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Goo Goo Dolls & Collective Soul at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater

Mike Perciaccante By

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Goo Goo Dolls & Collective Soul with special guests Tribe Society
Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
Wantagh, NY
August 12, 2016

The Goo Goo Dolls came together in 1986 in Buffalo, NY when guitarist and vocalist John Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac along with drummer George Tutuska joined forces. The trio picked its name from an ad for a toy in True Detective magazine.

In 1987, the Goo Goo Dolls released its first album Goo Goo Dolls on Mercenary Records. That album featured Takac handling the majority of the vocals because Rzeznik was too shy to sing. In 1989 Metal Blade Records released the band's second album Jed. 1990 saw the release of Hold Me Up also on Metal Blade Records. Hold Me Up featured Rzeznik singing lead on five tracks. Superstar Car Wash (Warner Brothers Records, 1993) was the Goo Goo Dolls' first major label release. The album featured the track "We Are The Normal" (co-written by Rzeznik and Paul Westerberg) which garnered quite a bit of critical praise and the band's first "real" media attention.

During the course of its career, the Goo Goo Dolls have scored 19 Top 10 singles on various Billboard charts. The Goo Goo Dolls are most well-known for their breakthrough hits "Name" and "Naked" from 1995's A Boy Named Goo (Warner Brothers/Metal Blade Records) as well as "Iris," "Slide," "Black Balloon," "Flat Top," "Dizzy," "Broadway," "Better Days," "Give a Little Bit," "Home" and "Stay with You." Additionally, the band has sold in excess of 12 million albums across the world.

Over the years there have been some personnel changes. Tutuska left the band in 1995 and was replaced by Mike Malinin who sat behind the skins until the end of 2013. The "band" is now down to a twosome of Rzeznik, Takac plus touring musicians Brad Fernquist (guitar and mandolin), Korel Tunador (keyboards, guitar and saxophone) and Craig Macintyre (drums).

Collective Soul was originally from Stockbridge, GA and is now based in Atlanta. The band was originally comprised of lead vocalist Ed Roland, his brother Dean Roland on rhythm guitar, bassist Will Turpin, lead guitarist Ross Childress and drummer Shane Evans. Childress left in 2001 with Evans following him in 2003. Currently, the group consists of the Roland brothers, Turpin, Jesse Triplett on lead guitar and Johnny Rabb on drums.

In 1993, the band shot to instant fame when WJRR in Orlando, FL began playing Ed Roland's demo of "Shine." Soon it was the station's most requested song. Roland quickly enlisted his brother, Turpin, Childress and Evans as first official line-up of Collective Soul. Atlantic Records signed the band and released the collection of 1993 demos as the group's first studio album, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid. Over the course of its career, Collective Soul has had hits with "December," "Where The River Flows," "The World I Know," "Gel," "Precious Declaration," "Listen." "Blame" and "Smashing Young Man."

During the midst of the worst heat wave to hit the northeast in many a year, the Goo Goo Dolls, Collective Soul and Tribe Society's 2016 summer tour touched down at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater in Wantagh, Long Island. Thankfully, the conditions were a bit cooler at the amphitheater on the beach than in the surrounding areas. That is until the music started—when things got rockin' and definitely got hot.

Tribe Society from Washington Heights, NY opened the evening with a short but spirited seven song set. The band's performance was highlighted by the cover of the Smashing Pumpkins' "1979" and its breakout hit "Kings" (from its 2016 Island Records release Lucid Dreams) which has been featured on spots for the last year's Major League Baseball playoffs as well as the Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor UFC fight.

After a short intermission, Collective Soul took the stage. Ed Roland greeted the crowd with a simple, "Good evening. We're Collective Soul from Atlanta, GA." Its set was short on songs (nine), but long on energy and power. The band was strong, tight and at the top of its game.

After opening with "Heavy," the band swiftly moved into brawny versions of "Where The River Flows," "Better Now" and Contagious." Ed Roland commanded the stage as he sang, vamped and played acoustic guitar. Highlights of the show included: "Shine" (with a snippet of "Amazing Grace"), the new tune, "Rule #1" (which Ed Roland introduced by stating, "Yes, we were formed in the '90s but we are not of the '90s. We fucking rock!") and "December."

Prior to the band's closing number, Ed Roland showed his and the band's humility when he said, "We'd like to thank you good people for giving us 22 years of a life we could only imagine." What followed was a tour de force version of "The World I Know." As Collective Soul left the stage, the audience reacted with cheers, whistles and a standing ovation normally reserved only for the headliner.

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