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Goo Goo Dolls and Train – Review and photos by Anne Erickson

Review + photos: Goo Goo Dolls and Train brought upbeat rock sets to their co-headlining tour stop in Detroit

Goo Goo Dolls and Train both a talent for crafting memorable, melodic rock songs, and for that reason, their co-headlining summer 2019 tour is a great fit. Goo Goo Dolls are touring in support of their upcoming studio album, “Miracle Pill,” out Sept. 13, while Train is touring behind their latest record, 2017’s “A Girl, a Bottle, a Boat.”

The summer trek, which also features support from Allen Stone, made its way to the Detroit area on Tuesday (July 23), on a beautiful, warm summer night. The nearly sold-out crowd packed DTE Energy Music Theatre, and it was easy to feel the excitement in the air from the bands’ longtime fans.

After Stone kicked the night off, Goo Goo Dolls hit the stage around 7:45 p.m., singing their hit, “Stay With You,” off 2006’s “Let Live In.” Singer Johnny Rzeznik has real stage charisma, as he smiled wide, passionately signing and dynamically moving around the stage. Rzeznik and longtime bass player Robby Takac have great musical chemistry together, and they played off each other during the set the way best friends do.

Goo Goo Dolls’ performance brought all the hits — “Big Machine,” “Slide,” “Black Balloon,” “Here Is Gone,” “Iris,” “Broadway” — as well as some new songs, such as the band’s current single, “Miracle Pill.” From song to song, the audience sang along and swayed to the music, offering a picturesque summer concert experience.

Train entered the stage around 9:20 p.m. Like Rzeznik, Train singer Patrick Monahan is instantly recognizable from the band’s popular music videos and long history on the road. Monahan and the band kicked the night off with the 2003’s “Calling All Angels,” a massive hit for the band, and the audience cheered with excitement as the songs got rolling. The set was packed with some glistening pyro, from huge sparklers shooting up from the stage to magical confetti that exploded into the crowd during the second song, “50 Ways to Say Goodbye.”

Train’s performance brought some extra special moments, including a cover of Queen’s “Under Pressure,” Led Zeppelin’s “Heartbreaker” and even some onstage collaborations with Rzeznik and Stone. Of course, Train shined bright on their own songs and rocked all the chart-toppers, from “Meet Virginia” to “When I Look to the Sky” to “Drops of Jupiter.”

It’s rare when a co-headlining bill can bring two equally talented bands with two major doses of melodic rock hits, but that’s what fans get with this Goo Goo Dolls, Train bill. Both acts have continued to thrive over the years, and after seeing their shining live shows, it’s no question that their penchant for the road has helped propel them to the beloved musicians they are today.


By Jon Calderas:  Jon Calderas lives in Cincinnati and is passionate about music, photography and writing.  He’s thrilled to be able to shoot and write for CincyMusic and help promote our vibrant music scene. When he’s not talking about himself in the third person, you can find him out at gigs. Come up and say hi, he’d love to meet you.
The Goo Goo Dolls were formed in 1986 and were shaped by a lot of my favorite bands from that era– Husker Du, Soul Asylum, and most of all, The Replacements. Strong songwriting, passion and drive resulted in them breaking through with the extraordinary “Name” and the smash “Iris”.  Strong work ethic and a no-nonsense Buffalo mindset have kept them in the game ever since. Like all those bands, their songwriting and sound has continued to evolve over their catalog. There’s not a lot of similarities between Husker’s Land Speed Recordand Candy Apply Gray, but I dig them both. The Goo Goo Dolls’ latest single (“Miracle Pill”) was just released and a new album is coming this fall. They are on the road with Train and Allen Stone for another month and they’ll be stopping at Riverbend on Wednesday, July 24th.

We chatted with bassist and founding member Robby Takac about how digital tools have changed their songwriting, what continues to drive them after all these years, paying back their community, why it’s a smart idea to play QVC and whether the future looks any brighter these days.

Catch Goo Goo Dolls with Train & Allen Stone at Riverbend Music Center on July 24!

