The Goo Goo Dolls performing one of their classic hits
Photos: Steve Jennings
The Goo Goo Dolls may have stayed quiet for the past few years—four years passed between Let Love In (2006) and this year’s Something for the Rest of Us—yet they were anything but when the foursome hit the stage in late August at the Sleep Train Pavilion (Concord, Calif.). Touring in support of their Something for the Rest of Us, the Goos (lead vocalist/guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin, as well as touring/recording member keys/guitarist Korel Tunador and guitarist Brad Fernquist) also played liberally from their previous albums (including songs from self-titled debut in 1987). From hit single “Slide,” “Dizzy” (from Dizzy Up the Girl, 1998) and “Iris” to the radio-friendly “Home,” the Goos offered something for everyone to sing along to.
The album’s distinctive rock leanings with a dash of pop translated easily to the stage, thanks in part to the fact that Fernquist was involved in the recording sessions. “We pretty much walked in [the studio] with the band we play with and made a record, which I think is going to show during the live performance,” Takac told Billboard before the album’s release. Also adding to the easy switch from studio to stage sound is front-of-house engineer Paul David Hager, who had mixed the new record and has been part of the Goos’ road crew for the past five years.
From left: FOH engineer Paul David Hager (left), FOH systems engineer/crew chief Michael Conner (center) and FOH A2 Tim Shaner
Hager is mixing on an Avid Profile console with two FOH engines, with one running in tandem as a backup, which he’s “never needed yet,” Hager says. “I have about 60 channels from the stage; the openers [Green River Ordinance and Switchfoot] use the rest up to [a total of ] 96.” Hager employs some onboard effects—including Waves Mercury Live plugs, Eventide Anthology 2, Chandler TG comp and a “must-have” Crane Song Phoenix—but ups the ante with a wealth of outboard gear. Select items from that rack include five Distressors for vocals and snare, two Fatso Jrs. on guitars, a 4-channel SPL Transient Designer, two Bricasti reverbs and two Eventide H3000s. “I also have two Crane Song HEDD units on my outputs to the sound system,” Hager adds. “I have a mix of old- and new-school going on—the same as I do in the studio.”
The Clair Global–provided sound system comprises 16 i3 line arrays a side, 10 BT218 subs a side and six i-DL side hangs a side, as well as six i3s for front-fills across the stage. All speakers are powered by Lab.Gruppen PLM20000 with Lake control. “I tune by using pink noise to get the zones all in tune and timed, and then I walk around with a few prerecorded songs to tighten up by ear,” Hager explains. “Then I take about 15 minutes running a virtual soundcheck to get all my console channels tweaked to the room. Then we line check and the band comes in and plays a couple of songs.” A very tight ship, indeed.
Monitor engineer Larry “Filet” Mignogna (left) and monitor system tech Justin Hoffman
Also steering the sound is monitor engineer Larry “Filet” Mignogna, who previously took over monitor duties for Bob Windel on The Eagles’ tour; Windel was previously on this tour before Mignogna stepped in. Mignogna is also working on a Profile console, using about 50 inputs from the stage. Unlike Hager, Mignogna’s gear is compact, relying on all onboard plugs (D-Verb for vocals, Smack! comps) with nary an outboard piece to be seen.
The entire band is on in-ears using a full Sennheiser wireless package. “The stage is dead-quiet except for drums,” explains Mignogna. “All guitar amps are offstage. During the show, most of my attention is on John. He has more of an FOH-style mix, along with numerous specific cues in each song. The rest of the band is pretty dialed in. I didn’t have to do much for them. When I came in to take over from Bob, they were already dialed in and very seldom asked for anything. Also, Robby, Mike and Korel all have PQs on their mixes that their techs take control of. But they rarely have to touch them.”
Malinin’s drum kit is miked with AKG D12, Shure SM91 and a NS-10 speaker wired for kick; Telefunken M80 (top) and AKG 414 (bottom) on snare; hat and ride take Neumann KM 184s; and toms and overheads see Neumann TLM 103s. “I also have Pintech triggers on the toms to open gates in the console,” adds Hager.
Electric guitars take Heil Sound PR-30s and Audio-Technica AT4050s, while acoustics see Chandler TG Channel preamps. Bass is an Ampeg tube DI and a Tech 21 SansAmp RBI. Rzeznik sings through a Sennheiser 5200 Series wireless. “We go between a Neumann KK 104 head (in larger venues) and a 5235 head (for smaller venues) due to the rejection,” Hager explains.
Other personnel on the tour include systems techs Mike Conner and Justin Hoffman, and Tim Shaner (FOH A2, has been with the tour for four years)—all with Clair Global.
Sarah Benzuly is
’s managing editor.