From Sarah

August 15th

Iowa State Fair

Des Moines, IA


I went to see my first Goo Goo Dolls show on August 15th at the Iowa State Fair. I thought it was a cool show and I was glad to finally see them.

At 7:15, Fastball came out and performed for about 30 minutes. They played their popular songs, "Out of My Head," "The Way," and "Fire Escape". I don't know the rest of their songs. They also played a cover of "On the Road Again", and said they played it since they were at the state fair. Fastball surprised me; they rocked more than I expected. I thought it was a solid performance.

Sugar Ray came out around 8:00. I'm not a Sugar Ray fan, so outside of the radio hits, I didn't know anything they did. (No offense to anyone reading this who does like Sugar Ray). Mark McGrath pulled two audience members onstage briefly to sing/rap. That was somewhat amusing.

The Goo Dolls finally came on around 9:30 and put on a rocking set! The stage was surrounded in smoke before the first song. I thought that was pretty cool. Here's the set list:

Dizzy, Long Way Down, Lazy Eye, Slide, Fallin' Down, Full Forever, Black Balloon, Bulletproof, Naked, Name, January Friend, Broadway, Flat Top, Acoustic #3, Iris. For the encore: Just the Way You Are, Burning Up, 2 Days in February.

Some things to highlight: Before "Naked" was played, the spotlights were solely on Mike as he performed a loud, rocking drum solo. Before "Name", Johnny said something like "If you don't know this song, just pretend you do". After this song, the lighting looked like stars on the stage and the ceiling of the grandstand, very pretty. For "Acoustic #3", only Johnny and occasionally one of the backup guitarists was spotlighted. Before the encore, Johnny told the audience that after he played a riff, we should clap. This got faster and faster till the audience was clapping wildly. Then as the band went into "Just the Way You Are", glitter was falling on the stage, also very pretty. "2 days in February" was pretty much the same except it got startlingly loud in the middle.

There was no "Name" story, or cracks about the Backstreet Boys, and the "Greed" film was not shown.

The crowd really got into "Slide," "Name," "Black Balloon," and of course "Iris," to an extent there was some singing along to "Dizzy."

All in all, I thought it was a great show, good mix of both old and new songs and a solid performance. This was my first Goo Goo Dolls show and I was impressed.