Sarasota Post – Busch Gardens Annual Food & Wine Festival ft. Goo Goo Dolls – Awesome!

by Vicky Sulllivan

On Saturday at Busch Gardens, music for the Food and Wine festival was the Grammy-nominated Goo Goo Dolls. John Rzeznik and Robby Takac, the boys from Buffalo, New York, have been part of the American music scene for over 30 years! Their setlist included all the hits from “Iris” to “Slide” and songs from their new studio album “Boxes”. A striking new song was called “The Pin”. Check it out on the Goo Goo Dolls official YouTube channel.

Diehard GGD fans were in the front at the VIP seating, throwing “black balloons” during the song’s performance. The band was stellar and crowd was having a great time. The park was packed with spring breakers, the festival crowd and annual pass holders.

From now until April 30th, you can catch the festival on Saturdays & Sundays in the Gwazi section of the park. Live music concerts with national acts appear at 7:00 p.m. each night. You can purchase VIP seating to get up close and personal with your favorite acts or just hang out on the lawn with your friends to nosh, drink and be casual. There is also a handicapped area for seating and general seating.

In addition to theme park admission, you can purchase wine, beer and food tasting sample passes in various amounts of a 5, 8 or 12 sampler ranging from $29 – $54.   There are 27 wineries represented and 21 featured breweries.   From the Comfort Kitchen with Lobster Ravioli or Bacon Mac & Cheese to the Gourmet Lodge with Mango Shrimp Ceviche, there is literally something for everyone. The coconut shrimp cigars at the Savory Tavern are yummy.

Next weekend in addition to the Food & Wine Fest, on March 18th & 19th, famous artist Guy Harvey will be appearing. You can bring your fav Guy Harvey shirt for him to sign! There will be more concerts coming up including Lynyrd Skynryd, DNCE and The Band Perry. Lots of fun for everyone! Buy an annual pass and the concerts are included as well as parking!

March 18th – Young the Giant
March 19th – Jason Isbell & John Hyatt
March 25th – Craig Wayne Boyd & Adam Wakefield
March 26th – El Gran Combo
April 1st – DNCE
April 2nd – Walk off the Earth
April 8th – Hunter Hayes
April 9th – Daya & Matt Nathanson
April 15th – The Band Perry
April 16th – Newboys
April 22nd- Gilberto Santa Rosa
April 23rd – Lynyrd Skynryd
April 29th – Bachata Heights, Justin Quiles, Molly Quezada
April 30th – Tribute Bands – Jimmy Buffet, Prince, Bon Jovi & Queen

Busch Gardens Annual Food and Wine Festival

SoundCheckManila – Goo Goo Dolls in Manila: Worth the Decades-Long Wait

By: Kat Quijano

To say that Goo Goo Dolls in Manila is a much-anticipated concert is an understatement. In fact, this writer has been waiting her whole life for that to happen. That probably also holds true to the thousands of fans who gathered in Araneta Coliseum last Feb 11, 2017. It may have taken the band 30 years before they got to perform here, but it was definitely worth the wait.

The mere presence of lead vocalist John Rzeznik and bassist Robby Takac on stage took us back in the 90s as if the movie City of Angels was just released yesterday. That night, they made sure that majority of the hits that became a soundtrack to the good ‘ole days were included in their set list. The crowd was in high spirits and full-on rock mode when they performed their chart-topping hits like “Slide”, “Big Machine”, “Black Balloon”, and “Broadway”.  People were cheering, shouting, even head banging!
But one of the highlights of the night was when they played “Iris”. It wouldnt be a complete Goo Goo Dolls concert without that iconic song, best known for it being part of the hit movie “City Of Angels.” For the 90s kids and 90s kids at heart, it brought back a bunch of old memories, and for everyone at the show, hearing it live for the first time was such a treat. And when it came to the instrumental part, I was in awe with how they worked their magic with those guitar strings. Hands down, everything was perfectly-executed, from the first song to the finale.

