Compass House is a shelter for runaway and homeless teens in Buffalo, NY. Your bid helps pay for food, shelter and counseling that are so urgently needed.

For the past 15 years, with the generosity of the Goo Goo Dolls, Goo fans and other artists and businesses, has held an online auction to benefit the teens of Compass House. Through your winning bids over $150,000 has been raised to date! On behalf of Compass House, thank you!

100% of your winning bid goes directly to Compass House!

As always, huge thanks to the band for all the cool Goo Goo Dolls items they so willingly donate, and a BIG thank you to all you fans for supporting this cause. Every donation, great or small, helps disadvantaged youth that are going through rough, uncertain times. 

Head over, register, and BID!


HEY HEY In Rockers and Welcome t the Lobby, coming to you again today from way up high in the sky as I make my way to Los Angeles for a second set of band rehearsals for our upcoming Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary US tour which starts on my birthday (Sept 30th) in Phoenix, AZ. But it has been a whirlwind of activity for the last month as my wife Miyoko makes her way around America with Osaka’s Shonen Knife tour managing and selling merch for 5 weeks. I have been between rehearsals in NY and LA and on a single Dad adventure with some help from my parents in back home who are kind enough to help out when I need to be away.

If the aforementioned set of circumstances didn’t make it chaotic enough, in the midst of all this on September 9th was the 16th Annual Music is Art Festival in Buffalo. For those of you who have been taking this literary journey with me here in the pages on In Rock may know of the festival, for those of you who don’t know it’s a music/art/dance festival, which I have put on with a group of dedicated volunteers, which grows a little bigger and more exciting every year. This year we had 20 stages of music of all types including Jazz, Country, Metal Alternative and EDM , multiple performance art areas, dozens of live artists, poets and dance groups who come together for this yearly celebration of talent in my hometown. I’ve been seeing some of the attendees since they were kids coming with their parents, I end up taking tons of pictures with the attendees and have been for 16 years, feels a little bit like families coming for their annual picture with Santa Claus at the mall! Now that the festival is over it’s time to get the planners together for a review of the event and gather our ideas for 2019’s celebration!

For the last decade we’ve been doing our best to share some Japanese culture with our city at The Music is Art Festival, this year was no exception! We featured the rock band Peelander Z from Japan, they bare currently living in Austin and their lead singer Peelander Yellow also painted a mural live for the attendees. Harumo Sato an artist from Sapporo also came to paint a live mural in her “pop” Japanese style along the river. The Buffalo Niagara Shibuki Taiko group performed as well on the festival main stage; Shibuki Taiko also performed a song with the rock band The Molice from Tokyo who have been doing an artistic residence in Buffalo since April. The Molice just released a new album called “GATE” on my record label, Good Charamel Records, two other bands from the label are now in the US touring as well, Tokyo’s Pinky Doodle Poodle and Osaka’s Shonen Knife as I mentioned earlier in the column!

I spent a weekend producing some music in the studio with one of my favorite new bands “Beach Slang” from Philadelphia working on a single with them alongside producer/engineer Jay Zubricky at my GCR Audio studios. We did a set of cover songs with vocalist/frontman James Alex and his crew, we look forward to that single being released soon!

Rehearsals have been going very well for the upcoming “DIZZY” tour, you see, we’ve never performed an entire album before, so this is a new experience for us. We have a pretty standard set of about 14 popular songs we like to perform every night full of “fan favorites” and it leaves little room to be play too may B-sides or deep cuts during the show, but as we are playing the full DIZZY album for the first half of the show this unique situation has allowed us to leave that usual format and go deep into the catalog. We’re spending our days re-visiting some songs we haven’t played in nearly 20 years so it’s really become a very special set of music for us. It’s going to be a great trip for us.

I think that’s it for today, we’ll be in the thick of it next time we talk, and I’ll be bringing Hana out on tour with us to do a little daddy/daughter time on the road, living large in our tour bus, hotels and theaters of the GGDS Fall Dizzy Adventure …. pretty cool kid ….. OK, I’ve gotta run, be cool, stay happy, enjoy the Fall and we’ll talk again soon!