You guys are really busy lately, you’re in the middle of your U.S. tour with Train, then you’re heading off to South America later in the year for Rock in Rio. How are the dates with Train going so far? That feels like a good match up of styles and audiences.

Yeah, it’s been even better than I had anticipated. We had a feeling, like, it was gonna be cool.  And Allen Stone is on this tour as well, I don’t know if you’re familiar with Allen or not. But the combination of these three bands is like, amazing. It really is, it’s a great show, man.  And I think the three bands are just different enough from each other to where it feels, I don’t know – there’s a great vibe throughout the night. Sometimes it feels like you’re getting your head bashed in all night – you know, sometimes it feels like you’re watching the three bands and it’s the same band three times or whatever. I feel like the vibe of this show is really, really nice, man.

Right, so it’s more of a complementary thing where the bands are working together…


I’ve been at some of those shows where the bill’s really similar and it feels like I saw the same band three times, I want a little changeup.

Yeah, exactly.

That’s great. I was listening to your new single (“Miracle Pill”) several times because it’s super catchy. That was just released. It’s an interesting sound because it’s really piano-driven and it has what sounds like either string sections or you guys have simulated string sections. As I listened to it, it almost felt Beatlesque with a bit of “A Day in the Life” vibe with that intro with the piano. But when you guys started out, you were pretty much drums, bass, guitar. So, I’m really curious how you’re approaching new compositions, especially on a song like “Miracle Pill” where piano is such an integral part of it. How do you approach that composition? Do you start with the piano, or do you start with that great chorus or are you still building up from guitar?

You know that song itself, John just had the idea of the chorus and went in and worked with a guy named Sam Hollander – he’s done some stuff with Panic! at the Disco and a whole bunch of other bands, you can look him up – the list is crazy. He’s like a songwriter/producer type. So, they sort of worked from a chorus with that song. But you know, it’s interesting, we’ve been writing with guitars for so long, like an unbelievable amount of writing went on for this record that didn’t involve guitars. There’s probably a lot less guitar on this record than many of our records, honestly. I found myself doing the same thing – I think some of that has to do with the process of making records these days. Like with MIDI and such, working in digital forms. It allows you to do so many different types of things and experiment with so many different types of sounds that a lot of the stuff you end up doing when you’re trying to figure out what the song is, is stuff that you end up keeping along the way because these electronic parts become such an integral part of your song. A lot of the stuff you end up putting together as you’re sitting around kind of making you’re demo ends up on the record. And a lot of that stuff tends to be synth-based. It’s based on the idea of wanting things to sound a little bit different and you know, the way technology goes, I think we just sort of veered that way naturally a little bit.

It’s an interesting adaptation to tools, because 25 years ago, we all barely had computers and now we’ve got these amazing digital tools

Yeah, we were literally doing our demos on a cassette recorder with a microphone at the beginning, so it’s just a lot different now.

Is that better or worse?  It seems like in some ways it might be worse- it gives you more chances to revisit things and rethink them.

Yeah, yeah, it’s maddening, that’s for sure. You know, you’re never done. We were at a meet and greet the other day and this kid, singer-songwriter kid, you know, young kid came up and said to John, [chuckling], “When do you know when you’re done with your idea?” And I laughed and said, “Dude, you are asking the wrong guy.”  You know when we’re done?  When they tell us we need to deliver the master. You know? That’s when we’re done, we’re going to mess with it until then [laughing]. So, you know it really is pretty amazing, you know, for us having made records for all these years now, it’s like, every time we go in to do it there seems to be like a new way of going about looking at making music. As long as you can keep your head in your game and kinda know what you’re doing and keep the sensibilities that make your band what it is, using all these technologies and all these new ideas, bringing in new ideas from people - it can only make for a more exciting progression for your group, I think.

