Author: absolu90bg

First 2020 entry in Robby’s blog for InRock Mag!

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome once again to The Lobby here in the pages of the mighty, mighty In Rock! Last time we spoke we were in Texas readying the band for the first leg of our latest “Miracle Pill” Tour and since then we’ve completed 22 shows in a month! The shows are in theatres all over the US, some of them newer performing arts centers and many being historic old movie/vaudeville houses built in the early 1900s. They really are beautiful rooms and have such rich history connected to them; it’s really an honor to be part of those legacies by making music in these celebrated rooms.

We’ve been hiding a “miracle pill” in a bunch of cities on the day of the show, the miracle pill (which is about the size of an iPhone) opens up, containing meet and greet passes for the show in the city that evening. It’s been a lot of fun walking around the cities in the morning and finding spots to hide the pill, we’d seek out well known landmarks, statues, notable public art pieces and recognizable places like that and find a good hiding place. Once we hid the pill we’d take a picture of the area and then we’d post an announcement and the photos to Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. A couple of days I got to sit in the area and watch people searching the area for the pill, it’s kind of fun and they all surely appreciated the passes when we saw them later in the day at the meet and greet!

The tour’s gone out with2 opening bands, the fist half done by the band “The Unlikely Candidates” from Texas and the last half of the dates with Philadelphia’s “Beach Slang”. We even had some time to visit Mt Rushmore and a few other sights along the way during some short breaks in the tour! This initial fall leg of the Miracle Pill tour will be finished in a couple of days, ending in Toronto, Canada at The Queen Elizabeth Theater. I took my daughter to see her favorite Japanese band PERFUME there a while back so I’m excited to play a show in that same venue. We have a short break for the Thanksgiving holiday and then we’ll be going out to do 2 more weeks of dates featuring a bunch of radio station “Holiday Shows” around the US. When we are finished with those dates in mid December I’ll be headed home to Buffalo for the last show of 2019. I’ll get to spend some time at home for the start of the holidays, and then just like that I’m off to Japan to spend the remainder of the year in Tokyo with our friends and family in Japan!

We tend to do some adventuring while in Japan when we visit, so I’ll try to bring you along for the fun and keep you up to date on the going on in the New Year for the band as well. I hope you all have a great 2020, I’m super excited for the future and look forward to sharing further little glimpses of my life and my love of Japan with all of the readers of Robby’s Lobby as we have been doing for the past 12+ years!

Ok, off to soundcheck and a show in Atlantic City, NJ tonight … we have a video shoot coming up next week, i’ll fill u in on that and more soon …. have a great New Year and I look forward to sharing 2020 with all of you!




Goo Goo Dolls along with Rob Thomas give Buffalo, NY an unforgettable, once in a life time Christmas gift.

Buffalo, NY – The multi-platinum music legends of Buffalo, NY, the Goo Goo Dolls, returned to their beloved hometown, along with co-headliner Rob Thomas for local radio station Star 102.5’s ‘Deck the Hall Ball’ holiday concert. This event was sold out in seconds when tickets went on sale months ago, and was viewed by many music lovers in the Western New York area as the undisputed concert of the year. While this line-up could have been booked in a much bigger venue, perhaps even Key Bank Center (home of the Buffalo Sabres), the much smaller Riverworks provided an intimate and exciting atmosphere for those lucky enough to get a ticket.

The only damper on the evening was that some fans found themselves in a quagmire when the NFL changed the time of a very important Buffalo Bills game from 1:00pm to 8:15pm, the same time as the concert. It was a bit distracting during the concert, as many were following the game and getting updates on the score.  Star 102.5 made a decision to not broadcast the game during the concert, citing the fact the people may have been DVR’ing the game to watch it later.  Fortunately, the Bills pulled it off winning 17-10 over the Pittsburgh Steelers and clinched the playoff birth, for only the second time since 199

After a short opening set by Sydney pop star Dean Lewis, lead singer of Matchbox Twenty (and successful solo artist) Rob Thomas hit the stage and played an intense, stripped down, 60 minute long set. During the last few weeks, Thomas has been playing a series of radio station  sponsored Holiday shows, just like the Goo Goo Dolls. For these particular shows,  Thomas is onstage performing with only band members Matt Beck and the very musically versatile Koral Turnador (who ironically was a member of the Goo Goo Dolls touring band from 2006-2016) and not his full piece 8 member touring band, which backed him for his 2019 ‘Chip Tooth Smile’ World tour.  However, probably because Thomas was performing co-headlining shows with the Goo Goo Dolls this weekend, he added his touring bassist and drummer to enhance his sound a bit.