When the band performed their classic hit “Name”, everyone was ecstatic. John even shared to the fans the story behind it. According to the front man, he was so close to quitting because he had to make money and support his family, but fortunately he didnt give up. “I immediately sat down on the sofa and I was like, I’ve gotta write a f*king song, I’ve gotta write a f*cking song, I’ve gotta write a song and this is what came out”, he recalled. Hence the birth of their first hit single that introduced them to the world. For sure, tons of people in the audience were inspired by the success story that he shared.  John also fondly revealed back stories about their other singles. He mentioned that “Come to Me” was a sweet song he wrote for his wife and “Sympathy” was (surprisingly) about drug use.

Ever since they started making music, it has been evident that the lyrics to their songs have always been meaningful and even inspirational, which is probably the reason why their songs resonated to the lives of millions of people. The messages from their songs serve as a reminder for their fans to always persevere and hold on to their dreams.  Even until now, they continue to make good music with the release of their latest record, Boxes. Some songs that they played off that album were “Long Way Home” and “Free of Me.” For the latter’s vocals, John’s long-time music partner, Robby stepped into the limelight.

He didn’t just show his sick bass guitar skills but also his vocal chops when he performed a couple of songs from their previous albums. He was full of energy on stage. He engaged with the audience and displayed animated antics throughout the show. His lively demeanour and the crowd’s energy made the night even more fun.

With the very warm welcome that the band got from their Pinoy fans, he promised that they wouldn’t wait more decades to come back to the country. And the fans cheered and laughed with delight.

Towards the end of the show, a burst of white confetti and giant balloons fell from the ceiling, and everyone was all smiles. It was joyous. It was momentous. It was like a dream, but this time, a dream that came to life. And everyone at the show couldn’t be any happier.

Click the link for photos from the show: Goo Goo Dolls Worth the Decades-Long Wait Music is Art Festival relocating to Buffalo waterfront

The Music is Art Festival is moving to a new location this year. Buffalo Riverworks will host the 15-year-old festival on September 9.

The festival began in 2002 at Franklin and Allen streets. It then moved to the Erie Country Fairgrounds and was last held at Delaware Park.

Robby Takac, founder of the Music is Art festival and bassist for The Goo Goo Dolls, says it was time the festival had a new location.
“After about nine years and about four straight years of some pretty inclement weather that really kind of put a damper on our party, we found a place that we think is really pretty unbelievable. And Riverworks allows us to have some covered areas and some outside areas; that festival atmosphere at the same time,” said Takac.

Attendees will enjoy blues, jazz, rock, performances from singers and songwriters, displayed art and dance troops. The event is free and open to the public.

**Click link for audio**

Buffalo News-Gusto: Music is Art at RiverWorks? Yes, please!

After a while, it just started to feel personal. Not a random natural coincidence, but the act of a deity with a particularly nasty attitude and a disdain for the arts, music, festivals, and all of the people who produce and patronize them.

For the past nine years, Robby Takac’s annual Music is Art Festival took place on the grounds of Delaware Park surrounding Marcy Casino, the Rose Garden and the portion of Lincoln Parkway that slices between the park and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Stages would be erected. Sound technicians would be hired and sound production installed. More than 100 bands and artists would have submitted their wares, made the cut, and prepped for the big day. Press conferences would be held. Vendors would have signed up and been ready to go. Fans loyal to the festival would have made their plans, cleared the decks for the 12-hour party, laid out the Music is Art T-shirt – the now-iconic black musical note in a yellow circle – they’d purchased the year before.

Yes. We’d be ready for this particularly Buffalo-centric celebration.

And then we’d wake up on the anointed Saturday during the first week of September, rub the previous night’s activities from our eyes, look out the window, and curse, mightily and bitterly.

