May 26, 1999

The Goo Goo Dolls performance at the Catholic Youth Center was a homecoming of sorts. Not for the band, but for the center. This was the first concert it hosted in “some 12 to 15 years,” according to center director Brian J. Williams.

The return of music to the storied city venue — which had hosted Sammy Davis Jr. and Johnny Cash, among many others — was thanks to Metropolitan Entertainment Group.

While waiting for the show to start, a Scranton Times reporter asked Heather Morgan and Katie McElhenney what they were looking forward to at the concert. Both girls said in unison, “We can’t wait to hear ‘Iris.’” Morgan added, “It’s probably my favorite song of theirs.”

man with guitar

Goo Goo Dolls lead singer John Rzeznik belts out a song during a concert Wednesday, May 26, 1999 at the Catholic Youth Center in Scranton. Times-Tribune Archives

The band took the stage and opened with “Dizzy,” which got the amassed 2,000 people excited for the rest of the show. A few songs later, lead singer Johnny Rzeznik asked the crowd to sing along with him on the band’s hit “Slide.”

“If you know it, sing it,” he encouraged. “If you don’t, pretend.”

The opening act for the night was the band Fastball. Tickets for the show cost $20.

Goo Goo Dolls’ performance served as the kickoff to the summer concert season. George Bieber, regional manager for Metropolitan, said that the band was “pleased with this site. They’re very comfortable and satisfied, which makes us very excited about this venue. We’re planning to do at least four or five more shows here, and I think this is a good omen of things to come.”

But the CYC’s revival as a concert venue was short-lived. The next show featured 3 Doors Down in November 2000. The Diocese of Scranton later announced that the longtime athletics and entertainment center would close at the end of June 2001. Later that same year, Lackawanna College began leasing the building from the diocese. Then, in April 2004, Lackawanna College purchased the CYC for $425,000. The building is now the student union gymnasium for the college.

two men with guitars

Guitarist/Lead Vocalist, John Rzeznik (left) and Bassist Robby Takak of the band Goo Goo Dolls perform Tuesday, Nov 12, 2002 at the FM Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre. Times-Shamrock Archives

Since that performance in 1999, Goo Goo Dolls has performed multiple times in the area, including three times at Montage Mountain: in August 2006, August 2010 and just last week, on Aug 1. The band also took the stage at F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre in November 2002 and February 2007.

Related –

Time Warp 1972 – David Cassidy concert at CYC draws thousands of young fans

Time Warp 1969 – Johnny Cash concert draws more than 5,000 people 

Time Warp: Ozzy OSbourne show canceled at CYC

Time Warp: Three Dog Night leaves fans howling with joy at the CYC

Time Warp 1965: Sammy Davis Jr. keeps Scranton on his busy schedule

Time Warp 1973: Liberace breaks records in the Electric City

The Show Didn’t Go On – Beach Boys cancel CYC show in 1966