Thomas high energy set consisted mostly of material  from his solo albums with a few Matchbox Twenty songs added to the mix. His material from newest release, ‘Chip Tooth Smile’ is some of the impressive material of his career and truly one of the best releases of 2019.

Thomas was  animated and very engaging with the audience during the evening. In between songs, he mentioned that Matchbox Twenty would be back touring this summer, (maybe a co-headline tour with the Goo Goo Dolls perhaps???).

Thomas received a loud cheer when he grabbed his acoustic guitar and announced that the Matchbox Twenty song “3:AM” was next up. A slowed down version had the audience singing along.

Halfway through the set, Thomas explained, I really don’t play this next song too often, but I think this would be a great time to play it, he then proceeded with “New York City Christmas.”

For the final song of the evening, Thomas stated, “This is a cover song, but I feel it’s okay for me to perform it, since I wrote it.” The band then kicked into the mega-hit from Santana, “Smooth,” and brought Thomas’ performance and his 2019 touring schedule to an epic close.

After a short break, as fans checked their phones for updates on the Bills game, the kings of Buffalo, NY the Goo Goo Dolls, featuring John Rzeznik and Robby Takac backed by touring musicians Brad Fernquist (guitar), Craig Macintyre (drums) and Jim McGorman (keyboards) hit the stage shortly after 10:00pm.  Their intense hour long set consisted of many of their chart topping hits mixed in with tracks from their brilliant contender for album of the year, the 2019 release, ‘Miracle Pill.’

Kicking off with “Indestructible” Rzeznik , Takac and band were primed and ready to give their hometown a very special show, and prove why they are still highly regarded as one of the best live bands in music. The love affair between the city Buffalo and the Goo Goo Dolls started during the late 80’s and continues growing every year. The have a great range of fans from young to old, which was made obvious looking at the audience on this night.

Through the evening. Rzeznik was in a great mood, spot on vocally, and Takac even with all the running around he does, he didn’t miss a note. This is a real band, with musicians that still can play and sing, no lip syncing or playing along to tracks here.

“This is the last date of our tour, and we are ending it in such a great place,” Rzeznik declared about the Riverworks venue located right on the Buffalo river. This is the same venue that Takac held his Music is Art festival last September.

Even though the show was in a smaller than usual venue for The Goo Goo Dolls, many of the bands signature visuals were still being utilized. For the hit single “Black Balloons,” their was a massive black balloon drop from the ceiling. It’s always funny watching the audience react when this occurs.

An intense version of “So Alive” had a storm of confetti covering the front of the audience. When the song ended many in the audience started chanting “Let’s Go Buffalo.” Then Rzeznik left the stage for a second and grabbed a leaf blower and started cleaning off the confetti on the stage, jokingly explaining “I like a clean stage.”

Rzeznik then took center with his acoustic as Takac and the other members left the stage.  Rzeznik, then told the audience, “Sorry to bum you out, but the next song is about a hobby I used to have.” He then further explained, “I used to like feeling sorry for myself.  Self pity can be fuckin’ amazing. There was something so dark and satisfying about it.” Rzeznik then proceeded with a passionate solo version of “Sympathy.”

The band’s breakthrough hit of 1995 “Name” followed. Rzeznik said, “This was the first song that many people in the world, outside of this city, heard from us.  Rzeznik performed the first few verses solo, but was then joined by Takac and band. A mass audience sing along helped bring this song to a goosebump worthy moment.

For the next song, and most recent single, the powerful and catchy, “Fearless” Rzeznik emphatically declared,  “I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but this world has gone fuckin’ insane!” It’s fuckin’ crazy and it getting harder to be a human being.” “But we are all right, being here all together.” This song would be well served as the Buffalo Bills upcoming playoff anthem.

Following was the massive hit, “Better Days,” in which Rzeznik said, ” I originally wrote this song to be on a Christmas record, but it never made on to that Christmas record. So, it’s nice to finally do it in the context that it was meant for.” Another mass audience sing along followed.

The band turned up the intensity even more with an all out rocking version of “Broadway,” that featured a tasty melodic guitar solo by Brad Fernquist and a short and sweet harmonica solo by Rzeznik.

