Train, Goo Goo Dolls Roll Into Bangor Waterfront

As Train’s Patrick Monahan exclaimed, Bangor knows how to make a Tuesday night feel like a Friday. With the stage set, and a killer lineup ahead, fans young and old filled Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion for a warm summer night of music and dancing.

First on deck was soul and R&B singer/songwriter Allen Stone. Boasting incredible vocals and funky beats, Stone and his supporting band easily got the crowd to their feet. His set featured a mix of his slow, soulful songs like “Is This Love”, and upbeat grooves, including one of his more popular songs “Brown Eyed Lover”. It was easy to fall for Stone’s music; with each song listeners were reminded of the authenticity of “vintage” soul, and Stone’s genuine and joyful presence as he danced across the sun-filled stage could make anyone smile.

As the sun began to set, The Goo Goo Dolls took the stage to deliver an energetic, timeless performance. Guitarist and singer John Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac stole the stage in mere seconds with their rock sound - harmonizing and head banging included. Their blend of high energy, guitar solo-clad tracks and singalong acoustic hits, including “Slide” and “Iris,” immediately had the crowd on its feet and pushed up to the barricade.

Emma Egan
Emma Egan

Put simply, the set was filled with hits. In addition to treating seasoned fans to their first radio hit, the 1995 single “Name,” the group gave Bangor fans a sneak peak of where they’re headed with “Miracle Pill,” the first single off of their upcoming fall album. Though Rzeznik did most of the singing, Takac got his moment in the spotlight as he lent his gruff voice for “Bringing on the Light” and “Free of Me,” giving fans the rougher, rock side of The Goo Goo Dolls. In addition, the group played tracks including “Stay With You,” “Big Machine,” “Slide,” “Rebel Beat,” “Here is Gone,” “So Alive,” “Over and Over,” and “Better Days.”

A definite highlight of the set took place during “Black Balloon”, when black balloons of all sizes emerged from the crowd and floated throughout the venue as the song progressed. It was a breathtaking sight to behold, as the sun flickered across the surface of the balloons and the stage lights created a dreamlike glow over the crowd; it was a goosebumps moment for sure.

The sun set and the audience held in anticipation, Train stepped into the lights. Well rested and well fed after an off day in Maine the day prior, Train brought an unparalleled energy from the start of their set to the finish. The group started off the night with “Calling All Angels”; lead vocalist Patrick Monahan backed by his bandmates were lit by shimmering fireworks as they sung out the chorus, with the crowd singing right back to them.

Though seemingly impossible to top, Train delivered a set filled to the brim with poppy hits like “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” “Drive By,” and “Save Me, San Francisco,” and perfectly sappy melodies in “Marry Me” and “When I Look to the Sky.” The group also invited opener Allen Stone back to the stage to deliver an unforgettable duet of “Bruises.”

The show was no doubt a special treat for guitarist and Maine native Luis Maldonado, and he made sure to share his excitement through not one, but two guitar solos during “Meet Virginia,” as well as boasting amazing vocals in a cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure,” alongside bassist Hector Maldonado. In addition to Queen’s iconic hit, Train also paid homage to Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers with a mashup of “American Girl” and “Free Fallin’,” as well as a cover of “Heartbreaker” by Led Zeppelin, and a brief feature of Drake’s “In My Feelings” during the breakdown of “Hey Soul Sister.”

With the night winding down, Train once again gave fans exactly what they wanted to hear with a passionate rendition of their mega-hit “Drops of Jupiter.” The notes rung out as fans sung along, filling the streets with the ageless hit, and bringing the night to a magnificent close.

With lots of dates left, there are plenty of chances to see this lineup in action, including a date in Scranton, Pennsylvania  on August 1, followed by two New York dates on Aug. 2 and 3.

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