzzled as to why, but they quickly paid that no mind and continued to get behind this local band and encourage them on! I’m sure as I continue to follow this band more closely, I’ll hopefully find out a meaning behind this behavior. Hell, maybe he was just hot! Check ‘em out guys, you won’t be disappointed!!

Now, heeeeere’s Johnny!! Sorry, couldn’t resist. The house went completely dark and I stumbled to my spot hoping not to trip and break one of my rigs, but I managed to make it on time only to turn and see a spotlight shining down on John Rzeznik center stage. I knew I was in for a fantastic show. They opened with the first track off the newest album Miracle Pill, “Indestructible.” The crowd was pumped, as was I, but I had to stay focused because in this business, I have only three songs to capture what I’m after!

Hit, after hit, after hit! They kept the songs coming and I soon found myself, side stage taking it all in. John was his usual self, engaging and reminiscing with the crowd, telling stories about songs and, of course, their journey. I’m not sure on how many of you know this, but the Goo Goo Dolls started off as a “punk band” in Buffalo, NY! (I didn’t even need to mention that, did I?) And as John often explains, “Nobody was coming out to see us.” It wasn’t until a buried track off the A Boy Named Goo album started to get some airplay. That track? Oh, well that would be none other than everyone’s favorite, “Name;” and as I heard John once joke, “I never had to worry about money again.”

John Rzeznik of Goo Goo Dolls

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Robby, none other than founding member Robby Takac, was of course - himself! What the hell does that mean? Well, he was all over the place, interacting, laughing, smiling and just having a good ole damn time doing what he loves to do ... play music! You can feel the chemistry, the bond, the fondness amongst this group of musicians and when it comes to John and Robby, the brotherhood! The three other members, Brad Fernquist, Craig Macintyre and Jim McGorman helped keep everything in sync!!

Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls

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This band, like many before and I’m sure many after, have had their share of trials and tribulations as well as having members come and go, but there’s one thing that remains the same. The Goo Goo Dolls still knows how to produce great music!! Get out there and get your “Miracle Pill”!

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention a negative. They could have played another 20 songs!!

Goo Goo Dolls at The Tropicana ~ Atlantic City, NJ

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Goo Goo Dolls Setlist

Indestructible/Home/Slide/Miracle Pill/Black Balloon/Here is Gone/Life’s a Message/Second Time Around/Souls in the Machine/So Alive/Sympathy/Name/Fearless/Stay with You/Bringing on the Light/Tattered Edge~You Should Be Happy/Let Love In/Broadway/Autumn Leaves/Iris

Asbury Park Vibes

ASBURY PARK VIBES is a media outlet dedicated to shining a light on the music scene at the Jersey Shore and throughout the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S.! We strive to provide show reviews and photographs that capture the true essence and fan experience of each concert. Our coverage focuses keenly on the artists and venues in legendary Asbury Park, New Jersey, however you'll also catch us promoting events in PA and NY as well! There is nothing better than the dynamic energy and vibes you feel when you experience a concert at the Jersey Shore! We're sure we'll see you at a concert here very soon!

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