Goo Goo Dolls get sentimental on ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ show at Palladium

Some albums can take you back to a very specific time and place in your life. For me, one of those albums is 1998’s Dizzy Up the Girl from the Goo Goo Dolls. That album turned 20 years old this year. Naturally, when they announced a tour to celebrate it, I had to be there.

I remember going to the mall with my grandma and buying that CD when it came out. I had two older brothers, and my grandma’s house had only two TVs. So I basically never got to choose what to watch. Usually, in cases I didn’t wanna watch what my brothers picked, I would go to my room and listen to music. I must have listened to Dizzy Up the Girl at least 1,000 times in that bedroom.

It’s an album I hadn’t really revisited much in recent years. I haven’t really followed the Goo Goo Dolls much the last decade or so. The last album of theirs I really connected with was 2002’s Gutterflower. Find me a song that brings a smile to your face the way “Big Machine” does for me.

Showing up at the Hollywood Palladium, it was awesome to see it packed. It was definitely an older crowd, probably a mid-thirties average age. It was great to see the excitement on people’s faces. One guy in particular was wigging out over hearing “All Eyes On Me”. He said he had never seen the band play it in the half-dozen times or so he’d seen them.

When they took the stage to the guitar riff for the album-opening song “Dizzy”, the eight-year-old version of myself squealed with joy. A few of the people in music I was at the show with waited around for the hits “Black Balloon” and “Iris” — obviously, they overlooked how strong an album it is. “Slide” was a mega hit when it dropped as one of the singles. Its guitar melody is reminiscent of sentimental ’90s rock like Gin Blossoms, Better Than Ezra and the like — the kind of music that doesn’t get its just due on alt-rock radio these days. John Rzeznik and Co. sure know how to write a fucking hook.

Considering I hadn’t really listened to the album in years, I still knew all the words. The song “Broadway” was always a favorite. These guys might be 20 years older, but the band sounds as tight as they did in 1998. Rzeznik’s voice has held up wonderfully.

“Black Balloon” was a clear crowd favorite. It’s crazy to think this song about heroin was such a pop radio favorite but I realize this was around the time Third Eye Blind had songs about crystal meth in commercials for The Tigger Movie.

One thing to note about this 20th anniversary — only Rzeznik and bassist and fellow songwriter Robby Takac remain from the lineup that put out the record. The rest of this band at this point are just touring members. They were able to play the songs up to the expectations of the crowd. Takac sang lead vocals on four songs on Dizzy Up The Girl. I mostly skipped those songs when I listened to them as a kid, but they grew on me.

“All Eyes On Me” was a deep cut that didn’t get its due respect when the album dropped because it had so many successful singles. Rzeznik’s voice as he slides into the chorus is powerful.

As expected, “Iris” was a massive sing-along, with couples slow-dancing to the tune that shook Rzeznik out of a bad case of writer’s block. I remember it being on the City of Angels soundtrack (one of the greatest ’90s soundtracks ever), paving the way to Dizzy Up the Girl selling more than four million copies.

My favorite deep cut was always the album-closing “Hate This Place”. It has a brilliant chorus, with Rzeznik shouting “Hold on, dream away / You’re my sweet charade”. I used to play that song over and over again listening to it.

It was a whirlwind of emotions listening to that album play front-to-back. It helped me time travel to a simpler time, for sure. The band left the stage, and Rzeznik returned for a gimmicky set of three songs where he had a video screen of himself. The video screen version played “Better Days” on guitar with the real-life version singing vocals. Then the video version sang on “Can’t Let It Go”.

The rest of the band returned to the stage with “Name” being a highlight. That was the song that broke them big off 1995’s A Boy Named Goo (also what first made me aware of them). They closed with an encore of “Big Machine” — only fitting that they ended things with another massive singalong.

