From Autumn

September 10th

Walnut Creek

Raleigh, NC

 

Hey! Here's my reaaallllyyy loonnngg review for the show 9/10 in Raleigh, NC to add to your site! I'm sure this has to be the longest review ever recorded for just one concert! It's because I waited 4+ hours by the buses trying to get a glimpse of them! The concert rocked!!!!! And I got to give the Goo Goo Dolls this big sack of gifts I had gotten for them!! And I can also honestly say now, I have evidence that I am the biggest, most devoted Goo fan in North Carolina at least the biggest one that showed up at the Raleigh concert)!! But Iíll tell you right now, if you just want to read the actual concert part, you should skip to the end, because Iím going to talk about waiting four hours for the tour bus and hanging around where we werenít supposed to be, etc...

I have to start though with a little flashback to July, right when the tickets went on sale at 10 am. Well, I knew I was NOT going to put up with being on hold for an hour to get reserved seating, b/c everything would be gone, so I decided to get them exactly at 10 oíclock-- and I did. As soon as the clock went from 9:59 to 10, I had already sent in the seat information (3 tickets for my mom, my best friend Heather, and me), and got seats --- 8TH ROW!!!! WAHOO!!! So I typed in the credit card information and pressed Ďsendí ---- AND THE COMPUTER FROZE. I HAD TO RESTART IT, AND THEN I LOST THE 8TH ROW TICKETS. AND IT TOOK ME LIKE AN HOUR AND A HALF TO FINALLY GET THROUGH ON THE PHONE, ALL THE WHILE TOTALLY FREAKING OUT , THINKING HOW FAST THE TICKETS WERE SELLING, HOW THERE MIGHT NOT BE ANY SEATS AT ALL LEFT, etc, etc. I finally got through on the phone b/c my computer still wouldnít cooperate, and got the tickets for the concert --- quite aways from row 8 --- section 5, row J . But after panicking and stuff, I was just so happy I was still going to be able to go.

And at the concert, it turned out it was a little closer than what I had thought (John and Robby were whole 2 inches tall!! LOL) I had already seen the Goos once, back in April at the House of Blues where I was about 3 feet from the stage, so I knew there was going to be a difference!! But that was Ok.

Ok, now for the actual day of the concert.... My wonderful mother checked Heather and me out at noon Friday to make the hour + drive to Raleigh. Traffic was good, so we had driven through Burger King and arrived at the pavilion at 1:00. After aimlessly driving around in the totally deserted parking lot for a few minutes, we followed the sign that said "Backstage Deliveries -->". hehe. I knew we would see them go in for the sound check, even if we didnít get to meet them. BUT -- just in case, I wanted to have something for them. List of things inside gift bag (and explanations, just in case you donít know about some)

-Birthday card for Robby (his b-day is Sept 30, so I thought it would be nice to get him one) w/ this long letter inside it, telling what a great band they were and explaining some of the gifts, and also a picture of Heather and me, just for reference (although we were the only people in the backstage parking lot, believe it or not, so itís not like there would have been any doubt!)

-Beanie Baby Buffalo (you know, Buffalo New York, haha)

- 3 Pez Dispensers & Pez (Robby had said in the Yahoo! chat how he liked Pez and when he was little had to be rushed to the ER to have the NON-EDIBLE plastic Pez removed from his throat --- I also put a cute note on it that told him try not and choke on these, it could put his career in Jeopardy) .

Also, I had gotten a chewbakka dispenser specifically for John, because of this story from April in Fayetteville, Ark. about him giving away a chewbakka Pez dispenser to this really drunk girl, but thatís a long story...) - GOO GOO clusters and GOObers (cliched things just for kicks)

When we pulled in, I figured it was a good idea to go over to the gate and make friends with the security guard there. The majority of security and stagehands at Alltel are really nice!!!!! We talked to the guy behind the gate; he even let us come inside the gate and sit at his little picnic table under the shade , and I showed him the gifts and told him about how much I loved their music -- and he was a Goo fan too! He said he was just listening to their CD that morning! And he also had a funny story to share from last April when we were working the security at the Ritz in Raleigh when the Goos were playing. He said John was trying to get backstage, and he didnít recognize him since he had cut his hair. The security guard was like , "Sorry, you canít go back there." John goes, "What do you mean? I sing!" "Yeah, sure kid, who do you sing for?" I guess someone had to go back there and bail him out! I thought that was really funny; I can just imagine that happening to John.

Well , that security guard went off to lunch, and this manager lady came out and told us we couldnít stay here all day, so we went about 20 feet back to our car and sat on the tail gate for 3 hours, holding our signs to whoever walked passed -- one was just GOO written in big letters, the other was this cool "got goo?" poster, written in the Ďgot milk?í letters, w/ a glass of green slime stuff and japanimation of John, Robby, and Mike with green mustaches. It was neato!!!

