SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) -- The Alumni Health and Living Center at Western New England College seemed more like Radio City Music Hall than a college gymnasium Saturday night as the Goo Goo Dolls and Vanessa Carlton performed for WNEC students and alumni.
Vanessa Carlton took the stage first and performed a set which included her popular hits "Ordinary Day" and "A Thousand Miles". As the crowd grew larger while Carlton was playing, the piano arrangement for "A Thousand Miles" began; spectators immediately recognized the song and proceeded to sing-along with Carlton.
After an approximate 30 minute intermission, the Goo Goo Dolls took the stage to a screaming audience. Led by frontman, Johnny Rzeznik, they performed for approximately 80 minutes with a set full of their biggest hits along with songs of their latest album. Songs such as "Big Machine", "Slide", "Name", "Iris", "Better Days", and "Before It's Too Late", drew a rousing ovation from the crowd. Rzeznik occasionally turned over the microphone to bassist Robby Takac, who sand lead vocals on four songs.
The band, who has gained international superstardom, performed a two song encore which including the song, "Broadway".
Rzeznik was crowd-friendly and even stopped the band in the middle of a song and asked for the lights in the gymnasium to be turned on so security could escort a rowdy spectator to the exit.
The spring concert is an annual event at WNEC. Last year, they brought in Fabolous and Sean Kingston and the year before Third Eye Blind came to the college. They do a great job of providing the amenities necessary to attract well-known acts. Steve Genovese, the Spring Publicity Chairperson, explained the school worked diligently to make sure the Goo Goo Dolls were comfortable, "They had full-catered meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, pretty much anything else in the area [that they needed]. Of course, no band comes without an odd request. "The most expensive thing, I'll be honest, was the Fiji water we had to buy." Genovese said the college has other qualities that bands appreciate, "They got to perform on a really nice stage we put together for them."
Kaylee McDonald, who spearheaded the concert, explained the concert is "the one huge event of the year." She went on to say, "it's something [WNEC] gets to brag about to every other college."
And brag they should. WNEC was successful in bringing a four-time Grammy nominated band to campus, and provide the students and alumni with a great event.