Concert Review: Goo Goo Dolls & Train – Tampa, FL

First of all, a little about me.  I love theater, animals and my friends and family.  I’m 12 years old and this is the first major concert I ever went to.  On top of that, it was three acts! So for a first concert, this one was AMAZING!!! Allen Stone opened with a short set and then Goo Goo Dolls came on.  I got to hear all my favorites from Sirius XM. “Black Balloons” had dozens of black balloons bouncing around the audience, which was a lot of fun. I got to hit a few.  “Slide” was really good and the first encore was “Iris” which was epic!

After a short intermission, Train hit the stage. The sound of a train filled the room and they started right into “Calling all Angels”.  I loved this opening and it was my favorite non-song part. “50 ways to Say Goodbye” kicked off next with clips from the music video backing them up. It was awesome. In the middle of the set, Bruises was performed with Allen Stone taking on the female part, which Patrick Monahan said “wasn’t awkward at all”!  THEN, the lead guitarist, who was a Tampa native, performed “Under Pressure” with Patrick and his bass player.  It was my Dad’s favorite moment of the night and I loved it too. “Play that song” was my absolute favorite and I sang it all the way home. 

I loved the lights, the constant video and effects above the band. This was a daddy daughter date with my Dad and he totally surprised me.  The only song I missed was “Mermaid” which it doesn’t seem like they play much anymore. Train ended the night with “Drops of Jupiter” which was a great song for a great night.

Blu-ray Review “Dolls”

Actors: Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Carrie Lorraine
Directors: Stuart Gordon
Rated: R (Restricted)
Studio: Shout! Factory
Release Date: November 11, 2014
Run Time: 77 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Blu-ray: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Empire Pictures is responsible for the cult classic “Dolls”. The film is a bit aged and has looked better but it has a lot of positives going for it including Director Stuart Gordon, Actress Carolyn Purdy-Gordon (Re-Animator, From Beyond), music by Richard Band and Producer Brian Yuzna and Executive Producer Charles Band. It is not perfect but it is a decent film that holds up for the most part. I love the stop-motion and puppetry special effects in the film and that is what wins me over.

Official Premise: A precocious girl, her nasty parents, two punk-rock losers and a weak-kneed salesman inadvertently become the guests of two ghoulish senior citizens in their dark, haunted mansion. The old couple make and collect dolls that, when not sitting still like good little mannequins, creep around in the night, offing the guests one by one! You may laugh at first, but if they turn on you, you’ll regret it…for the rest of your short life!

The 1080p transfer is good but doesn’t really blow me away. It is definitely a nice improvement over the DVD that I own, so I am happy. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track works great with Band’s score. There is also a DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 included. In terms of special features, there is some decent content. “Toys of Terror: The Making of “Dolls” is a brand new retrospective featuring interviews with Director Stuart Gordon, Producer Brian Yuzna, Stars Carolyn Purdy-Gordon, Ian Patrick Williams, Executive Producer Charles Band, and Special Make-Up Effects Artists Gabe Bartalos, and John Vulich and more!

There are two audio commentary with director Stuart Gordon and writer Ed Naha and also with audio commentary with cast members Stephen Lee, Ian Patrick Williams, Carolyn Purdy Gordon and Carrie Lorraine. Both tracks are working checking out if you love the film and each one provides a different views, since obviously Gordon’s track is a bit more technical. There is a featurette on the “Storyboard-to-Film Comparison”, which is cool to see how it came to fruition. Lastly there is an Original Theatrical Trailer and Photo Gallery included.

Concert Review: Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s – Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Goo Goo Dolls, Daughtry, Plain White T’s
Saturday, August 16th 2014
Tag’s Summer Stage, Big Flats, NY

Our score: 2.5 out of 5 stars

The quiet town of Big Flats, NY sprung to life on Saturday, August 16th as New York natives the Goo Goo Dolls made a stop at Tag’s Summer Stage as part of their summer tour which also featured season 5 American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry along with the Plain White T’s. Though the weather was touch and go throughout the night it didn’t stop those in attendance from enjoying the night of music.

Opening up the nights show was Plain White T’s who burst on the music scene a few years back with their hit song “Hey There Delilah”. The group performed an intimate acoustic tinged set that sounded great however with the exception of one or two more well know songs the bands time on stage did little to ignite the crowd’s attention. Daughtry would take the stage next opening up his set with the title track off his newest album “Baptized” and instantly had the crowd in his hand. As the set progressed Daughtry and company treated the crowd to a variety of songs from his current and previous albums including hits like “Feels like Tonight”, “It’s Not Over” and “September” before closing out his set with “Long Live Rock & Roll”. Though the crowd seemed appreciative of the bands performance there were several points during the set where Daughtry seemed to push his voice a little too far past his range making those parts a bit harsh on the ears. Personally I also would have enjoyed hearing a few more of his edgier rock tunes this time around however that did not happen.

