Atlanta – October 31, 1999…Atlanta finds itself surrounded by ghouls, goblins, and creatures that go GOO in the night! Well, not all were ghouls and goblins, but definitely creatures that go Goo! And these creatures that go “Goo” also play some pretty damn good music and know how to put on a show! And who are these creatures…. They are the GOO GOO DOLLS!
A private party was thrown at The Swiss Hotel Halloween night for an exclusive group (invitation only) of Atlantians. It was sponsored by WSTR-FM (Star 94) and the only way to go to this party was to win tickets from the station or know how to pull some strings, (which is the category I fall into).
Out of all the concerts I’ve ever been, I would pretty much say that this was the absolute best! I want to try to be detailed enough so as to create the “almost there” sensation; however, I am afraid that I will go on too long. Let me apologize now if I do! Being succinct is not one of my strong suits.
Blessed Union of Soul (BUS) opened for the Goo Goo Dolls…I have to admit that I didn’t watch the entire opening act, but I do like them. They just aren’t my favorite! They played for about an hour. And they did do a great job!
My friend and I were walking around at this time doing the cocktail thing and were talking to some of the radio industry people there (I’m also in the radio industry). As we were socializing, John Rzeznik was walking around everywhere, but no one noticed him. Why? Because the bonehead was in complete costume. I remember seeing “him” but had no idea it was “he”…I can remember seeing his costume and thinking, “that is so wrong!” (He was dressed up like one of the dead Kennedy’s, and I don’t mean the Group “The Dead Kennedy’s.”) I later figured out it was him when I saw them first come out on stage where the entire group except for Mike Malinin was in costume. Costume descriptions to follow!
Well, being the tenacious person I am, my friend and I made our way to the very front…. We saw the last minutes of Blessed Union of Soul. Then at about 9:30pm, the lights dimmed and then you heard the funkiness of “Dizzy” and out they jumped.
At first I had to adjust my eyes because they WERE ALL IN COSTUMES! We were CRACKING UP! I was like “Oh my God! That was John Rzeznik in that costume!” My friend and I just looked at each other w/ complete amazement. They were all laughing so hard that they could barely sing…well they did sing, of course, and they did do a great job, but they were definitely amused with the whole event. It was DAMN FUNNY! I can assure you that this concert was different than any one they’ve done thus far…..
So here are the costumes and the men who wore them:
He was dressed as one of the dead Kennedy’s. I believe it was John F Kennedy (not Jr.). He had a mask of him on with a bullet though his head and along with it he was dressed in a gray, pinstriped suit with some funky fusia silk shirt on beneath it. I know the man was sweltering hot! He kept saying that he couldn’t remember being “hotter” (and I was like you can say that again, dude! Ha!)
Too cute…he was wearing a Batman Pez dispenser costume. It was hysterical. He didn’t keep it on the entire time probably because he too was about to die of heat, but he had his PJ’s on underneath…. Cracked me up (oh and, of course, the man was barefooted). His hair looked awesome. He’s gotten a few layers in it, which really made him look great.
He’s so funny! He dressed up as himself! And he was quite the doll! He started off, however, w/ a Frankenstein mask but didn’t have it on long at all.
He was, I believe, in costume as “Grinch.” If I am wrong about this feel free to correct me, but he was decorated in major green costume paint and his hair was a “muck.” I suppose that it what a Grinch looks like.
I think he had some kind of Halloween-type makeup on but couldn’t tell really what he was supposed to be. Sorry for this but I just couldn’t tell. I don’t believe he had anything on but he was in a dark area of the stage.
Okay, I am a true GGD fan, but folks, I can’t for the life of me remember the guy’s name who plays the harmonica. But he was dressed as a Beanie Baby…that was funny. He was an original one so I suppose his “tag” read “Goo Goo Doll”! ?
