Train & Goo Goo Dolls at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre in Tinley Park, IL

Train and Goo Goo Dolls brought their co-headlining tour to Tinley Park’s Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, with special guest Allen Stone. 

On what was the hottest day of the year so far, concert goers were relieved when there was a sudden 20 degree drop in temperature just as the doors to the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre were opening. Everyone in the area had been advised to take it easy and limit their time outdoors in this climate, but nothing was going to stop these eager fans from seeing the show of their summer.

Special guest Allen Stone started off proceedings with his soulful, funky sounds as he danced back and forth on the ample stage. The amphitheater was still filling up by the time his set began but for those lucky enough to catch it, the dancing mood was set for the rest of the evening.

After a quick stage turnaround, Goo Goo Dolls took to the stage. For a little over an hour, they blasted through as many of their hits as possible. Original band members singer Johnny Rzeznik and bassist/vocalist Robby Takac were front and center throughout their set which took fans on a wander down memory lane. Just hearing the opening notes of “Iris” makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up as you’re transported back to the nineties when you couldn’t switch on the radio without hearing this song. The audience sang whole-heartedly along as they performed the hit song.  

Their 12th studio album, Miracle Pill, won’t be released until September 13 but fans got to hear the recently released title track, mixed in amongst their ample back catalog. While the fan favorites like “Slide” were included in the set, it was great to see that after all these years, they are still bringing out new music and filling up venues. 

The party continued as the stage was being set up with the entire packed-out amphitheater, including those on the lawn, bouncing and singing along as Cypress Hill’s “Jump Around” blasted from the PA, clearly enjoying the night and getting excited for Train to take to the stage.

As Pat Monahan walked out with pyro streaming down from the back of the stage, the crowd cheered in appreciation as they opened with “Calling All Angels.” This was one of those lovely summer nights where you get to enjoy a beer with your friends and sing along to song after song. It was impossible not to join in. Train released their greatest hits at the end of last year, and they tried fit as many of them into the set as they could. To spice things up, they also included some covers along the way, including a tribute to Tom Petty which saw Johnny Rzeznik return to the stage to perform “American Girl/Free Fallin'” with them. 

Monahan smiled throughout the set, clearly enjoying every moment of it. He even recorded a video of the band and the crowd on a mobile before throwing the phone off to the side of the stage. 

The night was filled with infectious songs that you can’t help but sing, and not just quietly – you have to put your back into it! “Hey Soul Sister” being one of those songs. By the time it came to the encore, it was time to kick things up another level and reach for that last bit of energy as they performed a cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” before finishing off the night with “Drops of Jupiter.” 

Sometimes when these co-headlining tours come along, you wonder what the thought process was that went into pairing them together. This is certainly not one of those such tours. Goo Goo Dolls and Train are a great combination, and one where you could tell people enjoyed both bands and didn’t flood out the gates the moment their preferred band finished. If you want a fun night with friends and a good dose of nostalgia, get yourself along to this one. 

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About Kirstine Walton 276 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!

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