If you ever get a chance to see a band perform an album in its entirety that played a big part in your youth, do it. As was the case with the Goo Goo Dolls, most bands only take these kinds of victory laps if they’re going to put the effort into doing it right. I ended up walking out with a vinyl copy of the record — one of few albums I’ve bought at a show this year.

Words by Mark Ortega
Photos by Betsy Martinez


Goo Goo Dolls get sentimental on ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ show at Palladium


Grammy-winning and multi-platinum selling band Train announces their 2019 summer amphitheater tour with co-headliners, the Goo Goo Dolls, in addition to the release of their Greatest Hits album out today.

Produced by Live Nation, the tour will also feature Allen Stone and reach over 39 cities across North America. The American rock bands begin their tour on June 7 in Auburn, Wash. and conclude in Mansfield, Mass. on Aug. 17.

Pre-sale tickets will be available for purchase starting Nov. 12. To receive a pre-sale code, sign up to Train’s mailing list here. General tickets go on sale starting Nov. 16 at

Greatest Hits celebrates 25 years of Train music and hits, including “Drops of Jupiter,” “Calling All Angels,” “Hey Soul Sister,” and a special cover of one of Train’s lead singer Pat Monahan’s favorite songs, George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”. The band’s version features esteemed American saxophonist Kenny G.

According to a Pollstar Boxoffice Report for the past 36 months, Train has been averaging $260,873 (gross) and approximately selling 6,772 tickets per show. Further, Goo Goo Dolls has been averaging $160,000 (gross) and selling approximately 4,063 tickets per show.


June 7th – Auburn, WA @ White River Amphitheatre

June 8th – Ridgefield, WA @ Sunlight Supply Amphitheater

June 9th – Airway Heights, WA @ Northern Quest Casino & Resort (no Allen Stone)*

June 11th – Santa Barbara, CA @ Santa Barbara Bowl

June 12th – Phoenix, AZ @ AK-CHIN Pavilion

June 14th – Chula Vista, CA @ North Island Credit Union Amphitheatre

June 15th – Mountain View, CA @ Shoreline Amphitheatre

June 16th – Irvine, CA @ FivePoint Amphitheater

June 18th – West Valley City, UT @ USANA Amphitheatre

June 20th – Denver, CO @ Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre

June 21st – Kansas City, MO @ Starlight Theatre

June 22nd – Maryland Heights, MO @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

June 23rd – Southhaven, MS @ BankPlus Amphitheater at Snowden Grove

June 25th – Council Bluffs, IA @ Harrah’s Council Bluffs – Stir Cove

June 26th – Rogers, AR @ Walmart AMP

June 28th – Woodlands, TX @ Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

June 29th – Dallas, TX @ Dos Equis Pavilion

July 6th – West Palm Beach, FL @ Coral Sky Amphitheatre

July 7th – Tampa, FL @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre

July 9th – Jacksonville, FL @ Daily’s Place

July 10th – Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater at Encore Park

July 12th – Charlotte, NC @ PNC Music Pavilion

July 13th – Raleigh, NC @ Coastal Credit Union Music Park at Walnut Creek Amphitheater

July 14th – Virginia Beach, VA @ Veterans United Home Loans Amphitheater at Virginia Beach

July 16th – Nashville, TN @ Ascend Amphitheater

July 18th – Walker, MN @ Moondance Jam

July 20th – Tinley Park, IL @ Hollywood Casino Amphitheater

July 21st – Noblesville, IN @ Ruoff Home Mortgage Music Center

July 23rd – Clarkston, MI @ DTE Energy Music Theatre

July 24th – Cincinnati, OH @ Riverbend Music Center

July 26th – Saratoga Springs, NY @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center

July 27th – Bethel, NY @ Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

July 28th – Gilford, NH @ Meadowbrook Music Pavilion

July 30th – Bangor, ME @ Darling’s Waterfront Park Pavilion

August 1st – Scranton, PA @ Pavilion at Montage Mountain

August 2nd – Canandaigua, NY @ Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center

