Goo Goo Doll’s Big Night Out Tour at St. Josephs Amphitheater Syracuse 8/16/23

Review by Kelly Besaw

Photos by Chris Besaw

The Buffalo based band the Goo Goo Dolls ripped through a twenty-five-song set including all the hits for an enthusiastic crowd at the St. Joseph’s Health Amphitheater in Syracuse on August 16. They brought along with them alt-rock veterans O.A.R.

Opener O.A.R. drew a large crowd. The band is best known for their 2000 hit “Crazy Game of Poker.” Lead singer Marc Roberge lead his band through a smooth set mixed with hits, a Billy Joel cover, and some lesser-known tracks. Fans jammed and grooved along to the rock and reggae beats. They ended their fourteen-song set to a massive roar of applause leaving fans more than warmed up for the headliner.

The Goo Goo Dolls took the stage and started right out with a few hits, “Broadway,” “Over and Over,” and “Slide.” Original members John Rzeznik (guitar/lead vocals) and Robby Takac (bass/lead vocals) managed the bulk of the singing for the evening. The band proved that they were in top form barely taking a break as they performed an hour and forty-five-minute, twenty-five song set. Rzeznik noted how Syracuse has been good to the band for a very long-time reminiscing about playing at the Lost Horizon back in 1989. The lead singer joked, “honestly, I was just surprised anyone showed up to see us.”

Other highlights included, “Black Balloon” where fans unleashed dozens of black balloons into the crowd. An impressive stripped-down version of “Sympathy” that highlighted Rzeznik’s vocal abilities. I really enjoyed Robby Takac singing “Lucky Star” and I really enjoyed “Come to Me.” The band kept the energy going with fan favorite and one of their biggest hits “Name.”

Rzeznik invited Marc Roberge from O.A.R back onstage for a killer cover of Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down” where Rzeznik and Roberge traded vocals. Then it was time for the song everyone had been waiting for “Iris.” The entire crowd sang along, and Rzeznik paused to listen to them chant “Yeah, you bleed just to know you’re alive.” A fitting end to an amazing set. If you haven’t seen the Goo Goo Dolls live, you have plenty of chances to catch them on this tour and I am guessing that we will see them again in Syracuse in the future.



Over and Over


Big Machine

Here Is Gone

Black Balloon

January Friend

Yeah, I Like You

Going Crazy

Lucky Star

So Alive




Come to Me


Miracle Pill

Run All Night

Life’s A Message

Bringing On the Light

Better Days

Stay With You

Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy

I Won’t Back Down (Tom Petty cover)


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