Okay, the show:
Sorry guys, I’m not going to give the set list because I don’t remember it, but it was pretty much what you could imagine (Dizzy, Broadway, Slide, Iris, January Friend, et el). By the time we got to the concert, I had already consumed several martinis. I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind of “memorizing” anything. (Not sure if it apropos for me to mention my state of intoxication, but seems to be worth noting considering since I can’t remember simple things like names of songs, and the name of one of the “extras” in the band…. etc…ha)
The Boz’ were obviously a little tipsy themselves; they were celebrating Halloween in style. John told tons of jokes and seemed like he was having the best time. I hope they were having fun because we were all cracking up! I took tons of pics, and I met a woman who is a photographer for a local magazine in Atlanta. She said she had tons of pics of them…I was like cool…then you are my new best friend! I got her card!
John finally took his mask off after Dizzy and said he was about to pass out…but then he would put it back on again. I think he liked the attention he was getting from everyone. Of course, for the guy who is suppose to be so shy, I think he has overcome that obstacle. He was not shy that night. He was telling lots of jokes and was laughing constantly. He apologized for dressing up as a Dead Kennedy but…would ask us “Isn’t it funny?” He wanted our approval….and he got it, and okay, John it was funny. You wear it well!
During the concert, Drummer Mike Malinin came to the front of the stage to stand by John. He had to “help” John w/ a joke. John had a “WRESTLING” joke. It was a little off-color, okay, but quite humorous. He asked the audience if they knew anything about wrestling. Some did; some didn’t! So he grabs Mike from behind and holds him in the “half-nelson” position. He asks the audience what that was…the audience screamed “A Half Nelson!” Then he grabs both of Mike’s arms from behind and then asks the audience what this position was. The audience screams “A Full Nelson!” Then he grabs mike and pretends he is well doing the deed from behind…. And then he says this is the “Father Nelson….” Get it? Father Nelson, Catholic Priest or should I say a Lonely Catholic Priest! Okay, I told you that it was off-color!
He didn’t tell any big, elaborated stories, but he did involve the audience in many songs, etc. He did this a lot more than he did at the Atlanta Lakewood concert. They seemed very comfortable in this smaller setting and didn’t seem as exhausted as they were back in September, which is when the Atlanta Lakewood concert took place.
Anyway, they played their hearts out and were cocktailing on stage and their performance was absolutely the most entertaining one for me. They really put on a terrific show.
The set ended and everyone screamed for an encore…they obliged…they actually played four more songs (I wish I could remember them all). They wished us all a Happy Halloween and then confetti feel from the ceiling. It was terrific. THEY REALLY ENTERTAINED US!
And guys, this venue was very small. It was General Admission, and I believe there were only about 200-300 people in the ballroom. It was absolutely amazing. A small concert like that one was really cool. I was right up front and took MANY pics! Too many b/c I didn’t have any film left for later on….
After the show, my friend and I made our way out of ballroom and then down to the Mezzanine. That’s when we ran into Mike Malinin. He’s a cool guy! Did not get a chance to meet any of the other guys in the band.
Anyway, I hope that I was detailed enough to image out the evening. The costumes were too funny! I could tell they were having fun, as so were we! They always put on a great concert (I saw them in Atlanta on 9/2 and yes, I’m a slacker, I didn’t post a review). I look forward to seeing them again. I have to tell you that I use to be very “shy” about my interest in this group. The reason is that “I’m suppose to not be into groups like this at my age” (I’m 32); however, I’ve had so much fun reading about these guys and attending their concerts. I have always been so career-focused ---- almost to the point to where I had zero balance. The music and the characters in the group have brought some fun in my life…They have truly DIZZIED up this GAL!
Glad I could share my “experience” with you guys. If I have left anything out then I will try to add an addendum…ha! Hope my review gave you the “almost there” experience. I do have tons of pictures from the show. Once I get them developed, I’ll get my friend to help me do whatever you have to do to have them posted on this site. I am sorry for the length, but felt compelled to include everything written.
I am so glad that I was able to go. It truly was the best Halloween! (And B’day – It’s today 11/1!)