August 3rd – Wantagh, NY @ Northwell Health at Jones Beach Theater

August 6th – Bethlehem, PA @ Musikfest

August 7th – Burgettstown, PA @ KeyBank Pavilion

August 9th – Columbia, MD @ Merriweather Post Pavilion

August 10th – Camden, NJ @ BB&T Pavilion

August 11th – Uncasville, CT @ Mohegan Sun Arena

August 14th – Cuyahoga Falls, OH @ Blossom Music Center

August 16th – Holmdel, NJ @ PNC Bank Arts Center

August 17th – Mansfield, MA @ Xfinity Center


By Brandon Thrift

On October 30, American rock band, Goo Goo Dolls, brought their 20th anniversary tour of “Dizzy Up The Girl” to the Paramount Theatre in Denver, Colorado.

Outside the venue was a cold and snowy night but that was hardly the case inside. Johnny Rzeznik (vocals and guitar) and Robby Takac (bass) heated up the theatre and had fans screaming lyrics from their 1998 break through album.

They played the album in its entirety with fans demanding more after every song. The songs Dizzy, Black Balloon,” and “Iris” were among some of the crowd favorites.

Rzeznik was engaged with the audience as he let everyone know that he couldn’t breath because of the altitude. There was a fan in the front row who had taken her boots off, Rzeznik said “well hey you look comfortable, you even took your boots off”. He let the crowd know “you don’t want to see me when I’m drunk because bad shit happens”.

After finishing the album, from front to back, they continued the night with some deep cuts. Rzeznik got fans excited when he said that they were going to bring one of their celebrity friends on stage to perform with them. Then Rzeznik said “most celebrities are assholes” and proceeded to bring a tv display on stage. A video came on and it was a pre-recorded video of himself. After some banter back and forth, with himself, he asked his video self to play guitar while he sang the song “Better Days”.

This was the first time the Goo Goo Dolls played at the iconic Paramount Theatre in Denver. Their excitement was contagious, and the fans fed off their energy. The sound was crisp and clean, every song was executed to perfection. The theatre was brought back to 1998 with style and grace.

Click link for photos –


SAN FRANCISCO — The Goo Goo Dolls’ sound is is so affiliated with ’90s alt-rock that it might surprise the uninitiated that the Upstate New York band’s 1998 breakthrough album, Dizzy Up The Girl, was their fifth LP. Frontman John Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and their bandmates at the time released their first record in 1987. The band had hits prior to Dizzy Up the Girl, yet it was that album that pulled the Goo Goo Dolls into the national consciousness, selling 6 million copies and going four-times-platinum, with five top 10 singles including “Iris” and “Slide.”

Rzeznik and Takac, the only members left from the 1998 version of the band (Mike Malinin, who played drums with the band at the time, left in 2013), brought the Dizzy Up The Girl 20th Anniversary Tour to the Fillmore Tuesday for a sold-out show at which they played the record in its entirety and dug up some much older tunes, B-sides and other hits. The Goo Goo Dolls played for more than two hours and showcased a catalog that spanned much more than 20 years.

Dizzy Up The Girl composed the first part of the performance, with Rzeznik and Takac and their three touring musicians kicking off with the propulsive, woozy “Dizzy,” seminal hit “Slide” and “Broadway,” with its well-worn grooves. On all but the first 60 seconds of the show opener, when the band seemed to be either out of tune or not in-sync with each other, the songs retained their studio quality. They, along with “January Friend,” “Black Balloon” and others were a bridge to the past, with Goo Goo Dolls not deviating from the versions that fans fell for in the beginning. The band played in front of a floor-to-ceiling, gold-framed album cover.

Rzeznik didn’t talk much at first, making a few stabbing attempts at the evening’s news—”Looks like the Democrats are gonna take the House!” which drew mostly cheers but a few scattered boos as well. “Someone booing that here is like finding a unicorn,” he quipped, adding how he doesn’t mess with politics anymore because both parties lie.

