Aug. 22, 2002

Some Goo, A Blind Third Eye, and One Young Carlton

By Randy J. Klodz

Just as the dark clouds rolled in, The Gutterflower Tour—headlined by the Goo Goo Dolls, with the support of acts Third Eye Blind and Vanessa Carlton—came through Tinley Park’s Tweeter Center on Aug. 22, and brightened the night’s summer sky.

To start the night off, Vanessa Carlton took the stage with her piano and played her hit single “A Thousand Miles,” and her new single “Ordinary Day,” and other songs from her “Be Not Nobody” album. To end her set, the young Carlton left her piano seat to grab a mic stand and belt out her energetic version of “Paint it Black,” originally by the Rolling Stones.

Wearing a navy blue T-shirt emblazoned with a skull design, Stephan Jenkins led his San Francisco-based band Third Eye Blind through an hour-long set that featured hits “Graduate,” “Semi-Charmed Life,” “Never Let You Go” and “How’s It Going to Be.” Third Eye Blind also gave fans a sneak peek to their upcoming, “Crystal Baller” album. “If you give us all of your live energy, it will show up on our new record,” Jenkins said, before playing new songs “An Old Friend Coming Over,” “Palm Reader” and “Invisible.”

A crimson curtain hid the Goo Goo Dolls stage set-up and once it raised, the Goo Goo Dolls—vocalist and guitarist John Rzeznik, vocalist and bassist Robby Takac, drummer Mike Malinin, and touring musicians Greg Suran and Jason Freese—took center stage, with six gear-shaped light columns lighting the way.

The Goo Goo Dolls shined through a 90-minute set that showcased portions from each of their three albums, “A Boy Named Goo,” “Dizzy up the Girl” and “Gutterflower,” their newest album.

Key songs that were played—and were often interrupted by bras and other gifts thrown at the stage by smitten female fans—included “Name,” “Black Balloon,” “Big Machine,” “Iris” and “Long Way Down.” Before beginning “Sympathy,” Rzeznik said, “This is something you should never ask for.”

The blond-haired Rzeznik became chatty between songs and addressed the crowd on topics ranging from ex-girlfriends with tattoos to the voting of politicians. “‘American Idol’ isn’t considered a game show, so the person with the most votes may not be the winner,” Rzeznik said. “Just like our recent presidential election.”

The shoe-less (he was wearing black socks) and purple and blue-haired Robby Tacak also took lead vocals on “Smash,” “January Friend,” and “You Never Know.” Takac also took time to thank his friends that might have been present, from Metro and Lounge Ax.

“My worst nightmare is that someday I will be flipping channels at 3 a.m., because I can’t sleep,” Rzeznik said before the start of “Name,” “and I’ll see a commercial for one of those compilation CDs for the 90s and they will say ‘Remember the mellow sounds of the Goo Goo Dolls?’”

For sure, the “mellow sounds” of the Goo Goo Dolls will be remembered for years to come. The Gutterflower Tour continues through Sept.14 when it makes its stop at Coors Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, Calif.

Robby Takac Photo: Randy J. Klodz
Johnny Rzeznik Photo: Randy J. Klodz