As darkness fell on the semi-remote venue the Goo Goo Dolls would take the stage to close out the night with an impressive 21 song set which ran the gambit of the bands 20+ year career. The group opened the set with the song “Dizzy” which gave way to other classic tracks like “Big Machine” and “Slide” before the night was closed out by songs like “Broadway” and “Iris”. I found the band’s sound to be tight and well rehearsed however with the exception of bassist Robby Takac whose energy kept the show interesting the other members seemed to be just going through the motions. It was also a little disheartening to see the absence of vintage Goo songs like “Long Way Down” and “Naked”.  Despite my own feelings toward the nights set those in attendance seemed very appreciative of the bands performance and showed that by large periods of applause after each and every song. If you have never seen any of the bands or you are a seasoned show going fan make your way out to one of the remaining shows for a solid night of music and fun as the tours lineup has a little something for everyone.

Plain White T’s Set List:
1.) American Nights
2.) Helium
3.) The Giving Tree
4.) 1,2,3,4
5.) Should’ve Gone to Bed
6.) Hey There Delilah
7.) Rhythm of Love

Daughtry Set List:
1.) Baptized
2.) Feels like Tonight
3.) Over You
4.) Renegade
5.) Traitor
6.) It’s Not Over
7.) What About Now
8.) Wild Heart
9.) Battleships
10.) Home
11.) September
12.) Waiting for Superman
13.) Long Live Rock & Roll

Goo Goo Dolls Set List:
1.) Dizzy
2.) Big Machine
3.) Slide
4.) Rebel Beat
5.) When the World Breaks Your Heart
6.) Already There
7.) Another Second Time Around
8.) Come to Me
9.) Black Balloon
10.) Stay With you
11.) Here is Gone
12.) Caught in the Storm
13.) Name
14.) January Friend
15.) Bringing on the Light
16.) Better Days
17.) Slow It Down
18.) Broadway
19.) Let Love In
20.) Iris
21.) Give a Little Bit (Supertramp cover)


Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac talks about the band’s acoustic tour

Robby Takac is the bassist and a founding member of the rock band the Goo Goo Dolls. In June of 2013 the group released their tenth studio album titled “Magnetic” to rave reviews. The group is currently out on the road performing acoustically and Media Mikes had the chance to talk with Robby about the special run of shows and this summer’s upcoming tour with “American Idol” alum Chris Daughtry.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the current acoustic tour you guys are out on?
Robby Takac: That was something John has been talking about doing for awhile now. Occasionally we get asked to do one off acoustic shows and they end up being a lot of fun and something we wanted to do more of. We just finished a Canadian tour run and have a little bit of time before our next tour starts to go out and do this acoustic run. It’s a great opportunity for us to go back out and do some shows that are a little different. There’s times during these shows where we have 11 people up there performing.

AL: With the acoustic element aside what do you find to be the biggest difference between these shows and the band’s traditional shows?
RT: When we are doing an electric show there are a lot more bells and whistles. We bust out all the stops when we are performing electrically. With the acoustic shows we are playing in much more intimate venues. I think the largest room we have booked on this tour is maybe 400 seats.  There is a different form of communication happening between the band and the listeners in this smaller setting. The shows are going great and I have a feeling that we will be more of them in the future.

AL: How does song selection play out from night to night?
RT: After putting out a number of acoustic songs we have a good catalog to choose from. We also do a bunch of our hit songs that we have reworked. A lot of the songs have been orchestrated so doing those on our own without that backing has been a little different. We thought about having things laid out ahead of time but it ended up working better when we just go off the cuff. We go out tell some stories and play some songs and it’s just a great time.

AL: Can you tell us about the bands recent video for the song “Come to Me”?
RT: I think when you do a video you are looking for something that accompanies the song. We tend to do videos that go along with the songs as the song is the most important thing. We shot the newest video up in the hills outside of Los Angeles and we feel it goes great with the song.

AL: What are the plans for the band after the acoustic tour run?
RT: We have a summer tour coming up with Daughtry that is going to be amazing. I think he has done a really great thing being able to change from what he did on “American Idol” and transforming it to what he is doing now. He had the ears and eyes of American during the time he was on that show and he has managed to keep them. We are going to have a great time this summer with Daughtry and Plain White T’s who will also be part of the tour.

AL: Can you tell us a little bit about the record label you have been working on?
RT: Good Charamel Records is the name of the label and we put out a lot of 7 inch Japanese punk rock albums.  Bands like Shonen Knife and Pinky Doodle Poodle are on our label. My wife and I actually manage Shonen Knife who has a great new album coming out soon.