Niagara Gazette

April 10, 2014

JENNINGS: Goo Goo Dolls highlight weekend music scene

By Thom Jennings
Niagara Gazette

Niagara Gazette — This weekend the Bear’s Den offers the best pair of shows in the region, including a rare intimate, acoustic performance from The Goo Goo Dolls.

Before we get into the weekend’s offerings, Artpark officially announced four more shows, and they continue to up the ante with amazingly diverse offerings. The latest group includes Megadeth, Blue Rodeo with 54-40, Ziggy Marley with Steel Pulse and O.A.R with Phillip Phillips.

Those four shows alone cover a huge cross section of music fans, and booking thrash metal gods Megadeth is a bold step that will likely pay off well, and expose even more music fans to Artpark. One can only guess what is in store, but my fingers are crossed that we will see Styx in the lineup, or Sara Evans.

Whatever we wind up with, Artpark seems to be committed to putting together more double bills, which means twice the bang for your already cheap concert ticket, and let’s not forget they will be hosting a Beatle this summer.

Darien Lake has also released what appears to be its full lineup. They have some interesting double bills as well including Rascal Flatts with Sheryl Crow, Journey with The Steve Miller Band, and Jason Aldean with Florida Georgia Line. I am not a huge fan of Darien Lake’s concert venue, but there is no denying that they get their hands on the biggest summer tours.

This weekend is another slow one, but if you were lucky enough to score tickets to one of the two Bear’s Den shows, you should have a good weekend.

On Friday, former Yes vocalist Jon Anderson returns to The Bear’s Den at the Seneca Niagara Casino, he last performed there Aug. 27, 2010. I remember that show very well, it featured some stunning renditions of Yes classics like “Soon” and “Your Move.”

Fans of Yes will also be able to check out the band’s current incarnation on July 18 at the Seneca Events Center.

On Saturday, the Goo Goo Dolls will play an intimate acoustic show at The Bear’s Den. It’s billed as a Storytellers format, and considering the next time you will have a chance to see the Goo Goo Dolls will be at the 20,000 capacity Darien Lake Amphitheatre, the 440-seat Bear’s Den show is super intimate. Who knows what motivated them to do these shows, but you have to respect the band for returning to smaller venues.

Finally, our show on a tank of gas, on Friday, Black Sabbath will be performing in Hamilton, Ont., at the First Ontario Centre Place. The current lineup features Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi and Geezer Butler. The last time I saw Black Sabbath, Ronnie James Dio was the lead vocalist.

Thom Jennings covers the local music scene for Night and Day.