We were afraid of guys coming to try and run us off, but to our surprise, everytime someone walked out to us, they just came to talk and see how it was going. We talked to one of the Goo Goo Doll technicians for a long time, who gave us a little insight to when they were coming, where they would be, etc... He told us that that lady was calling people on the telephone trying to get a guard to come up here and put up the orange cones and run us off, but he personally told us that we werenít harming anybody and just not to leave unless they made us. And we didnít!! This group of about 3 or 4 other guys were walking around, and we kept bumping into them throughout the evening. They were the coolest - one was teasing me with his backstage pass though! but later, what they did far made up for it!....

At about 3 or so, I was really surprised there was no one around. At the House of Blues, there was a small group of groupies hanging around. Then we saw this big baby blue bus pull into the parking lot -- the Goos!!! they were here!!! Dave (keyboardist) and driver smiled at us when they saw us holding up our big Goo signs -- we were like 2 feet from the bus as it rolled pass and through the gates. About 100 feet away, I saw John get off the bus with his hat on (wow, John usually always lags behind too), and Robby after him. Robby waved at us . We heard them doing the sound check.

Okay, the group of 3 guys were going to go find some lady named Lucy to take our stuff to them, since the Goos wouldnít be coming near us (I already figured that , I never really expected a way to get it to them in the first place). Well, they didnít return after awhile, but one of the guys who had long, brown hair came out after their sound check and asked it Lucy had came yet. We said no, so heís like, well, theyíre in that trailer right now, I can just go take it to them if you want." We were like YEAH!!! I gave him the bag, I was so happy!!!!! A few minutes later, he even came back to tell me he had given it to Mike!!! that was so sweet of him!!!!!!! And a few minutes after that, he came back again and said that Robby had opened it, and he had watched Robby on the back deck read all of the birthday card and the letter and seen the pictures and he said he just smiled the entire time!! Oh my gosh, that was soooooo cool!!!

We didnít see Sugar Rayís bus, but frankly I really didnít care b/c I really donít like Sugar Ray that much. I was pretty much there specifically for the Goos. We did , though, see Fastballís 2 guitarists come in an airport cab while we were standing by the gate again. The one guy with kinda long brownblack hair was in the back, and was rather irate -- we were right beside the car, and as the driver slowed down for the gate heís like "Just drive!! Keep going!" all ticked off and crap. Later, though, we found out during the concert he had reason to be irritated - his 2 other bandmates or backing musicians missed their flight or something, and Dave , the Gooís keyboardist (WAHOO! Go Dave, heís the bomb!) and Nathan, the Gooís backing guitarist (like you donít already know) had to substitute during Fastballís performance (but I personally thought that was kinda cool).

At 4:10 we left the back parking lot, our chief goal was already taken care of, and that grumpy manager lady was back again, and we didnít want to bother her. Besides, the gates were going to be opened at 5, and we wanted to get in line. SURPRISE, SURPRISE --- at 5 oíclock, there was hardly ANYBODY there to even FORM a line! I didnít know what was up with that, it was really weird. Right after we got in the gates, I bought the pack of stickers and the Goo necklace. Almost immediately, we saw the same 4 guys who were so nice to us, including the guy that took the stuff backstage for us! I immediately started thanking him again, repeatedly! The one who had teased me about his backstage pass also informed me that he had just seen Robby a second ago, sitting in the front row with his girlfriend (I already assumed his girlfriend was touring with him on this leg, due to all these sightings Iíve heard of. But I hadnít seen her by the busses, so I was kind of surprised she showed up). I asked if she had long, black hair, he said yeah, that she was Asian. I asked if they were still there, but he said they went back behind the stage right before the gates opened. He told me though that after the concert , since I was such a big fan and all, heíd give me his pass after the concert if I met him back there, although he said it wouldnít be any good and that the Goos were leaving right as they left the stage. I was just thrilled though at having that kind of souvenir!!! BUT I guess he figured that we were still parked back there since no one had told us to move, and would have to walk back there to get to our car. See, we had moved and wouldnít be able to get back there again. so I didnít get to get his pass. grr.

OK, FOR THE CONCERT ----- ( I know this has been wayyyyyy long already, but this was a long day for me!!). Fastball was still sound checking when I got my seat. Their short little portion of the concert was pretty good, my mom likes them. Then Sugar Ray came out. Ok, let me get this out of my system -- no offence to all you Sugar Ray fans out there, but I personally cannot find what is so enthralling about Mark McGrath, b/c I personally find him kind of annoying. I conserved energy the entire time through there set, b/c I only like one song they sing - "She Falls Apart". Some people left after they went off stage, but there were so many drunk people around me I didnít want to move up any, b/c I could see fine from where I was.

FINALLY, AFTER SO LONG WAITING ----- THE STAGE WENT DARK, THE SMOKE STARTED ROLLING ACROSS THE STAGE , AND WHAM! THE GOO GOO DOLLS BLASTED INTO DIZZY.

