Goo Goo Dolls & Blue October 8.14.22

Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion
Gilford, NH

Words & Photos by BrownFotoBug

“Overcoming life.” That’s what I got from Sunday’s show at Bank of NH Pavilion with Goo Goo Dolls and Blue October. It’s been 2 years since a world wide shut down forced Goo Goo Dolls to postpone their “The Miracle Pill Summer Tour.” However, that time gave the band a chance to write and release their new album, Chaos in Bloom, which just dropped on Aug 12th. Both of their tour names appropriately describe how we’ve all dealt with the “Covid years.”

Opening the evening was Blue October. If you’re not familiar with the band, you should take some time and really get to know them and the journey that they’ve been through since their beginning in 1995. Their music is hard hitting, raw, and real. Justin Furstenfeld showed his zeal for life and the stage during their set and we could all feel just how good it was to be back enjoying live music. Starting off with “Coal Makes Diamonds,” definitely set the pace for the night’s theme. Highlight songs for me were “Fight for Love,” “Hate Me,” “Home,” and “I Hope You’re Happy.” Jeremy Furstenfeld, Justin’s brother, backed the band on drums. Matt Noveskey on bass guitar and Will Knaak on lead guitar. Ryan Delahoussaye was a beast on all things strings. Full set list in photos.

Blue October Setlist: Coal Makes Diamonds, Oh My My, Say It, Fight For Love, Into the Ocean, Hate Me, Home, This is What I Live For, Daylight, Moving On, I Hope You’re Happy

Between sets is always an interesting time to look around and see the diversity of shows. This one was no exception. From young (8 was the youngest I saw) to a sweet elderly couple in their mid 80s, and every nationality you can imagine. Everyone was genuinely happy to be out and enjoying a live show again! A cancer survivor in row 2 with a gigantic sign that read, “Hey Robby It’s Meagan@Cameo. I kicked cancer 2-C-U AGAIN!!!” Robby of Goo Goo Dolls and the love her family received during the show was beyond amazing!

When the lights went dark and beams of bright colors flashed across the audience, we all felt the energy that only live music brings. 2 years. These fans have waited 2 years for this moment. And Goo Goo Dolls showed so much genuine appreciation to their loyal followers. Their faces were beaming. It might have also helped that lead singer, John Rzeznik’s sisters were in the front row. It might have also helped that the band just dropped a new album on Aug 12th, just a few days before the show. Apparently the band didn’t waste time during the 2 year shut down to continue to write and produce great music with meaning and songs that  touch those that hear it. So, we were fortunate to hear not only music from their album The Miracle Pill we were able to hear brand new music from Chaos in Bloom. John also shared his life’s struggles and challenges and why he overcame them and how that propelled the band to continue to write great music. Joining John on this tour and a bandmate since the beginning in 1986 was  Robby Takac with lead/back up vocals and bass (and so much charisma)! Also adding back up vocals, keyboard, and guitar was the incredible Jim McGorman. With a very stealth like stage presence, Brad Fernquist blew our ears with his guitar and mandolin, in a good way! And keeping them all on time (except for the conversational interruptions from John) was Craig Macintyre.

Goo Goo Dolls Setlist: Yeah I Like You, Slide, Big Machine, Here Is Gone, Black Balloon, Naked, Miracle Pill, Over and Over, Lucky Star, Free of Me, Come to Me, Sympathy, *Personal testimony*, Name (started several times), So Alive, War, Going Crazy, Life’s a Message, Bringing on the Light, Broadway, Better Days, Iris

Encore: Tattered Edge/You Should Be Happy, Runnin’ Down a Dream (Tom Petty Cover)

Even though the Bank of NH Pavilion was only 80% full, Goo Goo Dolls and Blue October played to an extremely enthusiastic and grateful crowd. Two years is a long time to wait, but seeing and feeling the energy from the entire venue was worth it.

Arlene's Photo Gallery


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