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Long Way Home Tour: Goo Goo Dolls, Phillip Phillips 07/21/2017

Long Way Home Tour
Goo Goo Dolls, Phillip Phillips
Stir Concert Cove
Council Bluffs, Iowa

Not even the 100 degree heat index was able to keep several thousand fans from packing into Harrah’s Stir Concert Cove for the venue’s 3rd straight night of concerts. With remnants of glitter and confetti still lingering around the cove from Kesha’s performance the night before, Goo Goo Dolls were returning to the Omaha metro area for their Long Way Home summer tour. Goo Goo Dolls no stranger to Stir Cove. Tonight would be their 4th time on Stir’s stage since 2011, and fans were even more excited to welcome them back than in previous years.
Opening for Goo Goo Dolls during this leg of the tour, American Idol contestant Phillip Phillips was also no stranger to Stir Cove. Having headlined his own gig in 2014, Phillips didn’t look too impressed with the extreme heat, but pushed his way through a tight set. Honestly though the heat looked like it was getting to a lot of people, both in the crowd and on the stage. Even with a later than usual start time of 8pm, it was still an oppressive Iowa heat combined with high humidity. This was probably why Phillips’ set was shorter tonight than for previous shows. With fans still making their way into the cove, Phillips used his time on stage to entice the crowd into several sing-alongs during his set. Nearly everyone in attendance sang along with his incredibly catchy single “Home”, and those who didn’t know the words clapped to the beat.
As the sun dipped below the horizon, the heat had become manageable. By the time Goo Goo Dolls hit the stage the front of the cove was packed with screaming fans. For almost an hour and half, Goo Goo Dolls smashed through a 21 song set that encompassed selections from their entire musical catalogue.
Having been a casual fan of the band since first hearing their debut album, but never having seen them live before, I gotta say they put on one helluva show. Fan favorite cuts were mixed perfectly with radio singles and hits that created a brilliant musical journey. While the most tracks performed were off of the band’s current release, Boxes, it was their classic hits that really got the fans’ attention. During the band’s performances of “Name,” “Black Balloon” and “Iris”, the crowd’s voices nearly drown out vocalist Johny Rzeznik.
Coupled with nearly three decades of touring experience, Goo Goo Dolls put on an absolutely spectacular live show. It’s amazing that Rzeznik and bassist/co-founder Robby Takac are celebrating the band’s 30th anniversary this year. My only regret is that I waited so long to experience the live show for myself.

Goo Goo Dolls setlist:
Tattered Edge / You Should Be Happy
Big Machine
Over and Over
So Alive
Black Balloon
Lucky Star
Free of Me
Here Is Gone
Come to Me
Use Me
Already There
Bringing on the Light
Flat Top
Better Days
Long Way Home

Phillip Phillips setlist:
Raging Fire
Lead On
Gone, Gone, Gone
My Name

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