Telegram & Gazette Staff
Still smoking after performing “So Alive” at the 2017 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on top of a motorized volcano float, lava-hot hit-makers the Goo Goo Dolls are giving Central Mass. fans an early Christmas gift on Thursday, with a rare opportunity to see the band up close and personal in an intimate acoustic performance at 8 p.m. in Mechanics Hall. 321 Main St.
As headliners of this year’s sold-out “XLO’s Acoustic Xmas,” the Goo Goo Dolls will be unplugged in a classic concert hall when they could easily amp up and fill a venue 10 times its size. Founded by singer, guitarist and chief songwriter John Rzeznik and bassist and singer Robby Takac in 1985 (with drummer Mike Malinin joining a decade later), the Goo Goo Dolls have 14 Top 10 singles on various Billboard charts and have sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. Pretty impressive for a band that started out in Buffalo’s music underground (opening for punk bands of the day that included SNFU, Dag Nasty, Gang Green and the Dead Milkmen) and not getting a taste of mainstream success until its fifth album, 1995′s multiplatinum “A Boy Named Goo,” broke with the single “Name.”
Not only does “Iris” (the band’s contribution to the “City of Angels” soundtrack) rank at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top 100 of 1992-2012, the Goo Goo Dolls is the only act that has three songs on the lists, with the other two being “Slide” and “Name,” ranking at No. 9 and 24, respectively. “Iris” stayed on top of Billboard Hot 100 Airplay charts for a record-breaking 18 weeks and spent nearly 12 straight months on the charts.
Not surprisingly, Rzeznik fondly refers to the band’s signature chart-topper as “a gift.” Central Mass. fans are saying the same thing about this holiday concert. Also on the bill are special guest Rua and introducing Jack Vandervelde.