Photos and Review by Ilya Mirman
Galleries: Train, Goo Goo Dolls
One of 2019’s best co-headling tours, Goo Goo Dolls and Train, rolled into Mohegan with the swagger and comfort that comes in your third decade as a band. Having never seen either live, I was really looking forward to their sets.
Each band’s 14-song set had something for everyone, delivering the hits, and – in the case of Train – playing some killer covers.
Goo Goo Dolls were up first – opening with Stay With You, Big Machine, and Slide. Fan reception was intense – as if a long lost dear friend walked up on stage. Johnny Rzeznik and company were in rare form, with a rocking set from start to finish, with an inventive, ever-changing lighting backdrop supporting each song, both the anthemic ones, and the ballads.
The Dolls were clearly having a great time – exchanging smiles with each other and the crowd. Bassist Robby Takac traded with Johnny on vocals for part of the show, and jumped around the stage barefoot, nonstop. As intro to Goo Goo Dolls, I couldn’t have asked for more – a high energy set, infectious positive attitude, and strong musicality.
Train opened with Calling All Angels and 50 Ways to Say Goodbye (one of my favorites, and this performance featuring a confetti cannon surprise). It was hit after hit, with the occasional iconic cover thrown in – Tom Petty’s American Girl, Queen’s Under Pressure, and Led Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker. Train is known for fun, quality renditions of rock’s monster hits – and this set didn’t disappoint.
Throughout the show, frontman Patrick Monahan was engaging with the audience in one fun way or another. Fans would throw their cell phones onstage for him to take photos with; and he made a fun spectacle out of throwing t-shirts into the crowd – building up to a crescendo where he surprised a fan with a t-shirt signed – live – by the entire band. At times playful, at times thoughtful, Monahan and the band spanned a range of subjects, via tongue-in-cheek narratives, moving love ballads and pop rock anthems.
And last but not least: a shout-out to Mohegan Sun! My favorite arena to shoot at – large enough to host top-tier talent, yet intimate enough that even the farthest seats have a great view; and with an upscale casino feel and cool shops and restaurants for a range of interests and tastes, I’m convinced there’s no better place for date night on the East Coast. Check out the upcoming shows: https://mohegansun.com/events-and-promotions/schedule-of-events.html
Train Set List
- Calling All Angels
- 50 Ways to Say Goodbye
- If It’s Love
- Get to Me
- Empire State of Mind (JAY-Z cover)
- Meet Virginia
- American Girl (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers cover)
- When I Look to the Sky
- Marry Me
- Under Pressure (Queen cover)
- Hey, Soul Sister
- Play That Song
- Heartbreaker (Led Zeppelin cover)
- Drops of Jupiter
Goo Goo Dolls Set list
- Stay With You
- Big Machine
- Rebel Beat
- Here Is Gone
- Black Balloon
- Free of Me
- So Alive
- Miracle Pill
- Bringing on the Light
- Better Days