It was just an awesome show. I had brought binoculars so I could see Robby and Mike as well as Dave and Nathan, b/c I knew the cameras would probably stay fixed on John a lot. I had read a lot of complaints about this leg, pertaining to a constant spotlight on john and Robbyís mic being really low, etc. I was VERY RELIEVED ---- the people at Alltel did a really good job in keeping equality among the band!!! A spotlight was only used once ,and it was for Acoustic , in which no one else was on the stage anyway besides John. They also played one of my favorite songs --- THERE YOU ARE. The first notes came on, and I just started screaming, b/c I didnít expect them to play it (sorry if it had been mentioned on the posted set lists --- if so, I guess I just didnít take note, but I knew they were playing Ďjust the way you areí at the end). My all-time number one favorite goo song is Naked. Man, I bet I was the only person in that entire crowd that new every single word to every single song, and could even tell you what song was about to come next just by the way Mike would count the first beats.

Ok, for all you fashion-conscious people -- John was wearing his black zipper tee with these reaaaallly tight gray pants and black shoes (see , I had a good view through those binoculars of mine!) Robby was wearing his usual, all black with no shoes. Nathan was wearing a jersey with either the number 12 or 15 on it (canít remember, sorry). Dave was wearing a red shirt I think, and Mike was wearing a short sleeve shirt, but I forgot what color. I do remember he was wearing blue jean shorts.

This time, I could actually see the entire stage. At the House of Blues I never even saw Mike the whole time, I donít think. He is REALLY AMAZING on those drums!!!!! Geez he knows how to play. Robby was his usual happy self, bouncing around, smiling and doing his own little array of sign language with the crowd. He is so awesome!! I love to watch him so much! And John too -- he was bouncing around, kneeling down at the edge of the stage during his intense guitar solos. And Dave is really awesome on the keyboard, I have to say that b/c I play the piano and I know how hard it is!

Okay, about the Goos talking to the crowd:

Johnny has developed a habit of picking up the mic and dragging it with him onstage, as you probably saw on VH1ís backyard BBQ. Well, at one point, he took it over to the side and picked up this trophy, complaining about all these awards they were nominated for, and how they lost all of them. "Man, we got nominated for Warner Brothers Awards, and we lost. We got nominated for 3 f*ing Grammy Awards, and we lost. WE got nominated for the Buffalo awardsóand we lost that too!! But somewhere, someone decided that we were the Best Band, 1999 (holds up trophy a fan had apparently got for them)."

About the same time, John goes "Ok everybody, itís that timeÖ.we need to capture the momentÖnow I want everyone to take a step in so we can all fit in the picture". Me and Heather jumped up in our seats and held up the Got Goo? Sign, but I doubt we were in the picture. Lol.

A little while after they played Iris, John goes, " I want to take this time to thank you guys..for not leaving . See we have these people that come to our shows just to hear iris. and then after they hear it, it's like, 'come on , honey, lets get out of here. we heard iris. I don't want to listen to anymore of this other crap. come on honey lets go." yeah and I saw some people leave! but thank you guys for staying!"Man, I was so happy he clarified that --- heather and I call those "fans" G.L.I.Fs _Giggly Little Iris Fans, because they only know the Goo Goo dolls as "That one cute guy who sings Iris." And I can't stand that !!!!! Right before "2nd Time Around" Robby said, "This is a true story. I swear itís true. Because I (points to himself) --- would not lie (shakes head)--- to you (points to audience." I was really happy he said that; he had said that at another show awhile back. During another song, Robby and Johnny were running back and forth on the stage during the instrumental part, and Robby chased Johnny down and started slapping him on the butt. haha, I found that kinda interesting, lol. Heather really liked the movie Greed in Action, but I couldnít really hear it good b/c everyone was trying to talk over it. It was kind of hypocritical --- come one, I paid $28 dollars for one T-shirt after the concert, and then the stickers and necklace had been $20 already!! Anyway.. Surprisingly, I thought people would start thinking it was over and begin to leave, BUT I guess the people were a little smarter than some of the other ones that had seen it , and I donítí think any one left (or no one around me, at least). So we couldnít move up any.

The concert was totally amazing. They are such an incredible band to see live! I think they talked to the crowd more at the House of Blues -- but I think thatís only because John kept stopping singing to break up fights in the crowd. But personally, I rather put up with a few fights behind me and that close to the stage than being surrounded by all these FALLING OVER DRUNK GIRLS in front of me, all making out and trying to fool around with their boyfriends right there during the concert. Some guy was smoking pot a few rows in front of me, and the wind kept catching the smoke and blowing it right in my face. Ok, now I have a complaint to make ---- WHAT IS THE POINT OF GETTING SO DRUNK AT A CONCERT, ESPECIALLY WHEN ITíS THE GOO GOO DOLLS, BECAUSE IN THE MORNING YOU WONíT REMEMBER ANYTHING AND YOU WOULD HAVE TOTALLY DEFEATED THE PURPOSE OF GOING TO THE CONCERT IN THE FIRST PLACE??????? Can someone please answer me?

Well this was my review and my ALMOST encounter -- realllllllllly loooonggg, I know this is absolutely hands down the longest review you have ever read for just one concert!!!!!! itís just hard to condense all the excitement and suspense :) I had so much fun, and am so glad they got my gifts!!!!!!