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July 12, 2006 - Cincinnati, OH

The Drive

My mom and I had agreed to take turns driving because this was our first Goo road trip that I had my license. My step dad had installed an aircard into my mom’s laptop the night before, allowing us to get online while riding in the car. So… my mom ended up driving the entire way, lol. We listened to Goo the whole way there, which took about 5 hours. We arrived at the hotel around 3:30 p.m.

Getting to the venue

This was a nightmare. My mom had printed out maps of all sorts with directions on how to get there from the hotel (since we stayed about 15-20 minutes from the venue), but then she left them at work. I was the one stuck driving to the venue with her nervously giving hesitant directions. Every time we made a wrong turn on the interstate, we took the next exit with plans on turning right around. Well, on more than one occasion that next exit turned into another interstate. Finally, we happened to stumble upon “Riverbend,” and that being the same name as the venue, we followed the haphazard signs. Got there right on time!

The ticket fiasco

As we all know, we don’t know our tickets prior to picking them up at the venue. I always feel like one of the “loser fans” who either a) bought their tickets online a few days ago and nonchalantly decided to pick them up at Will Call, or b) like someone who doesn’t have a ticket yet, and is just hoping to get a lawn seat at the window. Anyway, we got in “line,” which consisted of about 3 people, us included, and anxiously awaited “the” envelope. As mom showed her ID, and the woman pulled out our envelope, my heart was racing. The day the tickets went on sale, my mom attempted to buy them from work. She was on and waiting at 10 a.m., but her work blocked the purchasing page on Inticketing. Thus, I had to buy our tickets at 2:30 p.m. when I got home from school. That said, we “knew” we weren’t going to get fantastic seats. We would have been happy with somewhere between 15th and 20th row. However our luck was much better than that… the lady behind the counter opened the envelope and handed us two SECTION: PIT || ROW: B tickets. I’m not kidding when I say I hyperventilated. I wanted to cry with sheer excitement. I couldn’t believe our luck.


As all big Goo fans know, buying merchandise is a must when going to a Goo Goo Dolls concert. I had picked out in my mind what I wanted to buy when I got there, and I had set a price of $50. The total came out to $58, but I was fine with paying the extra $8. I bought the black t-shirt with the album cover on the front and the dates on the back, the wristband, the sticker pack, the dog tag, and the washer necklace. My mom bought the blue t-shirt with the three pictures on the front of the band, and two shots of the girl. Her shirt also has the tour dates on back. Of course they never give you a bag at the merch booth, so we toted around our goods for a while before asking one of the workers if we could go to our car and put our stuff away (our car was literally in sight of the gate entrance, we found great parking). She said that there was no “re-entry,” which is pretty stupid, but whatever. We were lucky enough to stumble upon a booth who gave us a sturdy plastic bag with draw strings, perfect for our Goo goodies.


This band was great. It was our first chance to get to see them live, and they were so cute. I say cute because they were so little/young… all ages 20-23, and just doing what they love. Their music was really good; although I didn’t know any songs, I got into it. I thought Jared (the bass player) was awfully cute, and since I love the bass, I watched him for 90% of their set. When they were done, they were packing up their stuff on stage, so I asked the lead singer what his name was. I felt kind of silly, but he was super nice, and introduced himself as Dan. I waved and said hello, and he smiled and said a few more words. Later, after the Goos were finished their set, we ran into Jared talking on his cell phone. We asked for an autograph (once he had hung up), and he was the sweetest ever. He signed our ticket, shook our hand, and chatted with us for about 10 minutes. Jesse, the keyboardist later came out with Jared, and we got to meet him, too. Both really sweet boys. I can’t wait to check them out again!

