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Beatroute -Grapes or Wrath, The Wallflowers, Goo Goo Dolls and Train: Roundup Music Festival

By Mike Dunn

CALGARY – The Grapes Of Wrath wore the glass slipper and went on at happy hour. Without Kevin Kane the Hooper brothers led as a trio playing a lot like the Jayhawks, chiming together with two-part brother vocals, although stripped down it was quite punk rock. “Good To See You” from 2014 was a standout with its Tin Pan Alley structure and early Beach Boy harmonies. As a three-piece the veteran Western Canadian band moulded themselves into a different, new feeling.

There’s something about The Wallflowers everyone should know and hear—they’re veteran players who’ve been there, done that, seen it all, and know how write and play songs that breath and feel lived in, like The Band once did and The Wallflowers revealed tonight. An extended intro of “Three Marlenas” got things started easily showing how they can pick up and move beyond the recorded version. With “6th Avenue Heartache” they stuck closer to the original script but still swaying, pushing up organ swells and throwing out great chorus lines. As they volleyed through their numbers, it was like seeing a young E Street Band, and cool to hear Jakob Dylan sing in a relaxed Lou Reed kinda way, plain-spoken with emphasis when needed. “One Headlight” was a huge release for the crowd, the band’s biggest hit dropped right near the end before “The Difference” closed out with its Al Kooper draw and Al Jackson Jr. push. Later that night, Dylan slipped onstage at The Ship & Anchor’s Annual Hank & Patsy show sitting in on a particularly show-stopping set backed by Calgary’s best rockabilly band, Peter & The Wolves.

The Goo Goo Dolls played to a full front row as the crowed streamed in and easily gained their attention with “Dizzy” from 1998’s Dizzying Up The Girl, before launching into the hooky acoustic rock of their huge hit from the same record “Slide”. The band was full of energy with frontman Johnny Rzeznick often slinging his guitar to his side while running across the stage, giving the crowd cues to pump it up and sing along. Bassist Robbie Takac a lit fuse all through the show, racing around and pogoing anywhere there was a square foot or two, his near constant smile a source of fuel for the sunbaked band at sundown. Their driving and catchy delivery had the crowd swaying happily. A focal point of the business model in the ‘90s was to get songs on movie soundtracks, and of all the huge ballads that defined films then, “Iris” was one of the best. It has all the high drama of a great power ballad, and the crowd loved it. My asterisk with The Goo Goo Dolls, though, is that they left “Long Way Down” off their set, the blistering lead cut from A Boy Named Goo.

Breezy summer stuff made up a lot of Train’s set. Leading with an East LA horn section and buoyed by female choir, their hits were interspersed throughout. “Meet Virginia” was preceded by a goddamn knockout of Zeppelin’s Black Dog where guitarist Luis Maldonado played the perfect riff hero foil to vocalist Patrick Monahan with his Michael Jackson high tenor wail. Autographing white hats on stage and chucking ‘em out like a t-shirt cannon might have pushed it a bit, but whatevah. The crowd came to see a big show and they devoured the easy-yet-tightly composed Californian beach rock. Whoa-sing-a-long choruses being the summery thing they are, Train let them flourish doing the classic one-liners extremely well. Starting their encore with “Free Fallin’” was a nice, unexpected turn and messing with Petty’s words just to say “Canada” a real crowd pleaser.


Oswego police are advising the public to to expect increased traffic congestion and delays on the far east side of the village beginning late Saturday afternoon, July 14, due to the Goo Goo Dolls and Gavin DeGraw concert at Arranmore Farm and Polo Club on Rance Road, just west of Route 30. Motorists should expect delays in particular while traveling in the area of Rance, Stewart and Woolley roads, police said.

The concert is set to begin at 7:30 p.m. but parking for the concert will start at 4:30 p.m. Access to the parking lot will be at 3502 Stewart Road.

Police said they will provide traffic control at the the intersections of Stewart and Rance roads and at Stewart and Woolley roads.

The concert is scheduled to concluded at 11 p.m. and vehicles leaving the concert parking lot will be directed either south on Stewart Road, or north on Stewart and then east on Rance Road only.

There will also be smaller evening concerts on Friday, July 13 and Sunday, July 15 at Arranmore which may have an impact in the same locations, police said.


You’d think that after playing thousands of shows throughout a storied three-decade-plus career, you’d be fairly comfortable with having people watch you perform.

