A Doobie and Doll Dilemma


Photo by: Chris Salata

There are only a few times I wish I could truly clone myself (one of me is more than enough for this world, I assure you) but last night I would have succumed to a hundred mouth swabs to be able to catch the entirety of Friday night’s headliners’ sets.

On the Tire Kingdom Stage, the eight member fraternity that is Doobie Brothers was welcomed by a devoted crowd of all ages. Their first feat was jamming “Jesus Is Just Alright.” The crowd went crazy. If I was handing out superlatives this week, I’d give the Doobie fans an award for “Most Engaged.” Hands in the air, singing every word to every song, these fans had waited months to catch this outfit in West Palm.

And it was worth the wait.


Photo By: Chris Salata

They moved into “Rockin’ Down the Highway” and “Take Me In Your Arms” before sending the crowd into an arm-waving party with the beautiful saxophone in “Depending On You.” I was dancing, I was moving, I was wishing my parents were here to see this unbelievable band. I was committed to my spot in the grassy valley, when I was reminded it was time to see the Goo Goo Dolls delight fans at the Ford Stage.

At first, I was a little concerned, as I found myself staring into a pretty bare stage, moments before the “Slide” superstars were set to perform. That was because the Dolls would enter the spotlight with their instruments strung around their shoulders.

The Upstate New York trio began with “Naked.” The crowd seemed to hold their breath in suspense, waiting for…for… “Slide,” which lead singer John Rzeznik began acoustically as their second song. I know bands must get tired playing their hits, but for many (including myself) it was our first time seeing the talented group. I selfishly wanted to hear every song I could sing by heart.

The Goo Goo Dolls didn’t disappoint.


Photo By: Chris Salata

Their next songs would be “Here is Gone,” “Rebel Beat,” and “When The World Breaks Your Heart,” before appeasing me with “Black Balloon.”

The band hasn’t aged a moment. Their clothing, hair, voices, and demeanor mimic that which I remember viewing on VH1 and MTV in my (even younger) youth. My one criticism was they seemed a bit rushed, maybe a half beat too fast at the beginning. It didn’t feel impatient, but it felt uncomfortable. It wasn’t until another few songs that they seemed to relax and embrace the appreciative crowd before them.

Another few songs, and I raced back to Doobie Brothers to hear their end and encore. There was no way I was missing “Black Water” and “Listen to the Music.” (They were both perfection.)

Then I gave my feet one more run, to catch “Iris” and “Broadway.”

Science better hurry up, because I’m going to need to make triplets of myself tonight!