For sure - I have two questions/comments kind of related to that. I saw a quote from John recently that I thought was really beautiful and striking. I’m a photographer as well and I do a lot of portrait photography. And this really resonated with me, he said, “I just want to make a real connection with real people in real time.”  I’ve been a fan of you guys since I saw the video for “There You Are” years ago, then saw you open for Soul Asylum when Superstar Carwashcame out.  Those albums brought me a lot of comfort, I felt a connection with them. And I still remember, I had just got married and I was away from my wife working in the Middle East for my job and I would fall asleep listening to Hold Me Upand  “Two Days in February “ would come on and I’d go, “Man, this makes it better and it makes it worse at the same time”…

[Laughs] Yeah, yeah, right.

A lot of bands have the same technology, a lot of bands can write catchy songs, but you have this unique ability to connect with people emotionally as well and kind of find that emotional core. How do you go about finding that? The chorus is one thing, but then being able to connect and go, yeah, that’s not just catchy, there’s something that’s resonating with the listener…

I think in our case there’s a lot of avenues to every goal. I guess our thing is, we just try to write about things that really either mean something to us or we can see really, really means something to people in our lives or within our view. And I think if you speak honestly about that kind of stuff, even in the vague terms that you write a rock and roll song in, I think that it resonates with people because you’re talking about real stuff, you know? And I think in the same way that people attach to our records, you know, like a lot of that in-the-club music stuff too – that resonates with people. You know what I mean?

Right, for sure.

Yeah, like, I mean, you’re touching this thing that people go, “Yeah, that applies to me, that applies to my life.”  But when you talk about sort of like loftier concepts and the human condition and relationships- people share so many similar experiences, but, obviously played out in different scenarios.  I think if you speak of the things that have touched you deeply, chances are those things have touched some other people (laughing), those exact same things have touched some other people as well.  And I guess, that’s the idea.

That’s beautiful. This is kind of relates to a comment you made before about keeping your head straight. I used to watch 120 Minutes (on MTV) all the time on Sunday night...


And you guys were hosting, A Boy Named Goo had just come out and I remember John introducing the top albums of the week and he just kind of laughed to himself and said, “Don’t look for us there” [laughs]…


…and then not long after “Name” took off, and the album really took off and things just exploded for you guys. I always remember that really interesting self-deprecating comment and it sounds like success really took you genuinely by surprise. And you guys have kept it going for, as an overall band, 30-plus years. How in the world do you keep your head on straight and do that? And the other thing I think is awesome is that a lot of those bands from the ‘80s and ‘90s aren’t even around anymore or they’re not putting out new material, they’re touring on their back catalog. You guys are still making a lot of new material. You’re continuing to drive that.  Is it artistic restlessness that keeps you creating?

Yeah, that’s probably part of it.  Part of it is Buffalo.


Like, we’re dudes from Buffalo, man and if we don’t get up and go to work every day, we don’t know what the hell to do, you know?  And I think…(chuckling)…there’s this thing in the back of our heads, maybe a little bit more with John than with me, but this thing in the back of our heads where we’re pretty sure every day the bus is going to pull in and there’s just gonna be nobody there.


There’s this fear we have in our minds and I don’t know if that’s part of how we were raised or whatever.  But when it’s happening, do it. Make it work. Get on. Get on to the next thing, let’s do it. Let’s keep moving. I guess the one thing, you were saying that we’ve been consistently doing it, it was never a question of ‘if’ so much as it was just a question of ‘how’.  How were we going to make this work? I think as long as you keep that in mind, then you keep moving forward. So, one of the differencesbetween us and most of the bands that are out there right now from when we started is that – we didn’t decide to like move on, decide, hey man, this wasn’t working for us anymore.  Move onto something else, spend seven years, then decide to get back together to make a little bit of money, relive that glory time again.  That was never in our vocabulary at all, you know?  I think moving forward is just sort of the way we go about our day, you know[laugh]. We never thought about anything other than that, so I don’t think it was a conscious decision in any way, other than, like I said, to just figure out how to keep it moving and hope you’re making the right move so you know, you’ll still have some people there, you can still play your songs and we don’t gotta get a job at a shoe store or something.

