Saturday, July 31, 2010

Beach Goo

Last night I made my yearly pilgrimage to Jones Beach Theater for a concert. I lucked out this time. Not only did we go see one of my favorite bands, but the opener and the weather were outstanding.

We were a little late getting to the parking lot to tailgate, and it looked as if a lot of other people were late as well. We actually managed to park close to the beachside snackbar and restrooms. I popped open the cooler and we had our little pre-concert picnic. Others had small bar-b-ques going and you could smell the charcoal all around.

The GooGooDolls Street Team works with food banks at every show they play and the local fan club had set up a table and tent outside the entry way where they were collecting non-perishable food items for Island Harvest. I was hoping to get to speak with someone before the show and ask how it was going. Sadly, the radio station that had talked about the food drive didn't mention they would only be maning it from 4 pm - 7 pm. I walked up to the table at a very late 7:20 pm. I left the bag next to a few others under the table and hoped they would find their rightful place helping those who need it.

I have noticed two things about the crowd that goes to Goo Goo Dolls concerts. 1) They are very eclectic, young and old. 2) They're really friendly. I have met so many nice people at their concerts. Far more than any other band that we continue to seek out.

Perhaps because as the band members age, so do their fans. Oh, certainly there was that occassionally whiff of pot coming through the audience that took me back to my youth, but for the most part it was an over 30 crowd standing and singing along.

I was truly angry at myself for missing Spill Canvas. I had no idea they were the appetizer to the show. I love their song "Love Me Back" and rushed to my seat when I heard it playing from the stage. Shame. I should have heard their entire set.

SwitchFoot was excellent and really knew how to spark the crowd. Well, the crowd that wasn't still tail-gating in the parking lot. Those who chose not to hit their seats until 9 pm really missed out on a great show. Here's one of their songs.

Now, there were no hand-made rhinestone signs this time for Johnny. And I think he really missed it. Hilliary will have to get another one to him next time she sees him.

But he is an energetic showman that brought out every emotion a human can muster. We sang, we danced, we laughed, we hurt and we remembered. His lyrics are thought provoking and the blend of old and new songs did well to keep the crowd involved. As dark and painful as some of Johnny's lyrics can be, he has an angelic smile that speaks to the crowd. These are men that truly enjoy what they do.

Johnny thanked the crowd "for keeping us alive for fifteen years." That is a long road for a rock band. But they give back at every turn they can. They are more than just a rock band and marketing machine. They connect in ways that many other musicians do not. It's a far more personal level.

So personal that my husband remarked that Robbie was wearing the same outfit he wore when we saw them in Hampton Beach, NH on April 15th. And probably the same socks too.

I wish I was a little closer for this. But I was happy to be in Orchestra G with my little camera taking footage of the Nikon big screens. You can hear everyone singing along to almost every song they do. This is a band that speaks to the heart of of their audience. They thanked us. I'd like to thank them.

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