Not so much in this case, says Goo Goo Dolls lead vocalist and guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, after performing an acoustic show exclusively for AIR MILES collectors as part of their summer-long Stage Pass contest.

“You can look right in their eyes and sing to them”, he says. “Being in a room of 12 people, I find it more intimidating than being in front of ten thousand people”.

The intimate experience began with the band talking with the lucky few and, of course, posing for photos, then the 90’s alt-rockers, including Rzeznik and long-time bassist Robby Takac, grabbed their guitars and treated the group to a three song set featuring the songs Come to me, from the 2013 Magnetic album, So Alive from the 2016 Boxes album and the bands first number one single, Name, from the multi-platinum album A Boy Named Goo.

In town to play the annual Stampede Roundup MusicFest, the Goo Goo Dolls were fully versed in what goes on in Calgary during the ten days of Stampede. After all, the band was a headliner at the Oxford Stomp concert back in 2012.

“I almost bought a checkered shirt and a hat cause I felt out of place. I gotta fit in quick”, jokes Rzeznik.

But fitting in seemed no problem for the Buffalo band as they had the corporate crowd on their feet singing along from the moment they hit the (much) larger stage for their main show, just as the sun was beginning to set.

“These crowds are here to have fun”, said bassist Takac. “It makes our job a little bit easier because people are oiled up and ready to go”.

From where I was was standing, the Goo Goo Dolls sure made it easy to have fun.

Click the link to watch the video interview –



Do you have tickets to see Goo Goo Dolls perform in Hamburg or Berlin this July & August? Would you like to win a Meet & Greet pass to one of these shows? Don’t delay – Enter our lottery now, and good luck!

Reminder: One entry per person per show. Entries close 12 Noon EST 15 July, 2018. Must be 18 to enter. Meet and Greet does NOT include show ticket. Meet and Greet is for ONE person only & ID MUST match winning name.


By Eric Volmers

Robby Takac calls them “car-seat hostages.”

They are the kids that were first introduced to the music of the Goo Goo Dolls in their parents’ cars and minivans, helplessly strapped in while the band’s softer hits played on an endless loop on the radio.

“We were on the radio all the time, so they heard our songs constantly,” says Takac, the Goo Goo Dolls bassist who co-founded the band with singer-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik in the mid-1980s. “But the songs they heard were Slide and Broadway and Iris and Name. But a lot of kids now are starting to discover records that we put out in the early ’90s that were more representative of bands like Husker Du and Soul Asylum and the Replacements and the Damned and that kind of stuff; stuff we loved as kids. And kids love that kind of music now. But for some reason they don’t look back that far. If it’s not a popular skateboard-sticker band they don’t know it, because they have their own punk rock they are listening to. So it’s pretty amazing to talk to kids now who are discovering the kind of band we used to be.”

Of all the bands that emerged during the rise of so-called alternative music in the 1990s, few have endured the major identity crisis that befell The Goo Goo Dolls. Beginning life as a scrappy, post-punk garage band in Buffalo called The Sex Maggots, the Goo Goo’s early years saw them cribbing musical notes from those aforementioned post-punk icons such as The Replacements and Husker Du. Then came Name, the massively successful ballad from their 1995 breakthrough album A Boy Named Goo. Suddenly, the band became known more for AOR-styled, radio-friendly balladry than raucous punk.

For nearly 25 years, the band has attracted fans who were often blissfully unaware of their early, punk-rock leanings.

“I think we had a great physical representation of that every time we blew a bunch of female office workers against the back wall of some place during a lunchtime radio show,” says Takac. “The stations would have us come in, they’d give away 100 tickets to do some lunchtime thing. Name was on the radio and that’s pretty much it. At that time, that was one of three songs of 90 that we had that were acoustic. We’d come out and people would be like ‘What the hell is going on?’”

Which is not to say that Takac begrudges those famous songs. While the act has continued to release music, most recently the 2017 EP You Should Be Happy, they know that a good deal of fans come to shows to hear those hits. And there were plenty of them. Name, Iris, Slide and Broadway are among 15 or so songs that were inescapable on the radio and that fans expect to hear. Takac says he and Rzeznik will play at least 11 of those every show, including during the band’s performance at Shaw Millennium Park on July 11 as part of the Roundup Music Fest alongside Train, the Wallflowers and the Grapes of Wrath.

“If you can’t share that moment with a room full of people and still get something out of it, I’m not sure why you would do this every day,” he says. “If you can’t see how magical that is, I think you’ve missed the point of this whole thing.”

