What makes Zach Goode and his fellow Smash Mouth bandmates fly from various points in the U.S. to Western New York for a Friday night concert at Batavia Downs?
The short and obvious answer is the fans.
“Yes, it is a journey but when you walk out and see all these people out there having such a good time, it is a big rush,” Goode said.
Smash Mouth will be kicking off the annual Batavia Downs summer concert series, with a show set for June 21 at the venerable Genesee County sports and entertainment destination. The nine-week series of shows set for Friday nights at Batavia Downs, continues through August. 16.
Goode was named Smash Mouth’s new lead singer in March 2022, replacing founding member Steven Harwell, who left the band and died in September 2023.
“Change is hard,” Goode said.
But, from his first show, at a music festival in Mexico, Goode and Smash Mouth found their fan base was not only accepting the change in singers, but they welcomed it without any hesitation. Much like Van Halen fans welcomed Sammy Hagar as David Lee Roth’s replacement or how quickly Phil Collins was accepted by Genesis fans when he replaced Peter Gabriel.
“From the first note and the first song, our fans loved it and it filled me with such confidence,” Goode said. “I have to admit, I was a bit nervous."
The change in singers is almost old news now.
What is new is Smash Mouth’s current song “Ride on.”
“Ride On” is a peppy, radio and fan-friendly song that sounds like it easily could have come out in the 1960s or early 1970s. It is getting lots of play on both terrestrial and satellite-fed stations as well as various social media outlets.
“It definitely has an earworm quality,” Goode said.
The song is a regular in the band’s on-stage playlist and a frequent soundcheck favorite among Smash Mouth members.
“You could never really tell it is one of our newer songs,” Goode said. “It fits right in.”
Smash Mouth, founded in 1994 in San Jose by Harwell and bass player Paul De Lisle has amassed a strong catalog of hits including “Walking in the Sun” (1997), “All Star (1999), and “I’m a Believer” (2001).
All are part of the band’s repertoire along with covers of such songs Rick Astley’s “Never Give You Up” or War’s “Why Can’t We Be Friends.”
Goode said Smash Mouth has 30-odd sings in its on-stage rotation.
“In every show, there is a certain ebb and flow,” Goode said. “We just like to keep the vibe flowing.”
So what can fans expect at the Batavia Downs show?
There will be plenty of hits played, to be sure.
“It will be a super fun, high-energy show,” Goode said. “Playing before thousands of fans is more fun than you could ever imagine."
Tickets are available online at BataviaConverts.com.

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Gallery Credit: BackstageAxxess, David "Gus" Griesinger

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