The moment you’ve all been waiting for… the Goo Goo Dolls

When the Goos were just about to come on, the security guard told us that anyone in the pit (the first five rows) could move up to the rail if they wanted to. Of course we hiked over those seats faster than the speed of light and turned our super good seats in second row into super better “seats” on the rail. Security hadn’t done squat when I came into the venue; no wanding, no patting down, no look in bags, nothing. So I got my camera in, which I believe was allowed anyway, but the signs on the walls outside the venue said “no cameras or recording devices.” I guess they didn’t care! So I had my camera poised and ready for the boys to come out. We kept catching a glimpse of John behind the curtain, and he played a little peek-a-boo with the first few rows by standing behind the curtain and peeking out.

Then… Stay With You came on. We all started jumping and screaming as the boys ran onto the stage. John had his signature pink shirt on, as well as black pants. Robby had the cutest boy scout looking shirt on; olive green with patches here and there. As usual, I couldn’t tell what Mike was wearing. The set list went as follows:

Stay With You
Feel The Silence
Black Balloon
Tucked Away
We’ll Be Here
January Friend
Better Days
Let Love In

Without You Here

We had all heard that John and Robby had been under the weather the last couple of nights, so it was great to see them so energetic, and seemingly “all better.” John talked to us (although we couldn’t hear much in the first row) and laughed and smiled abundantly. He tossed a pick to one girl, but she missed, and someone else scrambled to pick it up. Seeing her disappointed face, John pointed at her, and told her to come up to the rail. She did, and he tossed another pick about two feet right into her hand. How sweet! I got quite a few smiles from both boys throughout the show, since us Goobers up front knew all the words to every song. Between songs, my mom and I would shout Robby’s name, you know, to let him know he was loved, lol.

Brad went into his solo during Tucked Away, and when he was finished, he threw his pick that he was playing into the audience. What do you know, it landed right on my arm. My mom and I freaked, she swiped it, and stuffed it into her pocket. It's all smudged, so you can tell he used it!

When John came out with the towel on his head, Robby pointed at him and mouthed to the crowd, “he looks like a homo queer.” Then he proceeded to put his hand on his hip, bend his knee, and wave his other wrist (you know what I’m talking about, doing a “gay” posture), poking fun at the way John looked. So hilarious!

John played his guitar for every song except Without You Here. He didn’t play much in Become, Brad did most of the playing on that one, but John lost the guitar for the last one and gave us some highly emotional moves; getting down on his knees, throwing his head back, holding the microphone with both hands, etc. It was great to see him with his guitar for the majority of the show, but to also play one song without it.

John actually introduced everyone (except himself, of course), which was really nice. I always love for each member to get some recognition. He also had some mighty awesome guitars that I wouldn’t mind being the owner of (whether they were John’s or not!). He had a snazzy red Gibson (a hollow body broadcaster, my favorite style of guitar), as well as a nice acoustic with a red tint.

The Counting Crows

I can’t say much about them as we left right after the Goos went off. We walked around for a bit, tried to get back to their buses (to no avail), and talked to a friend we made at the show. (She won a meet and greet, and said it wasn’t all that great, but she enjoyed it just the same). This is when we met Jared and Jesse from Augustana.

While we were waiting for the Crows to come on, we happened to see Damage. We got to chat with him for a minute or two, and he offered to give us each a pick. They were both blue, but my mom got a John pick (smaller), and I got a Robby pick. Both say, “like nothing else” on the back. He was very nice!

Since we had such great seats, we thought we’d give the Counting Crows a chance. In my honest opinion, seeing them live has not changed what I thought about them before. To me, they are a boring band. I watched them play three or four songs, each sounding about the same, and Adam droning on while shaking his “hair.” We were hot, hungry, thirsty, and tired, so we decided to go back to the hotel after about the fifth or sixth song.

Overall, it was a great concert. Of course they didn’t play quite as long as we would have liked (about an hour and fifteen minutes), but I was thoroughly satisfied. They did their best, they put on a great show, and we had amazing seats. I can’t really complain. This is just a taste of how amazing they are going to be when they get to tour solo! Woo hoo for Goo Goo!! (Almost as stupid as “Ga Ga for the Goo Goos,” lol).

Pictures relating to Cincinnati, OH - July 12, 2006

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