The soon to be pushed as the next single from ‘Miracle Pill’- “Autumn Leaves” followed and had the audience in awe of Rzeznik’s powerful vocals and profound lyrics. For the live performance of this song,  the band takes it to another level of intensity with an added guitar solo from Fernquist and then a rather bluesy one from Rzeznik. This song should to be a major hit for the band in 2020.

Then of course the band concluded with their biggest hit, “Iris.” Rzeznik, said “Well, we have to play this one!” This song has over 1 billion views on youtube! And like every Goo Goo Dolls show of the last 20 years, this was truly the highlight of the evening. It is the perfect song. Rzeznik, said “Well, we have to play this one!

With the last note of “Iris,” the Goo Goo Dolls final show of 2019 came to a glorious end. During this year, the band had been very active, with a successful North American co-headlining summer run trek with Train, and a series of dates with Bon Jovi in South America, as well as a sold-out fall headlining tour. But, wait until you see what they have planned for 2020!

Overall, this was a great evening and the local radio station Star 102.5 should be praised for bringing together such an amazing Holiday event with two of the top acts in music. The only downside is that they may never be able to top it.
By Thomas S. Orwat, Jr.    photos to be added later.
For more on the Goo Goo Dolls, please visit

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Robby’s Latest Blog for InRock Magazine

Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby! It’s been a month since we’ve last met up, but it seems like so much has happened in that short amount of time! I’m in San Antonio, Texas doing rehearsals for the Goo Goo Dolls upcoming US Tour to support our newest album “Miracle Pill”. We’ve been working on some new songs for the show which will include openers The Unlikely Candidates and Beach Slang as we wind around the US until the Holidays!

When we last spoke I had just arrived in Brazil with GGDS and we began a tour of Stadiums in Brazil and Peru supporting Bon Jovi including a set at the legendary Rock in Rio. We played Recife’, Curibata, Sao Paolo, Rio and then made our way to Peru with a show in Lima. The Brazilian shows were incredible, so many people singing and welcoming us for the very first time in our career to South America. The Bon Jovi band and crew couldn’t have been nicer, we spent a few months with them back in the 90s traveling around the US playing arenas and it was great to see everyone again these many years later.

i must say, the food in Brazil was unreal, we had a traditional Churrascaria dinner (which is a traditional barbecue with the waiters serving meats from swords!) and enjoyed so may different types of Seafood and breads, it was a treat and i would imagine we were exposed to some of the best flavors Brazil had to offer. We spent a day filming interviews and appeared on a super fun television show with many musical acts performing in the same room together. It was chaotic, but lots of fun with so many different types of music represented. It was a very busy trip with not a lot of time to spend sightseeing in Brazil unfortunately, but we did get a chance to walk around Recife’ and Sao Paolo a bit and spent a full day sightseeing in Peru!

In Peru we stayed in the Miraflores District, we got a chance to see an ancient burial mound called Huaca Pucllana and visited The Museo Largo Museum which has a huge collection of Inca and other tribal artifacts right in the heart of downtown Lima. Oh, and of course we visited a traditional market and got some nice omiage for our family back home! I got my daughter and wife knit Alpaca hair hats and an Alpaca sweater to keep them warm during the cold, cold Buffalo winter!

The trip ended with a great show in a soccer stadium in Peru, then we were hurried from the venue by a police escort to the airport and made our way home to the states. After we got back John went off to do a bit of radio promotion in the states and I went home to spend a few much needed days with my family in Buffalo. My daughter and I picked out and carved some pumpkins for Halloween, we went to one of the last Drive In movies left in my hometown (most likely one of the last in the world) and rode our bikes around, you know, that kind of stuff!

But as always, way too soon it was time to go again, before you knew it I was back on a plane heading to Texas to begin rehearsals for the upcoming GGDS tour. And here I sit writing to you …. time’s flying. This tour goes on for a couple of months in cool old theaters and performing arts centers across the country. The tour finishes up with a bunch of festival style Christmas radio shows and as far as I’ve heard we’re going to be resting through much of January as we prepare for a tour of the UK in the new year.

Oh, I should mention, I’ve been watching some of Emperor Naruhito’s enthronement ceremony on the internet from the states, I’m so happy I was able to see the ceremony from afar and witness the start of an exciting new time for Japan. My wife Miyoko, my daughter Hana and I will be back to visit and spend some holiday time with our friends in Tokyo in December/January and I’m looking forward to some Japan time! I hope you have a great month and I’ll fill you in with some updates from the road next week here in the pages of The Mighty InRock !!!!!!