The fans sang the first verse on “Broadway,” and Takac sang lead on “January Friend,” the first of several. During hit “Black Balloon,” a handful of fans released black balloons, which would remain aloft for the remainder of the set. The frontman and bassist have a similar type of gravelly voice perfectly suited for ’90s alt rock, with the bassist’s a bit heavier. Not all of the album’s songs were hits, of course, and there was a bit of a lull between “Black Balloon” and the slowed acoustic pace of the appropriately titled “Acoustic #3.” That stretch of lesser-known songs, all upbeat rockers, could have passed for Soul Asylum tracks, especially when Takac handled vocal duties.

Rzeznik introduced the layered, intricate “Acoustic #3” as a really depressing song. The folky tune, awash in a sea of ’90s reverb, got the packed crowd moving again.

“You guys are cheering depressing music,” the frontman said.

That led into the theatrically dramatic “Iris,” on which the guitarist played a mandolin intro. The musicians perfectly recreated the song’s guitar solo, and fans belted away to the chorus. The set ended two songs later with album closer “Hate This Place,” after which the band cleared the stage, and a crew unceremoniously ripped the album cover from its frame, which was disassembled and carried away in pieces while Muzak played over the speakers.

Rzeznik then emerged by himself with an acoustic guitar for three songs: “Better Days,” off 2016’s Let Love In; “Sympathy,” from 2002’s Gutterflower; and “Come to Me,” from 2013’s Magnetic. He first talked about how a tour like this reminded him why he hasn’t played some songs in 20 years, implying that he’s botched a few performances along the way. Though he stumbled a bit on “Better Days,” he laughed it off and kept going. This stripped-back arrangement worked really well and was one of the highlights of the concert, along with the hits. Every note rang our clearly, alongside his gravelly voice, creating a nice change of pace from the first portion of the performance.
The rest of the band then returned for another eight or so fully electric songs, including “Fallin’ Down,” “Lucky Star” and “Stop the World,” which had  a soulful organ breakdown midway through. Rzeznik then introduced the next song as “the first song that I ever got played in the radio.” He spoke about how the band wrote its first hit, “Name,” off 1995’s A Boy Named Goo, in a stuffy attic in Buffalo.

Click the link for photos!

Pure Grain Audio – Goo Goo Dolls @ House of Blues (Boston, MA) on October 17, 2018 [Photos & Show Review]

By Nathan Katsiaficas

The Goo Goo Dolls have been mainstays of American alternative rock for two decades now. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of their ground-breaking album, Dizzy Up The Girl, the band has been touring across North America playing the record in full as part of two sets performed for their diehard fans. We caught up with the run as it made its way to a sold out House of Blues in Boston, MA on Wednesday, October 17th.

The queue to get into the venue that night stretched all the way down the street and wrapped around to the next one. As such, the band delayed their start a bit to allow every fan lined up to get in. And it showed–the venue was completely packed. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen the venue so full! The crowd was a mix of lifelong fans and those who were familiar with the big hits. At last the Goo Goo Dolls emerged, with the cover of Dizzy Up the Girl hanging as a backdrop. The Goo Goo Dolls took stage and opened with the track “Dizzy.” Frontman John Rzeznik took some time to address the momentous record being celebrated on the tour, exclaiming, “This tour is both exciting and sad. It’s exciting because it means the music has held up, but also I’m really old!”

The rest of the first set was comprised of the remainder of the record, from start to finish, but tracks “Slide,” “Broadway,” “Black Balloon,” and “Iris,” elicited the biggest responses from the crowd. Rzeznik didn’t shy away from interacting with the exuberant fans, applauding a woman in the front row at one point for knowing all of lyrics to the songs, which he joked proved helpful for when he inevitably forgot the words. He also wasn’t afraid to call out bad behavior, saying to one concert-goer who had been on his phone since the start of the performance, “I applaud you sir for coming out to a concert that you clearly don’t want to be at and probably paid for.”

