From: Natasha

December 19, 1998
Target Center
Minneapolis, MN

Hey there Goo fans! I just got back from my first-ever Goo Goo Dolls concert, and let me tell you, it rocked!

Anyways, eight bands total played, the Goos were second from last. Before them were: Marcy Playground, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Soul Coughing, Garbage, and Semisonic, and Beck played last. Sorry if I offend anyone, but they all sucked, especially Garbage. I was only there because the Goos' OTHER Minneapolis concert was sold out, so I figured this would be just as good.

It was at the Target Center, a basketball arena, and I had seats in just about the last row in the upper deck. When we (me and my sister) climbed up there and looked down, we realized we could easily sneak into the front row if we wanted, so we did. We got to stay there the whole night by some miracle. (Everyone else who tried to sneak down got kicked out.) We weren't on the floor, but when we looked out the binocs, it looked as if we were 5 feet away.

Right before the Goos were introduced, I looked through my binocs at this little door that was open behind stage. I could see Johnny and I think Robby! I was super excited by this time. The lights went out, white spotlights started shining out over the audience, the "dueling guitars" were blaring and echoing each other, and the piano music started. It felt like it took forever for the Goos to come out! They sure know how to get a person anticipating their appearance. Then Mike came out and a spotlight shone on him and he looked up like it was a mistake, and it turned off. His face was hilarious. Finally, Johnny and Robby flew on stage and started "Dizzy."

Johnny wore a very thin white wife-beater (you could see through it!) and a pair of army green cargo pants. He taped the ankles of them with black electrical tape and wore nothing on his feet. He didn't have any necklaces on. I thought for, like a minute, that his outfit was quite strange, but I changed my mind very quickly. I don't want to sound like a deranged, completely obsessed 18 year old fan, but man, was he HOT!!! His outfit fit his personality perfectly. I never noticed how blonde his hair is, and how buff he is either. Even though Johnny is pretty skinny, compared to the rest of the bands there, he was very ripped.

Robby wore a black button-up short-sleeve shirt over a white T-shirt and black baggy pants. Of course, he wore no shoes! Robby is a VERY cool guy. I liked that when I looked at him, he was (almost) always smiling and he would bob his head up and down and make his eyebrow ring shine in the lights. I heard someone say they thought he had dyed his hair red, but it did not resemble any shade of red. Sorry, I guess.

Mike wore a plain white T-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts. Nathan wore a dark colored shirt and shiny pants, and the keyboard player (sorry, I can't remember his name right now) wore a black T-shirt tucked into shiny silver pants. I didn't really notice much else about them. Mike stayed tucked behind his drums, Nathan was blocked from my sight almost the whole time by a set of lights, and I noticed Dave singing and playing a very mean tamborine, but not much else.

They only played a few songs: "Dizzy", "Long Way Down", "January Friend", "Slide", "Black Balloon", "Bullet Proof", "Naked", "Name", and "Iris". Thier set only lasted about 40 minutes, and this really pissed me off. It felt like they were only on stage for about 5 minutes. They barely talked, didn't even introduce themselves, and didn't smash anything. I am definately going to go to another concert when they come back to Minneapolis as headliners. I was really looking forward to them playing some of thier older stuff and telling some stories, and doing some of the other things I've read about in reviews.

The whole night, the crowd was really lame, they were all completely drugged on pot and other crap, even though the Target Center is supposed to be a drug-free, all ages environment. Johnny tried really hard to get them excited, he whistled (REALLY loud) and talked to people between verses. He would say things like "Are you guys having fun tonight? Don't be afraid to move around some down there!" etc. Both him and Robby jumped and ran around a lot, WAY more than any other band there. I was very surprised to see how crazy Johnny was, none of the reviews I've read have made a mention of that, but he was completely excited from the very beginning. He ran around smiling and jumping every chance he got. Even Nathan December got into it more than I thought he would. When he came out he was jumping around like a banchee. And at the beginning of "Long Way Down", Johnny, Robby and Nathan all jumped in the air at the same time and landed on the very first beat of the song. It was very cool.

