June 26, 2019 by
Photography by Pumulo Kasaji

It’s an overcast Saturday evening in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and the smell of rain is in the air—and so is the excitement.

The line to get inside Stir Cove’s concert area is so long, you can barely see the end of it. People unable to get tickets are seated in a grassy area outside. It’s a sold-out show for Allen Stone, the Goo Goo Dolls, and Train, and hundreds of fans are posted all around the outdoor concert venue, anxiously waiting for the first act to step out. With the skies clearing up, and the sun setting, there is no better place to be for a concert. At exactly 7 p.m., Allen Stone takes the stage to warm the crowd up with his soulful voice, proving himself a great addition to the line-up.

Allen Stone at Stir Cove

As silence fills the arena, the Goo Goo Dolls spring into action, filling the stage with their bursting energy and lead bassist/vocals Robby Takac’s bare feet. To say they rocked the house would be an understatement. The Goo Goo Dolls serenaded the crowd with their signature sound that has had fans hooked from the very beginning. They introduced new music, including Miracle Pill (released in June, 2019), and threw it back to the very beginning with songs such as “Iris,” “Name,” and “Black Balloon.” Listeners both old and new were able to live the magic that is the Goo Goo Dolls.

Goo Goo Dolls at Stir Cove

With the audience amped up, headliner Train stepped onto the stage ready to give the audience a show like no other. Lead singer Patrick Monahan brought the audience a night filled with memories and laden with nostalgia. Opening with their hit song “50 Ways to Say Goodbye,” Train amped up the crowd. Fans were serenaded with songs such as “Hey, Soul Sister” and “Play That Song.” In an ode to love, Train honors the many couples in the crowd with their smash hit “Marry Me.”

Patrick Monahan of Train at Stir Cove

Prompted for an encore, Train takes the stage one last time. The lights are off, fans have their flashlights on, and in that moment, there is only the music.


This review was written exclusively for the web and is not featured in our print edition. 

Bonus photo:

Robby Takac of Goo Goo Dolls