When it comes to live music, nothing beats an outdoor summer concert.
Luckily for local listeners, the Goo Goo Dolls are ready to storm the stage at the Pavilion at Montage Mountain, Scranton, on Thursday, Aug. 1.
“The outdoor show is like a big night out for everybody. It’s fun,” lead singer John Rzeznik said during a recent phone interview from Charlotte, North Carolina.
“You can tell that people are really looking forward to it. Especially up in the Northeast, in places like Scranton, you only get a few months of weather (when) you can be outside, so it’s exciting,” he added. “There’s a vibe for sure. Everybody wants to have their memories from their summer vacation, and I like being part of that.”
Joining Rzeznik’s band on the bill will be Train — known for hits “Drops of Jupiter,” “Hey, Soul Sister,” “Meet Virginia” and “Calling All Angels” — and opening act Allen Stone. The show starts at 7 p.m., and guests likely can expect some crossover performances between the bands, Rzeznik shared.
“Sometimes I’ll sing with those guys if my voice is holding up,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun. It’s a great mix, the two bands together, just singing every single song every night. It’s a lot of music, a lot of hits. I enjoy watching Train.”
With a new album on the horizon and its title track, “Miracle Pill,” out now, the Goo Goo Dolls has an extensive, Grammy-nominated catalogue to pull from for its set. Longtime listeners can expect to hear hits going back to 1995 and the band’s earliest hit records, such as “A Boy Named Goo” and “Dizzy Up the Girl.”
Rzeznik’s greatest radio ear worms will be on display, such as “Name,” “Slide,” “Iris,” “Broadway” and “Black Balloon,” which should inspire plenty of nostalgia for those in attendance.
“You know most of the songs, and it’s like a big sing-along,” he promised. “It’s just a positive vibe, I swear.
“I just like seeing people sing along. I love when people drop me notes about songs. Every day I get notes about songs. It feels really good. I’m grateful. You try to keep yourself in a state of gratitude. … I’ve been blessed and really lucky to do what I’ve done for 30 years or so.”
Rzeznik’s new music especially seeks to bring people together for more authentic connections without modern-day distractions, and attending concerts gives people the opportunity to take him up on this invitation.
“That’s what it’s all about, making that connection and keeping that connection, because face it, live music is one of the only things people do where they all get together face-to-face,” he said. “They’re squeezed into a space, part of a big group, and it’s one of the only things left where they’re not isolated, and I think people need more of that to generate that connection.”
Taking part in the give-and-take of playing live energizes Rzeznik too, thanks to the positive energy going back and forth between him and the audience whenever he steps on stage. It’s a relationship among artists and fans that helps both find peace and happiness in their respective worlds, he said.
“I go out and I’m feeling really good doing our set,” Rzeznik said. “Everybody’s having a great time, and I think now, especially these days, it’s like everybody needs to have a good time.
“The world might be going crazy — I mean, it’s always been going crazy — but for a few hours in that dedicated space, everything’s OK.”
If you go
- What: Goo Goo Dolls and Train with Allen Stone
- When: Thursday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m.
- Where: The Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 1000 Montage Mountain Road, Scranton
- Details: Tickets start at $22 and are available through the box office and livenation.com.
Patrice Wilding is a 13-year employee of the Lifestyles Dept. at The Times-Tribune, where she worked her way up from a clerk to a web video producer to a full-time reporter, writer and copy editor. An Olyphant native, she graduated from Mid Valley Secondary Center and earned a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies with concentration in media arts, political science and communications from Wesley College, Dover, Delaware. She lives in Clarks Summit with her husband, Justin, and their son, Johnny. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5369; @pwildingTT