The Goo Goo Dolls performed a concert at the Sandia Resort and Casino on Sunday, Sept. 10, and it was a wonderful time.

The show’s opener, Phillip Phillips, also had quite enjoyable music and high energy, and his band was certainly talented. His performance was not particularly notable other than that. Perhaps this is a good attribute for an opener, as it calls attention to Philips’ music but does not steal the show from the main band.

Still, the Goo Goo Dolls’ performance lived up to and went beyond all expectations for what a large, well-known rock band concert should be. It catered to almost all of the senses, with blinking, colorful lights, odd-smelling smoke and, of course, music.

Being an older band, the audience included many older members with a few college-aged individuals scattered throughout the crowd. Some audience members came because of their immense love of the Goo Goo Dolls, while others — like Cody Smith-Candelaria — were there because of their love for concerts.

“I’m a concert junkie; I live and breathe live music,” Smith-Candelaria said. “There’s something about live music that makes me feel one with the universe. There’s that sensation when your heart beats with the drum, and everybody that’s there — it’s for the same reason — and everybody’s happy.”

The music selection was considerate of the audience, in that it included a mix of newer songs and old hits from the 1990s that the older members of the audience especially seemed to enjoy.

John Rzeznik, the lead singer and guitarist, and Robby Takac, the bassist, interacted a little bit with the audience, commenting on a couple signs and occasionally touching the hands of those near the edge of the stage.

“It was good crowd interaction,” Smith-Candelaria said. “It seemed like they were paying attention to their fans and really acknowledging that the crowd was there, not just in the center, but the sides too, and trying to keep everybody involved in the show.”

Takac especially made the concert good entertainment with his immense energy. The man tumbled around the stage in his rolled up jeans and bare feet and almost always had a mysterious grin on his face. He certainly looked as if he were having fun, and his energy was contagious.

“It’s been my first time (seeing) the Goo Goo Dolls, and it was just alive,” said Kathleen Rasmussen, another audience member.

Many square-shaped lights on the stage backdrop changed color themes for every song. For the most part, these lights were aesthetically pleasing and contributed much to the mood of each song; they blinked in oranges, reds and blues on the upbeat songs and transformed into more glowy, soft lights that resembled stars for the slower songs.

Strobe lights were sparsely used throughout the show. When used, the strobe lights were extremely bright and made it hard to look at the stage, let alone the band. Nonetheless, the strobes accompanied only the rockiest of songs and thus still agreeably promoted the songs’ moods.

As a group dedicated to entertaining music-loving fans, the Goo Goo Dolls met their goal, despite a lack of social messaging and political involvement, Alfred Candelaria, one of the concert-goers, said.

“They don’t do the whole politics thing,” he said. “This isn’t politics, this is a concert. It’s a tough time right now, people have their own opinions, their own views, their own ways, but when you’re a concert venue and you’re kicking back with your family and you want to relax, you don’t want any of that stuff.”

Ariel Lutnesky is a freelance reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @ArielLutnesky.