Rapid City, SD - Rushmore Plaza Civic Center Arena
August 8, 2003
From: Lisa J.

Hi - To all Goo lovers - this is awesome! I finally got to see da boys live on Friday August 8, 2003 at the Rapid City Civic Center Arena. It was such a cool night. The openers were "Kory and the Fireflies" a band mostly from Sioux Falls, although Kory's hometown is Rapid City...they played a lively set, very enjoyable, but the crowd was there to hear the Goo Goo Dolls...they were a little quite, waiting for the headliners to appear. After the break and all of Kory and the Fireflies equipment was removed, and the set up was there for the Goo Goo Dolls. Then the guitar wranglers were all set up on both sides of the stage, (after one staffer taped a very long, lovely play list to the floor for Johnny, Robby and Mike - I was thrilled to see how darn long the thing was) and it was show time. The Goo Goo Dolls logo flashed on the wall behind the stage, and you could feel the electric excitement in the air, the boys were coming on stage. Suddenly they were there, making beautiful music and playing songs I have listened to for many hours - there in front of me, in real life, it was awesome. the crowd was thrilled and enjoyed to beauty of the music. I don't know what it was about that night, but I think we got the old Goo Goos, they were there to play music, not bullshit. The songs were magnificent, and many (I can't for the life of me recreate the play list, I was way too excited to take notes or anything sensible like that) - but I know Johnny wore his famous green cargo pants (that have seen a hell of a lot of miles) and a white tank top with a kerchief on top to tame his unwieldy locks - he looked great! Robby had black on (duh) but the nice touch was that he had a Harley T-Shirt on (it was Sturgis rally week in the Black Hills - I hope the band got a chance to enjoy the motorcycles and the madness!) Mike's fashion was harder to spot since he's buried behind the plastic and the drum set.......But he sure did smile a lot!!! What I loved so much was that the music was so genuine, no tapes, no nothing that was not right there on stage. I have been disappointed by bands before, but the Goo Goo Dolls exceeded my expectations beyond belief - I would pay to see them live again any time. Also, Johnny said that he managed to forget all his Rock and Roll bullshit as he was coming on stage that night, and he just played and talked very little. Johnny was in excellent voice, and very mellow as he played songs he must have played many many times in earlier months. Robby was in great form, playing and singing great. I love to watch his energy as her performs. Mike was amazing as usual. They played like we were the first venue on their tour, not towards the end, I appreciated that very much. The crowd was very happy and loud. There was a girl in the back who danced to every song they played, happily drifting in her own Goo World, it was lovely to see. There was the moment when Johnny took the camera from the crowd to take a picture of the crowd, and a picture of Mike, because "no one ever gets a good picture of Mike behind all this stuff". The band seemed to appreciate how mellow and appreciative the crowd was, mentioning towards the end of the set that we were one of the best audiences they had had in a while, not just a little bit because we are "their" people (I guess they must have been opening for other bands elsewhere - but they were headliners on our night). It was a thrill for the Rapid City crowd. At the end, when Johnny performed "Sympathy" he was given a pair of bunny ears from a young lady in the audience that he wore as he was singing this very serious song, suddenly he seemed to remember it was there, stopped singing and yanked off the ears and said he should not be wearing those while singing such a serious song, and the band picked up from where Johnny stopped and completed the song faultlessly. It was great!! I would tell anyone that is considering seeing the band to not miss the experience. I think they are an amazing band live, while not sounding exactly like the CD's they sound as good, if not better live than they do on CD or the radio. They are true musicians, despite Johnny's assertions that he is not a great guitarist, I would have to say that his familiarity with so many tunings, and guitars belies that statement. Not to mention the music this group makes! Wonderful!!