I also really liked the way Johnny looks at everybody. Now I know this is going to sound corny, so skip over it if you want, but I swear he smiled at me! I was looking out through my trusty binocs at his tattoos (which are pretty cool for tattoos), and I just happened to see him turn his head towards me, and he looked up, smiled, and waved. It felt weird, because it looked exactly like he was looking at ME, I could see his blue eyes! But I'm sure he was just making a general glance at the audience. Still, I was so excited that I waved, then I felt really dumb. Oh well, none of the pot addicts seemed to notice.

The whole night me and my sister were tortured with the other crappy bands' messed sound systems. The bands were all way too loud, sounded distorted, and hurt my ears. The Goos on the other hand, had the perfect sound system going, they were loud and kickin' but I could still hear them sing really good. Except Robby was kind of too quiet, they must've had his mic turned down. That made me mad because I had been waiting for Robby to sing in a non-CD performance forever. He was really good, I'm not as big of a Robby fan as I am a Johnny fan, but Robby really kicks arse! One thing I noticed about Robby is that when he sings, he curls his toes under and stands with one foot on top of the other. It was kind of funny. I think he has a great voice and I wish there would've been more time for him to sing. I wanted to hear "Impersonality" and "Amigone" really bad.

The other thing I noticed about Robby was that he seemed to be sort of mellow. I think maybe that's why Johnny was so energenic, to compensate for Robby. Actually, it seemed like both of them lost a little pep towards the end. Johnny seemed kind of disgusted with the crowd. During "Naked" he stopped and ran to one side of the stage, bent over and screamed "That's gross, dude." to someone. He looked really annoyed. And during either "Bullet Proof" or "Naked", Johnny stopped playing and started scratching his head and looking around, like he was confused or something, and no, it wasn't because he forgot the words. I think he was running out of ways to energize the crowd.

Later, Johnny started to tell the "Name Story" that I was looking forward to hearing, but he started it really half-heartedly and I don't think he got the response he wanted, so he stopped. He just said "I thought that song was going to finish us, I thought we were sunk with that song. And I thought it was a really cool song, you know? And this guy wrote me this letter, OK? And I opened it up. It said: 'Dear Faggot, I think your song sucks' and I realized you just can't please everybody" and he started the song. He kept pausing and saying "you know" like he was waiting for the crowd to respond. I just got the feeling like he didn't know what to do at that point, in fact, I am like 45% sure that Robby actually finished the story with a line like "you just do what you do" because Johnny didn't even really end it, he just sort of stopped and stood there for awhile and then started playing "Name".

But it all worked out. During "Name", a disco ball started spinning right before the final verse. The Goos just stood there letting it spin around and Johnny got this big smile on his face and they just let the chord ring. It was kind of breath taking, awe inspiring, add your choice of a cheesy saying here. THAT'S when the audience went wild and Johnny said "Oh, there you are!" like he had been waiting for that moment the whole night.

"Iris" was good, of course, and Johnny stopped in the middle of it, turned around and said "I just wanted to say Happy Birthday to Nathan December on the guitar there. Happy 18th Birthday Nathan, we're gonna get you a hooker." Nathan smiled and turned around incredibly fast. He looked pretty embarrassed. Everyone else laughed a little. Johnny just finished "Iris" like nothing happened, and told us to have a Merry Christmas. He was the last to leave and he said "See ya!" and threw the microphone at the keyboards and kicked it and was taking off his guitar and, right then, some technician ran up to him and grabbed it out of his hands. I think he would've smashed it, if the technician wouldn't have interfered.

I was really impressed with the quality of the Goo Goo Dolls' performance. Most bands that I've seen can't sing worth crap in concert, but Johnny and Robby sounded awesome!! They can also really play great music, and even if the crowd didn't dance and all that, I could tell that the people around me were impressed as well with their music. Most sang along at least. The other thing that impressed me was that while all the other bands used sex to get the crowd riled up, the Goos didn't. I mean, they had a hard time getting the crowd excited, but they never resorted to butt shaking and having sex with the stage (don't ask) like the other bands did. I know a lot of people out there think Johnny is like that, but I honestly don't think he was even sort of close. He just sang and jumped around, and maybe wiped the hair out of his face once or twice.

I'd like to end by saying that the Goos put on a hella good show in a very short time with a very sucky audience. I'd like to repeat what everyone else has said in their reviews. If you're thinking about going to see them, GO!!! They were definetely worth the second hand pot, ear splitting guitar crap, and garbage I had to endure before them.