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REVIEW - USJ Sunday

Sounded like a great proposition, right? Buffalo's own, the Goo Goo Dolls, wanted to film a concert to release as a DVD. The most logical place to do it is right in their own backyard, in Buffalo. But hey, why not make a big deal about it? How about a huge festival on the 4th of July outside of City Hall in Niagara Square. Sounds great! Now let's just hope the weather cooperates...

To sum it up in the fewest words possible: It kicked ass. This concert was one for the ages. I don't care if you like the Goo Goo Dolls or not, the DVD is going to be must see for all music fans. Possibly the best concert footage ever taken came out of Buffalo last night. Here's how I experienced it.

Saturday was a beatiful summer day. I can't tell you how that happened, because I didn't go. The weather forecasts for Sunday weren't going to be as nice. A huge thunderstorm system was supposed to run through the area. The whole thing Sunday got started about 2 hours late. We got there at 5:30 and the first act, Hamell on Trial was great. For those who haven't heard of him (like I was until I got there), he's this bald guy with no band and only an acoustic guitar. To phrase it best, he's "punk acoustic". Definitely performed well. Funny guy too. He played until about 6:30. Then the clouds started getting darker. It started to sprinkle. Ani DiFranco (also from Buffalo) came on at about 7:30 (almost an hour late) and started playing. She was okay. At around quarter to 8, it started raining, not too hard though. It let up for a bit, then it started to downpour. She stayed out as long as she could, and then at around 8:15 they pulled her off the stage because it was raining so hard. It let up a little after about 10 minutes, and they dried off the equipment and played for another half hour. The rain stopped soon after she got off stage. The many grassy areas in Niagara Square were now mud. People then started to gather for the Goos to come on. The few people who I went with (my best friend, his girl friend, and another friend) were complaining the whole time and wanted to leave whenever it started raining were just a proverbial 'wet blanket' the whole time. They refused to get wet. This would come into play a bit later. About 15 minutes into the setup (which would take an hour), one of my female friends finally showed up with a few people. I kinda drifted over towards them because they were actually happy to be there, unlike my other group who *****ed everytime it started sprinking. We stood around for about another 45 minutes talking while they finished setting up. By now it was around 10, and the main event was finally coming out...

The weather had finally broken when the Goos came on stage, and they tore through a few songs. Big Machine, Naked, Slide, Smash...They sounded great. The crowd was having a great time, singing along to every song. Then it started raining. You could see lighting off in the distance behind City Hall. As the band started going on "Tucked Away" it started pouring... and as Robby broke through the first verse, the rain just exponentially got heavier. As soon as he ended the verse he screamed "Screw the rain!" and the crowd went nuts. They kept playing and it kept raining. The group I came with (who I had lost in the crowd) called me to say they were going to the car (pansies...). The lightning got closer, you could see it every direction you looked, and it really phased no one. It just kept raining buckets, probably as heavy as rain could possibly drop. Name, Dizzy, Cuz You're Gone w/ 1000 Words, Black Balloon, Iris ...We were 25-30 yards from the stage and we could barely see the band. They played "Here Is Gone" and the stage guys pulled the guys off the stage. Robby yelled "Stay right there! We'll be RIGHT BACK!!!" and the crowd went wild. The rain never let up. After about 5 or 6 minutes, Johnny came out and played "Acoustic #3", while getting pelted with rain. Then John grabbed the electric guitar and Robby joined him for an awesome version of "Two Days in February". By this time water wasn't even soaking in, it was just rolling off of you and the ground started holding water. The lightning was everywhere. Then Mike came out and they did "Broadway", which was the best part of the show. The crowd was shouting the words and seemed everyone was yelling at the top of their lungs for the line "It always rains like hell on the losers day parade". Everyone was soaking wet and having a blast. By then we had snuck up within maybe 40-50 feet of the stage. Then they did "What A Scene" and walked off. The crowd didn't shut up for the 3 minutes they were off stage, then they came out and did the encore, their new cover of Supertramp's "Give A Little Bit", which sounded great. Then they thanked the crowd and walked off and they started the fireworks (which should have been unusable with the rain, or so I thought). About a minute into the fireworks the rain finally stopped, just in time for the walk back to the car...

All in all, it was the event of a lifetime. Best concert I've ever been to, and probably always will be. For those keeping track, Buffalo had it's largest single day rainfall in over 10 years, and about 70% of it fell while the Goos were on stage. My clothes are still pretty damp. My sneakers are still dripping. If the disposable camera I kept in my pocket didn't get too waterlogged, I'll have a few great pictures. They said the turnout was about 25,000 at the start of the big show. Couldn't have been more than 9 or 10,000 at the end. An awesome party, thrown in true Buffalo fashion.

Just wait until the DVD comes out (slated for October release). If it's half as good as the real thing, it'll be amazing.

Source: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=88646
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