A Boy Named Goo
As both a native of Buffalo, NY and an avid student of history, I could fill you in on every good thing that has come out of Buffalo in the past 200 years. There is (obviously) the chicken wing - what people outside of Western New York refer to as a "Buffalo wing." That's an easy one. The Erie Canal begins (or ends) in Buffalo, and its proximity to Niagara Falls causes many who would not otherwise visit the Queen City to do so.
The Buffalo Bills hold a singular (albeit dubious) distinction in accomplishing a feat that will never, ever be duplicated in losing four consecutive Super Bowls. Buffalo has been host to a Pan_American Games, at which President William McKinley was assassinated, leading to the swearing in (in Buffalo) of Teddy Roosevelt as new the President. Millard Fillmore called Buffalo home, as did Grover Cleveland, the only President to serve two non-consecutive terms (he won the popular vote in all three of his presidential contests). Republican presidential contender and H.U.D. Secretary Jack Kemp was from Buffalo, even playing for a few years as quarterback of the Buffalo Bills. Newsmen Wolf Blitzer and the late Tim Russert hailed from my hometown. Mark Twain also spent much time there, although he found San Francisco summers colder than Buffalo winters, so he must have been just a summer visiter.
Perhaps all these eclectic and esoteric offerings from Buffalo are inaccessible to the Average Joe and he may say "So, really, what has Buffalo ever done for me?" To which, I would answer "Well, there's also the Goo Goo Dolls," leaving Average Joe to respond "Ah, you have saved the best for last because, quite frankly, aside from the Buffalo wing and Buffalo Bills, I had no idea what all that other stuff is."
Why my sudden interest in the Goo Goo Dolls? My precious ten year old daughter loves the band Switchfoot. Why? Because like all ten year old girls who have an older brother, she looks up to him and likes what he likes. And her fourteen year old brother's favorite band is Switchfoot. And Switchfoot was the opening band for the Goo Goo Dolls here in Phoenix tonight, and Mrs. Fat Kid and I took them to the concert. This was the third time we had taken our boy to see Switchfoot, but this was our little girl's first concert and I was unsure how she would do with all the noise and lights. Fortunately, a great time was had by all, and my little princess got up and rocked to The Sound and Meant to Live, two simply awesome tunes.
What was even better was that after their set, they invited their fans to meet them in the lobby of the venue. We took the kids to meet them and they were all great to talk to. Their drummer even took a picture with my boy (who is quite an avid drummer himself). Each member of the band shook all of our hands, gave every as many autographs as we wanted, and seemed genuinely interested in interacting with their fans.
Then the Goos came onstage. All I can say is that it was the closest thing to having fun without actually having any fun that I have experienced. Sure, they were OK and most of the songs they played you'd recognize if you listened to the radio at all over the past ten years. But the most common thought I had with each new song was "Didn't they just play that one?" because all their songs sound alike.
I suppose that I should have known from the first number that something foul was afoot. The bass player was running around the stage, all excited, banging on his bass guitar like he was really working it. Of course, he was not working it. Unless your name is Flea or you play bass in Primus or some speed metal band, you could probably have your instrument unplugged and nobody would notice. Sorry, bass players, but that's just the way it is. If your band is boring (Goo Goo Dolls) and your instrument is boring (bass guitar) you have to overcompensate by running around the stage, jumping up and down and trying to convince all of us that you are working really hard and having loads of fun.
I don't even know if Switchfoot has a bass player, but if they do, he wasn't running around the stage trying to show people how much fun he was having, which means he was probably a pretty good bass player. Or else he had a really, really short cord to his amp and has to stand in one place lest he accidently unplug his instrument.
Anyway, if you have a chance to see Switchfoot, I would recommend that you do so, even if it means having to buy a ticket to the Goo Goo Dolls.