Rain. Black sheets of rain. Often urged along by an aggressively unseasonable wind. We’d sigh, pound down our coffee and shake our tiny fists at the vast indifference of distant heaven. Again? Really?!?!?

So no one would be seeing our uber-cool MiA T-shirt. We’d be sporting a garbage bag with a hole cut out for our head to poke through, instead.

Being true Buffalonians, Takac and his MiA team stuck it out, accentuated the positive and kept the show running with smiles on their faces, which can be tough to do when your multiplatinum band the Goo Goo Dolls is set to headline the Fest on a stage that, by this point, has several inches of water on it and a whole bunch of incredibly soggy customers out in front of it. I mean, what could go wrong, right? (Well, electrocution, for starters.)

In the 15 years that Music is Art has been throwing its annual soiree – first in Allentown, followed by a brief and in retrospect ill-advised stop at the Erie County Fairgrounds, and finally, in its proper ideological and geographical home outside the A.K. – I’ve been absent only once, and that single absence was not by choice. It’s a fantastic homegrown event. But of the nine years MiA took over the Albright-Knox/Delaware Park area, it rained heavily five times and was unseasonably cool at least one of the remaining four. That’s not a good average.

When I arrived at Buffalo RiverWorks for the news conference announcing this year’s MiA Fest, I had no idea what was going to happen, though perhaps the locale of the presser should’ve been a red flag. I figured Takac would be announcing a special performance, perhaps from a national act – maybe even another slot for the Goos. But no, the specifics concerning who will be playing this year remained under wraps. Instead, Takac announced that RiverWorks – the entertainment and sports complex on the site of the old grain silos along the banks of the Buffalo River – would be the site for the 2017 festival, which will take place on Sept. 9.
Once I got over feeling kind of dumb for missing the signs, my first reaction was: This is a smart move. The two-tier 60,000-square-foot space in the main building – which houses, according to, “the first permanent, purpose-built, flat-track roller derby track in the world; a martial arts dojo; four bars; a restaurant and a concession food area; locker rooms for sports leagues; restrooms and a kitchen” – will host the majority of the MiA action this year. It’s a beautiful, open-plotted space, and it can accommodate 5,000 people. The surrounding spaces also offer cover in case of inclement weather, but are “outside,” technically speaking.

“I think there are only two of the 15 stages that we’ll need to tent, because the rest are under existing cover – rinks, silos, balconies, etc.,” Music is Art Executive Director Tracy Shattuck said. So you can leave the garbage bag/rain poncho at home, folks.

It makes sense for Music is Art – our longest-running free, independent, grassroots music and art festival – to be part of the Buffalo waterfront renaissance. It’s not difficult to imagine the festival growing – perhaps not to the point one of my Facebook friends was dreaming of when he said, “I hope this becomes Buffalo’s version of (the Austin, Texas, mega-music industry fest) SXSW,” but growing, nonetheless. Will there be more national artists intermingled with the strong local element? Anything seems possible with a venue that kicks the notion of being dependent on good weather to the curb.

The nine years in Delaware Park certainly offered their share of indelible memories. But this does feel like what Takac called it – “a rebirth.”

“Well, waddya think?” Takac asked me following Saturday’s news conference. “Good move?”

Yeah, man. Good move.”

Win Tickets and a Meet & Greet to the Goo Goo Dolls show at the Greek from AG!

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the folks at Live Nation and Nederlander Concerts, we have 1 PAIR of tickets to give away to the Goo Goo Dolls show on September 13, 2017, at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles – and we’re throwing in a meet & greet for you and your plus one!  To enter, send an email to with GREEK 2017 in the subject line, the answers to the questions found at the link, and your name and address for identification when picking up tickets if you win!  Entries must be received by midnight PST on Saturday, March 11, 2017.  Good luck!

