Goo Goo Dolls – Fraze Pavilion – Friday, May 14, 2010
Opening night for the Summer Concert Series at Fraze Pavilion in Dayton. Perfect night for a show, cool without being uncomfortable. I remember the Goo Goo Dolls from their punky pop stuff of the early 90’s, and albums like Superstar Car wash, and A Boy Named Goo.
First thing that surprised me was how old many of the concert goers were. I thought I’d be the oldest one there, but wasn’t by a long shot. Second thing I noticed was how I had completely lost touch with this band. I didn’t recognize hardly any of the songs that they played. I’ve never been to a concert where you could hear the crowd talking over the band. That’s how it was when the Goos played anything unfamiliar.
It occurred to me what had happened: the Goo Goo Dolls began life as a punkish pop band that only got played on college radio. Their ballad, “Name,” from A Boy Named Goo, changed all that. Constant MTV airplay rocketed that song into the top five. The band decided to shed their underground skin and embrace the mainstream. Their song “Iris” from the Nicolas Cage / Meg Ryan movie City of Angels solidified this transformation. From this point on, the Goo Goo Dolls became the darlings of Adult Alternative.
But there’s a cost to this sort of fame. Everyone knew the hits, but when it came to the album cuts, people could care less. Their college radio fans of old would’ve known every track of every CD, but the top 40 crowd only knows the hit that they’ve downloaded from Itunes or heard on the radio.
While some bands throw in a bone or two for the fans that have been with them from the beginning, the Goo Goo Dolls preferred to completely forget their past, playing only “Name” from A Boy Named Goo. Everything else from the evening centered around their post-transformation period. And, why not? I’m probably the only one in the audience who would’ve cared.