 [Laughing] That was a lot of my motivation to go to college and work hard at it. I grew up near Cleveland and I thought, I don’t want to be working in an auto factory or steel mill, you know that was the drive, you know, that’s really hard work.

Yeah, yeah – you know, I think our band was pretty willing to try things that a lot of bands wouldn’t do when we first kind of broke. Once again, I go back to this Buffalo thing. Like, when we got offered something, we’d be like, of course we’re going to do that. Back then, like in ’95, bands all the time would get offers to do county fairs and stuff like that. Nobody would ever do them, I don’t know – they were like, “We don’t want to go out and play in the middle of a field for a bunch of hayseeds” that was their view of it. But to us, we were like, “Well, it’s worth a shot” and we started doing them and we realized that that’s the place people let their kids go. And all of a sudden, there were like five thousand more people there. And we were like, oh wow, this is great. QVC came to us at one point and we were like, “Oh, God, this looks horrible doesn’t it?” And we were like, let’s give it a whirl. And like, dude, I’m telling ya it was one of the greatest things we ever did. I don’t know, it’s weird, you just gotta open yourself up to these opportunities that come your way. I think, not be too set in your ways as to “this is what we need to happen.” So many opportunities are going to come and if you don’t accept those opportunities and make them work for you, you’re wasting energy, good energy that could be coming your way. So, I think that’s another thing – that we’ve always tried to do whatever – someone comes along and asked if we want to play on Home Garden TV, we’re in man. You know? 

[Laughing] Nice…

Yeah, yeah – you know?  Who woulda thought? Who woulda thought when we were playing at Maxwell’s and CBGB’s that we’d be having a discussion on Home and Garden TV, you know, but you know, that’s what happens.

You and the band have been really generous in giving a lot back to the community.  I know you have your own charity, the Music is Art Foundation and you guys are doing work with folks like USA Harvest, food banks and performing at Artists for Autism, which I thought was incredibly generous way of giving back your time. Is that a way of paying back some of the good karma that’s come your way?

Yeah, and I think any time you can lend your name or spend an afternoon and raise a half a million dollars for a hospital (laughs) you know, if you don’t do that then you’re just some kind of jerk (laughing) you know, right? You know, I mean really [laughing]. We get offers from people and then you start to feel that, start to see the things you can do and so it gives you ideas to do other things. We’ve got an incredibly amazing fanbase of people who have been with us for a really long time that support the things we believe in and the things we do. So, it makes it easy.  I guess if it was a struggle, we probably wouldn’t do it because it would be a struggle and we’re in own struggle here, as is everyone. But it just feels like a natural part of what we’re doing. Every year we try to do something. We’re actually in the midst of, we in the past have worked with this organization that does swabs for bone marrow transplants. We’re in the midst of putting that together to bring along on our fall tour.

That’s fantastic

Yeah, yeah, there are a just lot of organizations out there that have figured out how to take this kind of thing and mobilize it for good, so why not, you know? [laughing]

Amen, that’s really amazing and generous of you. One last one, and this may be a quick answer. I was always struck by this lyric on “Only One.” So, 25 years ago, almost, John had this great lyric: “The past is a bully and the future’s even worse”.

Yeah, yeah, right [laughing].

So, you’ve lived a bit more of that future now. What’s your take looking back on that lyric, looking at your past and your future from that point of view? Has it been worse than expected or better?

Uh, [amused voice], I think that, uh- I’ve known him for thirty-five years and he feels the same way today

[Laughs hard].

[Laughing hard] That’s fantastic, that’s a great line to end on. Beautiful

Click through for photo set:

Train Pulls Into Tampa With The Goo Goo Dolls and Allen Stone.


Allen Stone, Goo Goo Dolls, Train 07-09-17

MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre Tampa, FL

Serving up a ‘Miracle Pill’ filled with ‘Drops of Jupiter”

The tumbling grey clouds covered the sky over the MidFL Credit Union Amphitheatre, as anyone would expect for Tampa this time of year. The little bits of thunder could be heard faintly in rhythm with Allen Stone’s music.