Following this with an anecdote, “My wife, who is Latina, dragged me to see Enrique Iglesias. I absolutely didn’t want to go, but by the end of the night I was a fan boy! I found myself yelling ‘el guapo!‘ The point I’m trying to make, sir, is it’s a learning experience. You need to open your heart because I’m about to play a song that I know you probably won’t like.” The crowd erupted with laughter at this, cheering Rzeznik on as he proceeded to strum the opening notes to “Black Balloon.”

The second set began in a slightly cringeworthy, yet hilarious way, with only Rzeznik and a wheeled video screen on stage. Rzeznik began by talking about how bands often bring famous guests on stage, but quickly stated how he “hates famous people because they are all obnoxious and annoying.” He then turned on the video screen to introduce the crowd to their only famous friend, which in a strange plot twist was just a pre-recording of Rzeznik himself.

The two Rzezniks’ bickered for a short while in scripted banter, with each one upping the other until finally (the real, not recorded) Rzeznik yelled at his recorded self, “If you really want to go there I can tell everyone how you pissed the bed until you were 15!” The video screen Rzeznik quickly said, “Let’s just play the song!” The two Rzeznik’s then played acoustic duets of the songs “Better Days,” and “Can’t Let It Go.” After the two songs bassist Robby Takac came onto stage and began to hassle Rzeznik (real) saying “I see how it is, you send all the other band members off stage to just play with yourself!”

The second set would go on to contain fan-favorites from the albums, Let Love In, Hold Me Up, Superstar Car Wash, A Boy named Goo, Something For the Rest of Us, Boxes, and Gutterflower. It was a perfect representation of the Goo Goo Dolls past and present. They closed out their set with their first big hit, “There You Are.” The Goo Goo Dolls closed with an encore of “Big Machine” and “Flat Top.” You can catch them on their special tour celebrating 20 years of Dizzy Up The Girl through November 10th. The remaining tour dates are below!

Remaining Tour Dates:

11/01 – Salt Lake City, UT @ The Depot
11/03 – Seattle, WA @ The Paramount Theater
11/08 – San Diego, CA @ House of Blues
11/09 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Palladium
11/10 – Las Vegas, NV @The Joint

Twin Cities Media.Net – The Goo Goo Dolls Thrill Fans At The State Theatre

By Markus Akre

Show biz and real life share one common question that Janet Jackson asked in a song: “What have you done for me lately?” With many bands touring to celebrate albums that were released years ago, it raises another question. Are fans in the mood relive their past glory days?

It has been 20 years since the Goo Goo Dolls’  album “Dizzy Up The Girl” was playing non stop on many radio stations. The State Theatre was sold out and the crowd reflected the wide appeal the Goo Goo Dolls still hold.  The majority of the audience were couples who might have had their first date at one of their shows, but the next generation was well represented as well (so were fellows in brewery shirts and baseball caps).

As the lights dimmed, everyone in the crowd go to their feet even before the first note rang out. The intro was interesting – a deep drone with flashing lights – not what I expected. “Dizzy” the first song of the set made it seem like no time had passed since the band’s heyday. Everyone in the crowd was singing along – even the techs at the sound board who see this show every night. John Rzeznik paused after the first couple of  songs thanking fans and said that the 20 year anniversary of the album left him both proud and at the same time amazed at how old he had gotten.  He also mentioned being quite high on cold meds. There was an easy in his interaction with fans that I don’t recall from past shows. It added a good vibe on top of the nostalgia.

He jokingly mentioned that they had not played many of the songs in a long time. After the first set the Goo Goo Dolls returned for a second set featuring their hits. It started slow with Rzeznik performing the first two songs acoustic. In the end fans were treated to 24 songs. The audience certainly had a good time. Other than a couple of all ages shows, this was by far the most energetic crowd have seen at the State Theatre.

So are fans in the mood for some nostalgia? Well, in case of the Goo Goo Dolls, that question was answered with a resounding “Yes” last night.