Goo Goo Dolls at the Greek Theatre

Goo Goo Dolls’ Robby Takac’s Music is Art Festival heads to Buffalo RiverWorks

By Jeff Miers

For the first time in nine years, Robby Takac’s annual Music is Art Festival won’t be depending on the kindness of Mother Nature for its success. Music is Art will make its debut at the Buffalo RiverWorks Entertainment Complex on Sept. 9, the Goo Goo Dolls bassist announced at a news conference held at the venue Saturday afternoon.

“We’ve had an amazing run in Delaware Park behind the Albright Knox over the past nine years,” Takac said. “But we were always at the mercy of the weather, and often, the weather was not kind to us.”

As patrons of past festivals know, MiA’s batting average, weather-wise, was not too impressive. More often than not, heavy rains permeated the grounds from morning until midnight, when the festival wrapped. While the weather never shut down the proceedings, organizers believe that attendance would increase greatly in a controlled environment.

“The change of venue gives us an opportunity to reimagine our approach,” Takac said. “We’ll still have more than 15 stages, 100 bands, artists, DJs, live art – all the things we’re known for. But this year, most of the stages will be protected from the elements.”

Mayor Byron Brown was in attendance at Saturday’s news conference, and made some impromptu remarks when beckoned by Takac.

“The Music is Art Festival is one of the premier cultural events in Buffalo each year,” Brown said. “We have a vibrant arts and culture scene here. And art equals economic development. I’m thankful to Robby and Music is Art for having their festival in the city of Buffalo.”

As has been the case for the past 15 years, the MiA Festival is free and open to all ages. This year’s event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Submissions from musicians and artists are now being accepted through


Goo Goo Dolls come home for Variety Kids Telethon


The Goo Goo Dolls, John Rzeznik and Robby Tabac, here performing a short acoustic show as part of a record release at 716 last year, are coming home for the Variety Kids Telethon (Sharon Cantillon/Buffalo News)

Two of Buffalo’s longest-running success stories unite on April 2, when the Goo Goo Dolls team with the Annual Variety Kids Telethon in support of Women & Children’s Hospital and a slew of other regional children’s charities.

This year’s “Variety is WNY”-themed  Telethon will be broadcast live from the Seneca Niagara Events Center on WKBW-TV Channel 7, beginning at 7 p.m.. Following the band’s performance, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac will man the phones for a bit, so you might be able to chat with the guys while making your donation to the worthiest of worthy causes.

“The Goo Goo Dolls’ donation of their time to the Variety Kids Telethon is a continuation of the band’s dedication to giving back to the Western New York community and to Variety,” said a news release from the Variety Club announcing the event, while simultaneously reminding us that the band has long been involved in philanthropic efforts regionally, from the scholarship fund set up at St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute in honor of Rzeznik’s nephew, to Takac’s  continued efforts to “enrich the community with access to music,” via his Music Is Art Foundation. – Goo Goo Dolls Announce Tour Dates, Tease New EP

By Brian Ives

“We started thirty years ago in a van playing punk rock bars and colleges, so this is sort of a milestone for us.”

John Rzeznik is talking to about the band’s upcoming tour, which they’ve just announced today (see the dates below). “We’re goin’ big this summer,” he says, noting that they’re taking out Phillip Phillips as their opening act. “I like his voice and his feel. He’s legit.”

He enthusiastically discussed his long relationship with Robby Takac, who he co-founded the Goo Goo Dolls with, way back when: “As we get older, Robby and I sort of understand each other a little bit better. We used to understand each other’s buttons and push them like crazy, and now we understand each other’s buttons and don’t push them as often.”

Back when they were a garage punk band, they toured like crazy; when they started scoring radio hits in the mid-’90s, they toured like crazy, and they still are frequently on the road today. And whether they’re headlining amphitheaters, doing smaller venues, or opening in football stadiums, they have always retained the enthusiasm that they had when they toured the country in a small van.

“I think that has something to do with coming up in Buffalo,”  Rzeznik says. “Robby and I always knew: ‘You can go work in a factory or a supermarket if you want to.’”