Playing through a six-song set, Allen’s take on ‘Is This Love’ from Bob Marley was a great middle cover. Dancing in sync with his bassist and guitarist, their routine was a great way to get the intro to the show going.

Playing through ‘Unaware’, ‘Taste of You’, and ‘Voodoo’, the set was short, but entertaining. His smooth vocals, and audience participation helped to warm everything up.

Playing in the middle were the Goo Goo Dolls. Originally formed in Buffalo, NY they have been around for over 30 years, and remain largely unchanged. Their stage presence and energy has kept long-time fans coming back for more and take people ‘just there for the headliner’ and turns them into fans.

Literally jumping onto the stage in front of a red ‘curtain’ on the LED boards, lead guitarist Johnny Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac (the two original members still playing), and their touring musicians. Robbie was playing in his unconventional barefoot and rolled up pants attire and had more energy than I have seen from him in ages.

Opening up their 15-song set with ‘Stay With You’ from Dizzy Up The Girl Johnny definitely had on his singing shoes. Getting the audience on their feet dancing, and singing along, it was a great way to say ‘Hi Tampa!!’

Up next was ‘Big Machine’. Another stellar song, and had both Johnny and Robby trading out for different guitars. This was something you usually see a few times per set, not nearly every song. It just goes to show how intently and how passionately they play.

‘Slide’ rounded out the first three songs and wrapped up an opening trio from Dizzy. This greatly loved, and deeply personal song got the few stragglers out of their seats and on their feet. They started taking full advantage of the LED boards behind them, and showcased galactic backgrounds, and other things that gave a feeling of being a kid again.

During ‘Black Balloon’ they released about 30 different sized black balloons and beachballs. They were being tossed around the crowd for the next few songs too. Watching people straining across rows to get a shot to pass them along was a great sight considering how serious people take life these days.

‘Name’ elicited the biggest crowd reaction so far during the set. As their first break through song, and their first real step away from their punk roots, it’s a tune that nearly everyone over the age of 30 has a memory of. Filling the audience in on a little history, Johnny shared “this song was written as I was trying to decide what to do with my life”.

A great way to introduce new singles is to use them to follow up your top hit. ‘Miracle Pill’ is that new single. While the tone of this new single might sound familiar, the subject matter and tempo are new. It still fits their style of music perfectly. You could see some fans singing along, but many were content to just move to the groove.

‘Better Days’ was played two songs later (at 13) and this song is the ‘unofficial anthem’ of the City of Buffalo, and in particular its sports teams. For many though, it’s a song to inspire hope in ultimately more dire circumstances. Fighting cancer, facing divorce, etc. this is a song that just says it all for these big moments people face in life. Looking around the audience I caught a few people wiping away tears as they sung along.

The tears kept flowing for some as ‘Iris’ was up next. Now I’ve heard Johnny sing this as he strums his Taylor acoustic numerous times, but this time it seemed to have more passion than ever before. It really felt like he had made that connection emotionally with the audience that every fan hopes to get, and every musician needs to feel. Closing the song with an extended solo, it was a great touch.

You can’t walk off stage on a note like that though. Closing with ‘Broadway’, the band ramped back up the energy for the crowd. The sing along was louder than before, and that energy blistered through the fans as the set ended with Johnny blowing the audience a kiss before leaving the stage.

“Choo-Choo” that famous train sound roared across the arena as Train hit the stage very suddenly. As people raced back to their seats from the beer stands, ‘Calling All Angels’ came across the speakers with force. A song that still is on the grocery store playlists across the globe had people dancing in the isles and singing aloud.

Ending the song with light sparkler pyrotechnics, they rocked right into ’50 Ways to Say Goodbye’ as the second song of the 15 song main set. With a mariachi band playing on screen with sugar skulls, and red, white, & green in the background, they solidified the Mexican influence the song has on it. Capping the song off with a shower of red and white confetti, it felt out of place. These effects are usually reserved for the end of a show.

