Train and Goo Goo Dolls Light up Mountain View

in SF Concert Reviews by

It was a warm clear night in Mountain View yesterday, which would only get hotter once the headliners for the evening hit the stage. The Goo Goo Dolls and Train. Two cultural icons from the 90s on one bill. I’m pretty certain you couldn’t have found two bands that more perfectly complimented each other. Both with charismatic strong singers, catchy melodies and huge anthemic choruses. Each with a unique sound, one that weaved the tapestry of modern music for decades.

The Goo Goos were first to bat and came on strong. They kicked things off with the mega-hit “Stay With You,” which had the crowd on their feet quickly and yearning for more. “Big Machine” quickly followed suit and lit up the stage. But it wasn’t until “Iris,” that fan enthusiasm crescendoed. The iconic song is one of those timeless gems that never gets old and showcases the unique chemistry between Johnny Rzeznik and his brother in arms, Robby Takac. It’s a connection that you feel the moment these two hit the stage and judging by their warm smiles seen throughout the set, not one that’s likely to fade away anytime soon.

Train was up next and quickly jumped into “Calling All Angels.” Pat Monahan looked great sporting a casual combo of black jeans, white T-shirt and jean jacket. Already an impeccable vocalist, the years on the road both leading up to his fame as well as after, have turned the charming frontman into a seasoned performer. He was confident, funny and friendly. For someone of his stature, the humility onstage felt refreshing and genuine.

Of course, they needed to perform “Save Me San Francisco,” because not only was this a hometown show for the whole band that’s originally from Petaluma but especially for their current guitarist who is a San Jose native. They did it brilliantly and made the Bay Area proud to call them one of their own.

Highlights of the show for me included a mesmerizing medley of Tom Petty covers for which Monahan brought out Johnny Rzeznik as well as duet version of “Bruises” with Allen Stone on guest vocals. What more can be said? The show is non-stop fun from beginning to end and a must-see from these two bands that have orchestrated the soundtrack for so many of our lives.

Photos by Louis Raphael

An avid drummer whose discography includes albums on Digital Nations (a Steve Vai imprint), music critic Louis Raphael has always kept a pulse on the San Francisco music scene. After many years as the San Francisco Music Examiner for Examiner.com and AXS.com, he decided to start Music in SF® as a way to showcase what the San Francisco music scene really has to offer.

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