For better or for worse, bands that are adept at crafting memorable ballads tend to be remembered for said ballads, which are far likelier to embed themselves into the day-to-day lives of the average person than a punk-rock song.

“Lives have started with those songs, literally,” Takac says. “Lives have ended and been celebrated with a lot of those songs. Weddings, funerals, birthdays. There was a time when we were on the radio a whole lot. People were hearing us all the time. People connect those moments (to the songs), they become the soundtrack of those moments. That’s allowed us to keep moving on and doing what we do.”

As with any band that has been around for more than 30 years, things have changed. For one, only Takac and Rzeznik remain in the lineup. Founding drummer George Tutuska left over a royalty dispute in 1994. His replacement, Mike Malinin, left in 2013.

While Rzeznik is the main songwriter in the band, Takac has always contributed songs to albums. He still lives in Buffalo while Rzeznik lived in Los Angeles for years before a recent move to New Jersey. So, in many ways, the dynamic of writing and recording has inevitably changed.

“Thirty-some years ago, when we were kids and making records, we would get in a room and punk rock for awhile and have fun and that would end up being the record,” Takac says. “We’d go into the studio and bang it out real quick. But through the years, the process has changed. John and I wrote separately an awful lot. We started writing together a little bit more now, but the process has changed as stuff started being done on computer instead of sitting down with an acoustic guitar and making four-track demos.”

On the other hand, some things don’t change, he says.

“John and I have always had this thing where you know eventually you have to play it for the other guy,” he says. “I think there’s something to that, too. It’s funny, we guard our demos from each other a little bit until we feel it’s to a point where it’s far enough along where he’ll kind of get it. It’s always a kind of a nervous time.”

The Goo Goo Dolls play the Roundup Music Fest at Shaw Millennium Park on July 11. Visit


Hello In Rockers, and Welcome to the Lobby this month coming to you from sunny Los Angeles, California as Goo Goo Dolls begin rehearsals for a Summer Tour of Europe which begins July 20th at The Mare Vivas Festival in Portugal.

We’ve released our first live album, “The Audience is this Way”, it is the first release in a set of 2 live recordings we’re releasing from a collection of shows captured on tours for the “Boxes” and “You Should Be Happy” releases. The first disc came out April 21st on Record Store Day here in the US on Vinyl, CD and download. We’re getting the second disc ready for release as we speak, so hang tight, enjoy some new live GGDS and get ready for another blast of live recordings coming soon.

In other GGDS news, we just made a pretty exciting announcement for Goo Goo Dolls fans here in the US, we are going to do a 2 month tour this fall performing the entire “Dizzy Up The Girl” album to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of it’s release this year. Dizzy was the album that really changed our lives in pretty much every way imaginable, time sure does pass quickly when you’re having fun (and super busy), and it’s great to be able to celebrate this album by performing it in it’s entirety for the first time ever.

In past columns I mentioned my daughter attending Nihongo School here in the US, it is held at a local University on weekends for Japanese kids living in the area. The Japanese students at the school put on a Talent Show with many of the Japanese students attending the University participating, singing, dancing, playing music and having some fun together after classes. As they were tabulating the results of the contest a local Buffalo Taiko Drum Group called “Niagara Shibuki Taiko Group” performed for the students and attendees. One of their members is my daughter’s Sensei and she had heard I played a little Shamisen, so they asked me to perform “The Theme from Naruto” with them at the event.

I had never played Shamisen anywhere but in front of my wife and daughter (and usually in my pajamas), so I reluctantly accepted and ended up having a great time performing with them. Actually we had such a great time that we are planning on doing it again at The Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival in May.

The arts not or profit organization Music is Art that I helped to start 16 years ago is one of the sponsors of Music Day at The Buffalo Cherry Blossom Festival. We helped put together a great day of entertainment featuring Taiko Drummers, Japanese Folk dancing, Haiku readings, live painters and performances by Tokyo’s The Molice and DJ Sashimi. I will be performing for the 2nd time in my life on the Shamisen in front of the Cherry Blossom crowd with DJ Sashimi as well as doing “Naruto “with The Shibuki Taiko Group. DJ Sashimi and The Molice will also be performing at The Brooklyn Cherry Blossom Festival and The Molice will be at The Roosevelt Island Cheery Blossom Festival in NYC as part of their 2018 US Tour, which began in Trumansburg, NY in Mid April.