ChicagoConcertReviews: Goo Goo Dolls prescribe a “Miracle Pill” full of accessible aggression

by Daniel DeSlover

Trekking through North America in support of its 12th studio release, “Miracle Pill,” Goo Goo Dolls rolled through Madison, Wisconsin, for a sold-out performance at the historic Orpheum Theater.

Goo Goo Dolls Front man Johnny Rzeznik was all smiles as the group launched into the current collection’s lead track, “Indestructible,” while bassist Robby Takac energetically kicked his foot above his head to commence the 90-minute night.

The cross-generational hit-makers kept fans on their feet for the duration of the show with the sentimental rocker “Home” and the anthemic “Slide” only fueling the fervor.

A few black balloons emerged during the start of “Black Balloon” (naturally), but by the first verse, the crowd was fully immersed as more dropped from the ceiling and remained a source of swatting through the ballad “Here Is Gone,” amongst a few others

A blast of confetti accompanied the uplifting rock anthem “So Alive,” which led the playful front man to toss on a construction safety helmet as he cleared the crowded stage with a leaf blower.

Following all the action, the band dialed down for an acoustic set filled with “Sympathy,” “Souls In The Machine” and the breakthrough single “Name.”

Goo Goo Dolls also stayed true to its punk-tinged roots when Takac took over the vocals for the growlers “Life’s A Message,” “Another Second Time Around” and “Bringing On The Light,” while Rzeznik displayed his grit during the pop/punker “Tattered Edge” and the bluesy “Broadway” in this career-stretching display of accessible aggression.

For additional information on Goo Goo Dolls, visit

For a list of upcoming concerts at the Orpheum Theater, visit


Goo Goo Dolls prescribe a “Miracle Pill” full of accessible aggression

Robby’s Lobby – InRock Blog

Heyheyhey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby coming at you this month while enjoying a nice hot cup of Japanese Sencha at a little tea shop outside of Detroit. It’s a day off in the very middle of a super busy Goo Goo Dolls tour with Train and neo-soul singer Allen Stone that runs through mid August snaking around the USA, stopping at over 50 cities along the way. It’s been a great tour full of packed houses and tons of sing-alongs in all kinds of weather, as most of these Summer shows are at outdoor venues it’s been interesting navigating the rains and winds that come with an amphitheater tour. But the bands are so great to tour with, it’s really been a pretty amazingly harmonious and rock filled summer!

In the midst of this jam packed schedule we’ve been keeping, GGDS released the first single from an album to be released on Sept 13th called Miracle Pill and have been performing the song live in the set now for the past month. It’s great having newer music to play for people, and it’s even better when the Internet allows them to hear your new ideas right away to enjoy that night at the show. It used to be strange to play new music for your audience, but since the immediacy of streaming people discover new music much more quickly now. People seem to dig the new song, new video (which we talked about last month) and seem to be eagerly awaiting the new release.

On our Summer tours we do Meet and Greets nightly, sometimes up to 100 people, it’s great because we get to meet a ton of amazing fans and briefly share stories with people who we’ve shared an emotional relationship with from afar, some for many decades now. It really feels like family out here, with all of our kids running around, everybody getting together for dinner every night, and just maneuvering all of the details of real life at home while you’re traveling with a small group of people every day. It really is a strange situation in a large scale touring situation, connections that are somehow so close but yet so distant and while we are in the middle of thousands and thousands of people every night we’re strangely insulated from the entire experience, the meet and greets tend to bridge that gap. It’s a lot of energy before going out to do a show, but I think it completes the cycle and for that I’m truly grateful.

There was a scary moment on the tour when one of the crew bus drivers had a seizure and their bus crashed on the highway. Luckily, although some of the crew was hospitalized and the driver was pretty badly hurt, no one was killed in the crash and the tour continued on a couple of days later. We look forward to the next moth of shows and will be heading to South America soon to do shows with Bon Jovi including a performance on the beach at the legendary Rock in RIO!

My wife and daughter have been in Tokyo for the past couple of months spending some time with our family in Japan, my daughter’s Japanese is getting much better, and they’ve gotten back to Tokyo Disney a few times! I’m so glad they get to spend the summer visiting Japan while I’m gone away on tour, but wow, I really miss them. They’ll be back in the USA in a bit and will join us for a week on the tour!

Shonen Knife returns to the US to play a bunch of shows in the US this fall, representing Osaka internationally in a big way this year supporting their Sweet Candy Power album, they just completed a tour of Europe, are currently in the UK with an Australian tour scheduled in the fall after the US run!