Set List:

Set 1 – Dizzy Up The Girl: Dizzy \ Slide \ Broadway \ January Friend \ Black Balloon \ Bullet Proof \ Amigone \ All Eyes on Me \ Full Forever \ Acoustic #3 \ Iris \ Extra Pale \ Hate This Place

Set 2 – Hits and Deep Cuts: Better Days (solo) \ Sympathy (solo) \ Fallin’ Down \ Lucky Star \  Stop the World \ Name \ So Alive \ Notbroken \ Another Second Time Around \ There You Are

Encore: Big Machine

The Georgetown Voice – The Goo Goo Dolls Dizzy Up The Anthem With Their 20th Anniversary Tour

By: Mary Shannon Tompson 

Dizzy Up the Girl may have been released in 1998, but you wouldn’t be able to tell by the look of the crowd that filled the venue. Standing in the middle of The Anthem, I was in front of a middle aged couple, next to a group of twenty-somethings on a girls’ night out, and behind a man that looked to be in his sixties, each of them equally eager for the show to start. I could sense the timelessness of the music before the band even took the stage. The crowd’s anticipation was infectious, as everyone waited to hear live music they had been hearing through headphones for 20 years.

The stage set up was simple: a huge framed copy of the Dizzy album art that features a girl lying on a bed, her piercing stare turned towards the viewer and her iconic pink boots up in the air. During the first set, different patterns of light, corresponding to the song, were projected onto the photograph, combining the classic image with a new, high-tech twist.

The concert was split up into two sets. The first half consisted entirety of the album Dizzy Up the Girl, in order of the its tracklist. There were no strategically placed #1 hits to draw the audience back in, no planned slow songs to calm the crowd. The band relied on their album planning from 1998, letting the music speak for itself. And it worked.

The opening song of the album, “Dizzy,” sparked energy in the room, preparing the crowd for “Slide,” one of the Goo Goo Dolls’ most popular songs. The crowd sang and danced  along with abandon, almost drowning out the band itself,

As the first chords of “Black Balloon” rang out, black balloons descended onto the audience from the stage, and floated above the crowd for the remainder of the show. Fans put their hands in the air to show their absolute awe. People around me closed their eyes as they sang, trying to absorb the emotions radiating from the song, which tells the story of a man trying to save his lover from her heroin addiction.

“Acoustic #3,” one of the Goo Goo Dolls’ less well-known songs on the album, captivated the audience. A hush fell over the crowd. This was one of the few songs from the album to which few people danced or sang. The stage lights went down, and the only sounds in the venue were the haunting strum of an acoustic guitar and Johnny Rzeznik’s voice.

Finally, the moment we had all been waiting for arrived. With the very first notes of “Iris”—a song written for the soundtrack of ‘90s romance movie City of Angels, but has since taken on a remarkable life of its own—thousands of individual voices became one.“And I don’t want the world see me/ ‘Cause I don’t think that they’d understand/ When everything’s made to be broken/ I just want you to know who I am.” The lyrics speak of a deeply personal struggle, but one that perfectly captures a universal human experience. Everyone from the married couples, to the 18-year-old girls, to the people who were actually old enough to be rock fans at the time of the song’s release sang the lyrics freely. The chorus was repeated many times, and each time the room became more invested in the song.

After a brief intermission, the band played a second set that began with a part-music, part-comedy bit, during which frontman John Rzeznik joked and sang with a life-sized video recording of himself. The music quality was consistent with the first set—Rzeznik is undeniably talented—but the bit felt gimmicky. He opened with “Better Days,” one of my personal favorites outside of Dizzy Up the Girl. The performances that followed, including “Can’t Let It Go,” and “Two Days in February,” were musically flawless, and when the rest of the group eventually joined Rzeznik on stage to complete the set, the crowd’s attention returned after the initial confusion caused by the video bit. Although the second set was somewhat unnecessary, it did not invalidate the spectacular first set, which truly showcased the band’s unbelievable talent.

