Notes, Lost Or Blown Away: Train and the Goo Goo Dolls at DTE

Adrien Carver
3 min readSep 19, 2019

I accidentally attended this show with a friend and his wife.

My friend Lance and his wife happened to be going to this same show. I had lawn tickets but I was on a business call with Lance earlier that day and he off-handedly mentioned he’d be there. He had extra pavilion seats so I took him up on the offer.

The Goo’s are already playing when I finally get in after spending an infuriatingly long time in traffic. My own damn fault.

I can hear Name as I cross the parking lot (and all the notes you never meant to send, got lost or blown away, John sings. This line will prove prescient), their new single Miracle Pill as I get through the gates and up over the hill, and Robby sings Bringing on the Light as I make my way to where Lance and his wife are seated.

Their set is more than half over when I finally get situated. We’re down in the lower pavilion off to the left of the stage. Lance’s sister in law was supposed to come but she’s in Boston so I get her seats. Lucky me.

The Goo’s do four more songs — Over and Over, Better Days (“Think a good thought for somebody today,” says John), Iris and Broadway. John sings the high notes on Iris and seems to be in a energetic good mood, way better than he was last fall — sick with a cold and cynical and pissy.

And then… John solos during Broadway. Live. The guitar tone is warm and fuzzy. But he fucking slow jams it over the warm bed of coals provided by the rest of the guys.

He never solos. Ever. Or I should say, I’ve never seen him solo live ever. He leaves that to his back-up guitarist. Sometimes he won’t even play if he doesn’t want to — grabs the mic and works the crowd and lets the guitar hang off his broad shoulders. This is a real treat.

Then they’re gone.

All the white boomers dance to Jump Around as the roadies swarm the stage. Lance regales me with tales of his interesting life as a casting director for national commercials. The guy knows everyone.

The lights go out.

Train opens with Calling All Angels.

They burn through the setlist.

I hate to say this, but Pat Monahan seems pissed off. He keeps fucking with his lead guitar player — chiding him about a solo that’s not good enough and so on. His overall demeanor is irritated and bothered. He keeps trying to get the crowd engaged with little success.

They bring out John for American Girl by Tom Petty. Pat has a habit of walking around the stage and touching each of the band members on the shoulder. He does it to John.

“Don’t touch me when I’m playing,” John says with a smile into the mic.

They do a cover of Zeppelin’s Heartbreaker that’s actually pretty scorching, especially when you consider this is the band that sings Hey Soul Sister. You forget that Pat used to be in a Zeppelin cover band.

They close with Drops of Jupiter, white spotlights drenching Pat at center stage. He seems legit irritated at the lack of crowd participation but it’s like, dude, these are all mostly people in their forties and fifties and it’s a fucking Tuesday night. We’ve all got work tomorrow.

These guys all seriously need to retire. How much fucking money do you need?

I leave the venue. I thank Lance and his wife for the free ticket upgrade. It storms on my way home.

Now, I always take notes on my iPhone’s notepad when I’m at these concerts. I did so for this one too but then I cut them from my notepad in order to text them to myself. I got distracted by something and I forgot to paste and send them. Somehow I didn’t realize this until a day later when the notes were long gone. So this is the best I can do now. This show took place nearly 2 months ago. So this time it was the notes I meant to send that got tossed and blown away.

Oh, well.