Thanks so much for checking in on me here in the pages of the mighty In Rock! I’ll be back next month with more touring and the frantic lead up to The 17th Annual Music is Art Festival in Buffalo …. more on that next month! See you soon !



Reverb: Goo Goo Dolls in Tulsa

The Goo Goo Dolls took the stage at the legendary Brady Theater to a packed and ecstatic Oklahoma crowd, even amidst the cold and rainy evening on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

The American rock band started out in 1986 out of Buffalo, New York, and are best known for their 1998 Grammy-nominated song “Iris.”

The evening started on time with a 30-minute set by a band out of Fort Worth called The Unlikely Candidates. After a 20-minute intermission, The Goo Goo Dolls took the stage for the first time in Tulsa since a little over a year.

“This is a cool city, how did I not realize this last time I was here?” said the lead singer Johnny Rzeznik.

They played 20 songs spanning over an hour and a half, and threw in a balloon drop and two confetti blasts.

Whether you attended the show as a diehard fan or just wanting to hear “Iris,” it was a night that many may not forget until the next stop in T-Town.

By James Adamski on November 4, 2019


**Click link for photos**

The Dispatch: Goo Goo Dolls bring ‘Miracle Pill’ tour to Adler

In these polarized, toxic times, John Rzeznik takes comfort that his music can provide invaluable relief, without the need for medication.
The 53-year-old native of Buffalo, N.Y., is lead singer for The Goo Goo Dolls, a multi-platinum and four-time Grammy-nominated rock band that plays the Adler Theatre on Wednesday, Nov. 6, as part of a national tour.
“I just think everything going on now is unprecedented,” Rzeznik said in a recent telephone interview, noting he tries not to get political in his songs.

“We’re just here to have a good time,” he said. “Everybody really wants the same thing.
“Half of our audiences voted for Trump and half voted for Hillary Clinton, but there’s one thing we can agree on,” he said. “I’m standing on stage and it’s uniting people. I’m singing ‘Iris’ and the audience is singing with me. I love that. We’re just trying to pull together under one umbrella.”
Formed in Buffalo in 1986 by Rzeznik and Robby Takac, Goo Goo Dolls has sold 12 million records worldwide and achieved 14 No. 1 and Top 10 hits on the Billboard chart, including “Iris” (1998), “Slide” (1999) and “Name” (1995). Their music has been covered by everyone from Taylor Swift to Leona Lewis.

The Goo Doo Dolls’ 12th studio album, “Miracle Pill,” was released in September on Warner Records, and they recently released their colorful new music video for its first single, the title cut, directed by Ed Gregory and Dan Cooper.
The rambunctious “Miracle Pill” video features lots of flying paint, reflecting the song of “instant gratification, that gets out of control,” Rzeznik said. “It was really fun to make. It was pretty interesting; we didn’t want to make another rock video, so boring. We wanted to bust everything open. The two guys who did the video were performers in Blue Man Group. They had crazy, funny ideas.”

“I wanted to sing about the need for human connection and the constant change we go through as people,” he said. “This piece of work embodies those themes, and I think we can all relate.”

Rzeznik said his biggest influences were Joni Mitchell, Stephen Stills, Jimmy Page and Oasis.
His father died in 1981, from a diabetic coma at age 53, when Rzeznik was 15 years old. The next year, his mother, 51, died from a sudden heart attack in the family’s living room. Rzeznik was brought up by his four older sisters and later paid for his own apartment using Social Security Survivor Benefit checks.

He began playing guitar, and music helped him to heal.

“For a while, my guitar was my only friend,” Rzeznik said. “I was kind of lonely; it was one of those things, it felt like I was on the outside watching. All I ever really wanted to do was connect — it’s like the music was always a way to connect, to speak my own truth, however unsophisticated it might have been. That was the only truth I know.”
“I had this thing recently happened, one kid I’m close with lost her mom, at the exact same age I did,” Rzeznik said. “It was a good way, to actually speak about it, just tell them I’m here, you’re not alone.
“Life hands you this horrible lesson, ultimately, if you let it define you in a negative way, let it affect you the rest of your life, you’ll be in trouble,” he said.

So what has accounted for the band’s longevity?
“Luck and a lot of work,” Rzeznik said. “We never stopped. So many bands we came up with, sort of around the year 2000, stopped. It’s strange. We never stopped, kept going and going, keep putting out our records.”

The Dispatch