Poughkeepsie show, Halloween 2002.....

After a lovely 3-hour drive through the New England autumn foliage, I arrived at the Civic Center around 2:45 to find about twenty other people hangin' out. As soon as I'd handed out some Goo Goo Clusters, it was time for a little exploring. I went with a girl dressed as a fairy to find where the bus was parked, then we climbed behind a truck and had a look around the equipment boxes, and pressed our ears against some very cold metal doors to listen to soundcheck. The rest of the afternoon was spent standing around in the cold, chatting with different people, and making lots of gooey new friends! After it got dark, I went on a quest to find a pizza place, but instead I found a bar giving away free Buffalo wings! So of course, I made a nice big plate of food to bring back for everyone.

Later on, a local radio station had a drawing for meet and greet passes -- and one of the winners was my new friend Jess! She was kind enough to bring a card to Robby for me. Thank you Jess!!

Eventually 7:00 came and the doors opened.... I got through into the huge empty room.... And walked right up to the front barrier! I slid in next to Rose from American Goo, and draped my sweatshirt (with the oldskool Goo logo) over the barrier so the guys could see it, and waited. And waited. And waited. Slowly, the venue filled up. I chatted with the people around me, and generally had a good time despite all the waiting!

Lisa Loeb came out in a Hello Kitty costume, and her set was mercifully short. I hardly watched her at all -- I was just in the right spot to see the door to the stage, and there were people coming and going who looked suspiciously like Robby and John.... So my eyes were glued to the door until Lisa's set finished and the roadies started prepping the stage for the Goos.

Eventually the pink curtain came down, and the security guys stacked up some crates in the middle of the aisle in front of the stage. Just as the lights went out, they were rushing two people through that space -- Robby and John! Even with weird outfits and wigs on, I recognized them :-) As Robby was passing, I leaned over and patted his back.

They got up on the big crates, Mike started a drum solo, and the lights came up, -- they were dressed as Hall & Oates, and they faked playing part of Man Eater. John was Daryl Hall, with his hair parted on the side all funny and a polka-dot shirt, and Robby was dressed as John Oates, with a big curly black wig, fake mustache, and tacky knee-length jacket with a black and white checked pattern.... Then John ripped the mustache off Robby, the pink curtain fell, and they jumped down and ran back past us. I touched Robby's back again as he went by :-)

For reference, here's the set list: Naked - Long Way Down - Slide - Big Machine - You Never Know - Smash - Black Balloon - Dizzy - Here is Gone - Truth is a Whisper - Think About Me - Lucky Star - Tucked Away - Name - All Eyes On Me - Broadway - Sympathy - Iris - What A Scene - January Friend - American Girl.

So Naked was the first song, and Robby was running around the stage for a little while before he saw my big yellow "ROBBY ROCKS!" sign. When he did see it, his grin got even bigger! Naked rocked, and so did Long Way Down.... After LWD, John got out a bowl of candy and threw some to the crowd. I started pelting Robby with Goo Goo Clusters -- one of which he picked up and looked at, and seemed to think were very cool! After Slide, somebody threw a pair of boxer-briefs on stage that said "JOHNNY'S BIG MACHINE" across the front, so John was all over that. While he was going on about that, I held up a pair of bumblebee toesocks so Robby could see who they were coming from, and I threw them up on the stage. Robby picked them up with his foot and kicked them off stage, but gave me a huge smile and nod....

Next, of course, was Big Machine.... Then You Never Know and Smash. I went nuts with my sign and everything, and Robby was just amazing. It was so cool to see him enjoying himself, interacting with the crowd, pointing and giving them his crazy looks and generally rocking the hell out of everyone.... And it was extra-special when he was looking straight at me -- which was a lot! After Smash, John slowed things down a bit with Black Balloon, but brought it right back with Dizzy, Here is Gone, Truth is a Whisper, and Think About Me. I'm sure there was some talking in there someplace, but I can't remember where. At some point, John introduced the band -- on backup guitar was Lola (Greg had on a blonde wig), on keyboards was Eminem (scarily enough, Jason really did look like Eminem with a white t-shirt and buzz cut -- but soon he put his trademark John Deere hat back on), on drums was some guy from some movie he never heard of (Francis from Logan's Run), and on the bass was his partner, the amazing John Oates. Then Robby introduced the amazing Daryl Hall. It was very cute.

After Think About Me, Robby talked about how they are from New York (which got big cheers from the crowd), and they have the same PCBs coursing through their veins (bigger cheers), and how it was so great to see the changing leaves again. So next, of course, was Lucky Star, one of my favorites! Then came Tucked Away, and he had a great time with that one, stretching out all the lyrics and laughing as we tried to follow his lead. And instead of "why'd you go and play my trust" he sang "why'd you go and fuck me up".... When he sang "making me remember when your pushes became shoves," Rose and I started fake moshing, theatrically shoving each other around. She was really great to stand next to, because she liked jumping up and down just as much as me!

After Smash was Name, which was especially beautiful, then All Eyes On Me, Broadway, and Sympathy. In the two shows I saw this summer, Jason played the shaker, but this time Robby sat down in the middle of the stage and played the shaker himself. Throughout the song, he alternately sat on the stage and wandered around, hanging out with Mike for a minute by the drums, and eventually ended up in his favorite spot under the keyboard. Then came Iris, and last but not least, What a Scene. For the encore, they did January Friend and American Girl. What more can I say? Throughout the show, Robby didn't seem upset or tired or spaced out at all, just completely happy and radiant. He just glows with this beautiful energy that's hard to describe without sounding cheezy. Anyway, the whole show was just amazing and beautiful and wonderful and the best thing I've ever seen.

After the show, I met the Goos! For details, click here!

My photos from Poughkeepsie