The Goo Goo Dolls’ Dizzy Up the Girl 20th Anniversary tour represents the incredible power of music to unite people. Music like Dizzy brings us together, even 20 years later, to laugh and jump and sing and dance. It has no specific demographic. It only has an undeniable energy that makes people listen, and a timeless honesty that makes them stick around. The genuine, universal emotion imbued in every performance makes Dizzy relevant to all. It’s music that never goes out of style.

Billboard – Goo Goo Dolls on the 20th Anniversary of ‘Dizzy Up the Girl’ & Plans for 2018 Album

by Gary Graff

“We’re doing all these old, old songs on this tour, and it’s been fun,” Goo Goo Dolls’ Johnny Rzeznik told the crowd at the Fillmore Detroit at a recent stop on the group’s trek celebrating the 20th anniversary of its multi-platinum Dizzy Up the Girl album. “But,” he continued, “I’ve gotta be honest — I really want to go home and write some fucking new songs.”

Rzeznik and bandmate Robby Takac are doing just that, in fact, with plans to release a follow-up to 2016’s Boxes next year.

“We’re working on it right now,” Rzeznik tells Billboard. “We’re both working on stuff; We probably have half of the album written. We’re going to start putting it together soon, maybe early next year — January or February.” Rzeznik does have a few conditions for the Goos’ next project, however.

One is finding “one producer who can kind of mastermind the whole thing with me,” according to Rzeznik. That will be a change from the multi-collaborator approach of the group’s last few albums, but while he’ll continue to write with others Rzeznik doesn’t want a committee to be in the room this time. “I love the collaborators I work with, but this time I just want something to tie it all together,” he explains. Rzeznik adds that this time he’ll also “put a time limit on how long it’s gonna take me to do it. When we go in the studio, it’ll be, like, eight weeks from downbeat to the final mix. I want the band to play live, all together, which a lot of people don’t do anymore. But I want that feel with a live band again.”

Right now Rzeznik and Takac are still working out who that producer might be — as well as where the 12th Goos studio album will be recorded. “I’m trying to find a weird studio,” says Rzeznik, who lives in New Jersey these days. “There’s one in Asbury Park and one in Long Branch that are awesome, so hopefully we can get into one of those and bash this out.”

Before that, however, the Goos will continue their Dizzy tour, which runs through Nov. 10. The quintet is playing the album in its entirety, with a second set that includes a three-song Rzeznik solo acoustic set and a selection of deeper cuts over the course of two hours. “Somebody brought it up to us, and it was like, ‘Let’s do a show in Buffalo, one in New York, one in Chicago and leave it at that,'” Rzeznik recalls. “But then, of course, the booking agent and the manager were like, ‘Why don’t we do a whole tour?’ and, y’know, I can’t resist a tour, so it was like, ‘Let’s do it’ and I sat down with my laptop trying to learn a few of the songs I literally haven’t played since we were in the studio trying to get ’em down.”

Rzeznik says the 20 years since Dizzy “feels like, ‘Wow, that went by so quick.’ I mean, we were working. We were all working really hard and keeping going and everything. I’m really proud of that and record; Listening back to it there’s a few spots I wish I could change, but whatever. All in all I’m pretty proud of it. And that was an important record for a lot of people, not just us. For a lot of people, that was THEIR album, for whatever reason.”

Dizzy, of course, followed the Goos’ first big hit, “Name,” and cemented the group’s transition into the pop mainstream. Rzeznik recalls a bit of apprehension about how it would be perceived but feels the results were worth it. “Any time you do something different you’re running the risk of, ‘Am I gonna lose what I have?'” he says. “But you’ve got to take that risk. When we recorded ‘Iris’ for City of Angels, that orchestra came in and started playing and Robby and I looked at each other like, ‘I dunno, man…We’ve turned a corner and there’s no going back. Are you cool with that?’ ‘Yeah, let’s go…’ I really sort of developed this attitude of, ‘OK, I can’t think about the outside world at all.’ It scared me, but it didn’t stop me. You can be afraid if you want, but you’ve got to keep going. That’s just the way it is.”