And that working class ethic has never left them: “I believe that if somebody is paying to come see you play, you’ve got to give it to them, you’ve got to give them what they want while satisfying yourself!

There are days where you’re like, ‘Holy s—, I’m really lucky that I get to pay my bills by playing music!’ It’s been really amazing. Our fans have been great, and so loyal. Our summer tours are becoming a semi-tradition.”

But Rzeznik is also looking forward, revealing that the band has a new release on the way: “We have an EP coming out, You Should Be Happy. I don’t know when the release date is, it’s like a six-song EP with some new material and a couple of unreleased songs.”

And, he says, there will be a cover on the EP: “I’m working on two different covers, I don’t know which one I want to do yet. I was listening to that Ellie Goulding song, ‘Lights,’ and playing along with it on an acoustic guitar. And I thought ‘That might be kind of cool to just play guitar and sing this, the lyrics are kind of good!’ So, I was messing around with that, and I was messing around with a bunch of old Depeche Mode songs that I really love, like “Somebody.”  I don’t know if I can pull it off. Dave Gahan is bigger than life. I’m going to keep working on it. If I can pull it off, if I can take that song and put my own spin on it, and make it cool, that would be amazing! It’s like trying to cover a U2 song, it’s not something you can do very easily.”

He realizes that a Depeche Mode song is somewhat unexpected from him, but he says that he’s a longtime fan: “In our early days, everyone always drew these comparisons between us and the Replacements, which I absolutely understand, but I was always listening to other stuff. I was listening to Elvis Costello and Depeche Mode and the Ramones, I grew up with that stuff as well.”

One cover that has made it back into their sets over the past year is their take on Prince’s “I Could Never Take the Place Of Your Man,” (which they released on their 1990 album Hold Me Up). It wasn’t just a tribute to Prince, though: “Our friend who sang it on the record, Lance Diamond, died [in 2015]. Robby wanted to do it to remember Lance. When we first recorded it for Hold Me Up, we were still in the phase where we had to double the speed of every song! If it ain’t fast, don’t play it. I listen to it now, and even the ballads on that album are too fast. So we’d slowed down our version of ‘I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man’ a bit when we played it [last year].”

As for the follow-up to last year’s Boxes? “I’m still questioning the relevance of a full-length release, you know? When I was growing up, you’d go out and buy the vinyl or the CD and you’d read the liner notes, and there was the whole experience of an album. And a lot of kids are picking that up and that’s amazing. But I’m like, today, do you just put out a song a month?  Like, New Order would always have a single coming out. Well, maybe we just release a few singles in between the albums. But I’m always working on music.”

Check out the Goo Goo Dolls tour dates below:

7/14-17 Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre
7/15-16 Las Vegas, NV Downtown @ Las Vegas Events Center
7/16-17 Phoenix, AZ @ Comerica Theatre
7/18-17 Greenwood Village, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheater
7/20-17 South Fargo, ND @ Scheels Arena
7/21-17 Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Hotel & Casino – Stir Cove
7/24-17 Chicago, IL @ Huntington Bank
7/25-17 Indianapolis, IN @ Indianapolis Farm Bureau
7/27-17 Peoria, IL @ Peoria Riverfront
7/28-17 Appleton, WI @ Fox Cities Stadium
7/29-17 Plymouth, MN @ Hilde Performance Center
7/31-17 Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater
8/02-17 Huber Heights, OH @ Rose Music Center at The Heights
8/03-17 Rochester Hills, MI @ Meadowbrook
8/05-17 Cleveland, OH @ Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
8/06-17 Philadelphia, PA @ Festival Pier
8/08-17 Vienna, VA @ Wolf Trap
8/09-17 Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun
8/11-17 Syracuse, NY @ Lakeview Amphitheater
8/12-17 Darien Center, NY @ Darien Lake Performing Arts Center
8/13-17 Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater
8/15-17 Boston, MA @ Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
8/16-17 Portland, ME @ Maine State Pier
8/18-17 Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center
8/19-17 Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
8/20-17 Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center
8/22-17 Baltimore, MD @ Pier Six Pavilion
8/23-17 Raleigh, NC @ Red Hat Amphitheater
8/25-17 Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans Amphitheater
8/26-17 Asheville, NC @ Biltmore Estate – South Terrace Stage
8/27-17 Charlotte, NC @ Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
8/30-17 Orlando, FL @ Hard Rock Live
9/01-17 Miami, FL @ Klipsch Amphitheater at Bayfront Park
9/02-17 Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place
9/04-17 Atlanta, GA @ Chastain Park Amphitheatre
9/07-17 Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
9/10-17 Albuquerque, NM @ Sandia Resort Casino
9/12-17 San Diego, CA @ Cal Coast Credit Union Open Air Theatre
9/13-17 Los Angeles, CA @ Greek Theatre