Ok, off to more rehearsals today as well as some time filming promos for the upcoming tours, I hope everyone enjoyed their Golden Week break and we will talk to you next month in the pages of The Mighty In Rock!

Peace …

Music Week – ‘It blew up’: The Goo Goo Dolls on the streaming power of Iris

by Ben Homewood

Earlier this month, Music Week reported that rock was still in a hard place when it comes to streaming.

As The Big Story in our rock special issue pointed out, Official Charts Company data shows that year-to-date streams of songs classified by the OCC as heavy rock or metal rose 29.75% on 2017, to a total of 671,807,195, markedly less less than streaming growth across all genres, which rose 36%.

What’s more, for the second year in a row, not a single current release featured in the year-to-date Top 40, with the list dominated by classics by the likes of Guns N’Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, AC/DC and Linkin Park.

A smattering of more contemporary releases from Fall Out Boy, Panic! At The Disco, Paramore and Royal Blood changed the complexion, but only slightly, while, at No.52, Muse’s Thought Contagion is the highest-placed 2018 release.

While it doesn’t disprove the idea that it’s the classics that get people listening and will unlikely have Drake quaking in his boots as he releases new album Scorpion, The Goo Goo Dolls’ Iris – which has 311 million streams on Spotify and counting – shows the enduring power of rock on DSPs.

In the last issue of Music Week we spoke to the band’s frontman Johnny Rzeznik about how they made it.

“I just think Iris expressed the way that a lot of men and women feel but don’t say. I wrote a couple of lines and I was lucky enough to hit that – it’s not always easy to do,” Rzeznik said.

“Now I know it’s got over 311 million streams [on Spotify alone]… It’s obviously a blessing. Not bad for an old guy! To have an experience like that in your lifetime is amazing, even if it doesn’t happen a second time. I would play that song every night for the rest of my life so long as somebody wants to hear it.”

Rzeznik was working on the group’s sixth album, 1998’s Dizzy Up The Girl, at the time Iris was conceived, and there were serious knock-on effects.

“Iris blew up. All of a sudden everyone wanted us to tour with them and we were getting big offers to play in big venues. I was simultaneously working on the Dizzy Up The Girl record – which is unbelievably 20 years old,” he added.

“Iris was such a big hit that we eventually put the song on that album because we thought it would help us sell a ton of records. Our single Slide became a hit on the coat-tails of Iris.”

Subscribers can read Rzeznik’s interview in full here.


Do you have tickets to see Goo Goo Dolls perform at Melkweg Amsterdam, NL this July? Would you like to win a Meet & Greet pass to this show? Don’t delay – Enter our lottery now, and good luck! 

One entry per person per show. Entries close 12 Noon EST 8 July, 2018. Must be 18 to enter. Meet and Greet does NOT include show ticket. Meet and Greet is for ONE person only & ID MUST match winning name.

Win a Meet & Greet with the Goo Goo Dolls

Broadway World – The Goo Goo Dolls Release Double Single BOXES (UK MIX) Today

Today, multi-platinum, four-time Grammy-nominated band Goo Goo Dolls release “Boxes (UK Mix),” a double single with 2 UK remixes by Ash Howes for “Boxes” and “Use Me” via Warner Bros. Records. “Boxes” originally appeared on the band’s 2016 album, Boxes, and “Use Me” comes from their 2017 5-song EP, You Should Be Happy. The two tracks are available now for purchase or streaming on all digital retailers HERE.

Both songs were remixed by Ash Howes at the Dark Room in Hampshire, UK. Howes is an internationally renowned producer who has worked with artists such as One Direction, Ellie Goulding, and Kylie Minogue.

Last month, the band announced the upcoming release of The Audience is This Way, a 10-track live album recorded on the band’s recent tours. The album is due for release on July 21 via Warner Bros. Records and will be physically available as an exclusive limited edition black vinyl at indie-retail stores nationally as part of Record Store Day Crawl. There are only 3,000 copies made of this pressing. The album will also be available for digital download and streaming on August 24.

This fall, the band will embark on the SiriusXM Presents: Goo Goo Dolls – Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary Tour, in celebration of the 20th anniversary of their iconic album, Dizzy Up The Girl. The band will perform the record in its entirety at each show, followed by an additional set packed with surprises and more of their many unforgettable hits. Visit for tickets and more information.

Goo Goo Dolls Release Double Single ‘Boxes’ UK Mix