What Do Goo Goo Dolls And Nachos Have In Common? (AP Music Series)

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I’ll be honest: I loved Goo Goo Dolls in junior high and high school, but like most things I liked at that age, I haven’t paid them much thought in the last decade unless one of their songs came on the radio.

So, when the Illinois Lottery got in touch and asked me if I’d be interested in covering this past Sunday’s Goo Goo Dolls concert at Northerly Island (which is part of their Anything’s Possible Music Series), of course I said yes, and dragged Laura along for the ride.


northerly island charter one pavilion

Dylan Carney Photography


First off, if you’ve never been to a concert at First Merit Bank (formerly Charter One) Pavilion on Northerly Island, you must do so STAT. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that it’s probably one of the coolest concert venues on earth because you’re surrounded by the lake (there’s actually a nice little beach behind the venue) and there’s a phenomenal skyline view. In short: it’s basically one of those places that makes you fall in love with Chicago all over again and reminds you why you put up with those brutal winters. (I guess maybe this means that we can forgive Daley for that whole Meigs Field debacle.)

Also, unlike many concerts, getting in and out of the parking facilities was super simple – although this may have to do with the fact that a lot of people were taking cabs, rickshaws, or walking to public transportation.


first merit bank pavilion chicago


The first opening act was Plain White T’s. Fun fact: Plain White T’s are from Chicago – who knew? We didn’t. Chicagoan fail. After realizing she knew not one, not two, but several of their songs, Laura had this to say about Plain White T’s:



Next up: Daughtry. Neither of us were terribly familiar with his music, so we decided to entertain ourselves. (Note: We’re still waiting for him to respond to this question.)

ap music series 2


After pondering this question for several minutes, we decided to check out the buffet in VIP. And then it happened. We discovered… THE NACHO BAR.


ap music series vip



I’ll be honest: once we discovered the nacho bar, it was all downhill from there. The rest of our evening became all about nachos, and it was magical. Suddenly, the world had more color (orange, obvi) and the music had new meaning… and the meaning was nachos.

This inspired us to sing along to the rest of Daughtry’s songs, filling in what we didn’t know with nacho-inspired lyrics. (Yes, this is probably why we’re single.)

ap music series daughtry


Thankfully, nobody was sitting near us – there was a really nice patio that most people in VIP were taking advantage of. Speaking of, can we talk about the VIP section at Charter One Pavilion for a moment? It’s awesome. Nice floors that aren’t sticky, space to walk around, a nice patio, a roof, private bathrooms that are all mahogany-esque…. and a buffet featuring THE NACHO BAR.


AP Music series vip 3


Did I mention that Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island is an awesome venue?

charter one pavilion northerly island


When Daughtry was finished and we waited for Goo Goo Dolls to come on, Laura and I had to amuse ourselves somehow. Of course, we did so through nacho jokes. Because we’re five years old.

While people-watching over the crowd,  spotted two guys having a very animated conversation with lots of hand gestures. The excited guy reminded me of an angry mafioso.

I turned to Laura and said, “Hey, check out those guys talking. It looks like someone is about to get wacked.”

We started watching their conversation and laughing, which turned into us narrating their entire conversation. It went something like this:

“Bro! You took me all the way here and you told me you’d buy me nachos, bro. I’m still waiting for my nachos!”

“Ha ha ha”

“I mean it bro, I’m freakin’ pissed. If you don’t buy me my nachos right now, I’m done. THROUGH!”

“Yeah, OK. Whatever.”

“This isn’t a joke, bro! YOU SAID YOU’D GET ME NACHOS!”


This went on for about ten minutes, until the two guys dispersed. As they crossed in front of our section, I realized that the guy I had been narrating for was actually someone I knew, which was kind of funny, and really awkward. Just to make things more awkward, Laura decided to tweet him.

ap music series nachos


Of course, he never responded… probably because he’s convinced Laura is a nutjob.

Thankfully, at this point Goo Goo Dolls came on, saving everyone in our general vicinity from more bad nacho jokes. It was fun to hear songs I liked when I was younger live… and Laura was excited to see Goo Goo Dolls again, since the last (and only) time she saw them, it was at the Wisconsin State Fair in 1996. (Oof… we’re getting old!)

I promise they sounded 1000x better live than they do via Instagram video:


In short, this concert was an awesome way to spend a gorgeous summer Sunday night. I used to go to a lot of concerts as a teenager and I haven’t done so in years – now I’m definitely ready to check out more!

Speaking of checking out more… I’m looking forward to checking out more events in the AP Music Series featuring over thirty concerts in the series all summer long throughout the lovely state of Illinois. You can check out other bloggers’ experiences at a variety of AP Music Series concerts throughout the state by following hashtag #APMusicSeries on Twitter. (Psst: They also have a contest and a few other cool things on the AP Music Series homepage – check it out!)

Thanks again to the Illinois Lottery for allowing us to partake in such a fun night!

Here’s a little Sunday recap video. Seriously, I don’t think any city on earth does summertime better than Chicago! Does it have to end?


Note: This is a sponsored post, but all of the warm and fuzzy things I said came straight from my heart.

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Co-founder / Editor of Daily Urbanista. Kitten GIF aficionado. Will travel for... travel.

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