Goo Goo Dolls Announce Tour Dates, Tease New EP

Goo Goo Dolls’ ‘Long Way Home’ Summer Tour Dates List

14 July Mountain View, CA Shoreline Amph.
15 July Las Vegas, NV Downtown Events Center
16 July Phoenix, AZ Commerica
18 July Greenwood Village, CO Fiddler’s Green Amph
20 July South Fargo, ND Scheels Arena
21 July Council Bluffs, IA Harrah’s Hotel & Casino Stir Cove
24 July Chicago, IL Huntington Bank Pavilion
25 July Indianapolis, IN Indianapolis Farm Bureau
27 July Peoria, IL Peoria Riverfront
28 July Appleton, WI Fox Cities Stadium
29 July Plymouth, MN Hilde Performance Center
31 July Nashville, TN Ascend Amph

2 August Huber Heights, OH Rose Music Center
3 August Rochester Hills, MI Meadowbrook Amphitheater
5 August Cleveland, OH Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica
6 August Philadelphia, PA Festival Pier
8 August Vienna, VA Wolf Trap
9 August Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun
11 August Syracuse, NY Lakeview Amph
12 August Darien Lakes, NY Darien PAC
13 August Wantagh, NY Jones Beach Amph
15 August Boston, MA Blue Hills Bank
16 August Portland, ME Maine State Pier
18 August Holmdel, NJ PNC
19 August Bethel, NY Bethel Woods Center for the Arts
20 August Saratoga Springs, NY SPAC
22 August Baltimore, MD Pier Six Pavilion
23 August Raleigh, NC Red Hat Amph
25 August Virginia Beach, VA Veterans United Home Loans Amph
26 August Ashville, NC Biltmore Estate
27 August Charlotte, NC Charlotte Metro Union
30 August Orlando, FL Hard Rock Live

1 Sept Miami, FL Klipsch Amph at Bayfront
2 Sept Jacksonville, FL Daily’s Place
4 Sept Atlanta, GA Chastain Park Amph
7 Sept Houston, TX CWM Pavilion
10 Sept Albuquerque, NM Sandia Resort/Casino
12 Sept San Diego, CA Open Air Theater
13 Sept Los Angeles, CA Greek Theatre

**More dates may be added**

Goo Goo Dolls Announce ‘Long Way Home’ Summer Tour & New EP Release!

“We’re excited to announce our summer tour with special guest Phillip Phillips! Check out for dates!
Members of our fan club, Inner Machine, will gain access to a special ticket and VIP pre-sale for the tour. This pre-sale begins TODAY – Monday, February 27th at 12pm local venue time and is available to Inner Machine members only. Visit to join Inner Machine and access this pre-sale.

Tickets for the tour go on sale to the public on March 3rd at 10am local time. VIP ticket upgrades will also be available for purchase.

Lastly, we’ll be releasing a new EP entitled You Should Be Happy on May 12th! More info on that coming soon.”