After a drum solo ‘It its Love’ played as Pat Monahan took time to encourage fans to light up the amp for him to take a video to share with everyone. Looking back, the number of lights and lighters in the sky was simply amazing.

Following up with ‘Get to Me’ a challenge was laid out; could the Tampa fans dance better? Later on it was announced that the fans danced better than the fans in Georgia. The prideful roar in response to that news was nearly deafening.

What good is one challenge without another? Pitting section against section, the first lines of ‘Save Me San Francisco’ became an audience participation contest. With no clear winner, more beachballs made their way out to the audience. Naturally of course they stayed going for quite some time.

Allen Stone made his way back on stage for his rendition of the Alicia Keys chorus of ‘Empire State of Mind’ as an into to ‘Bruises’. Pat and Allen really sing well off one another and their chemistry is terrific. Announcing the hometown performance for guitarist Luis Maldonado, he was given a shot at a solo and was just a bit less than expected. Pat gave him another shot later on, and he nailed it.

Taking advantage of this solo time Pat came back out wearing a Train shirt. While performing ’Meet Virginia’ he brought out a bunch of other shirts to toss out. Walking around he had the whole band sign the Train shirt he now had on, as he tossed it out to a kid in the front row.

Johnny Rzeznik came back out to sing ‘American Girl’ and the audience sang along as best they could. It was obvious that as much as people may love this song, many of us only know the chorus. Before Johnny walked off, they took the time to take a selfie together with the audience.

Luis took up the majority of the vocals for ‘Under Pressure’ after a small sing back and forth with the audience from Pat ala Freddy Mercury. He even joked about how we all had seen the movie and knew how this worked.

Featuring a snippet of ‘In my Feelings’ as an intro, ‘Hey Soul Sister’ and ‘Play That Song’ rounded out the main set. Pat’s voice was noticeably suffering by this point, but he was still with it. He walked off the stage first as the song ended. While some people were heading for the exits as the music went away, most people stayed and cheered for more.

Coming back out, they played a two-song encore; ‘Great Escape’ (a Pat Monahan track), and ‘Drops of Jupiter’ to end the night. As it was their biggest single, it was a great tune to end the night with.

Talking with fans on the way out, they were excited to have seen the show. One woman said “I’ve seen Train 4 times, and the Goo Goo Dolls 7 times. I’ve never heard either band better.”

The tour continues on to Alpharetta, GA on 10JUL19 and goes on through 17AUG19 in Mansfield, MA.

Some really nice shots from @rockeuphoria

Video clip of Miracle Pill;

From @ohaiimalex:

From @yourphotostyle:

Video clips from @sophia_pascal:

From @hockeymomdi:

From @sgalicastro:

From @audra_a:

Thanks to @googoodolls:

Thanks to @delilahmadness for these videos:

Thanks to @jsbrn920:

Nice double rainbow shot from @Kjcarlson77:  Invalid Tweet ID?s=21


By Mariana Velasco

Translated from Spanish

Original text and photos at:

Difficult to believe or not, the legendary Goo Goo Dolls released much more music after the famous "Iris", which led them to international success in 1998 despite being a song that challenged everything they had done up to then, and marked a new era in his style. It is a band that has gone through several transitions of members and the only ones that have remained at the bottom of the canyon are Johnny Rzeznik (voice, guitar) and Robby Takac (voice, bass).

With 11 studio albums, they came to Mexico to offer their first solo show in all of history in our country, at the Pepsi Center WTC. The reason for their visit was the release of their second live album The Audience Is This Way / That Way (two parts), and they also had the opportunity to play at Corona Capital Guadalajara and Monterrey. "It was huge, very dusty but very funny, and we did very well to be our first tour in Mexico," says Johnny, while Robby expresses that they wanted to come for a long time and feel very happy to be here.

Goo Goo Dolls is a band that started in punk rock with loud, energetic and very contagious songs that accompanied generations of people, but as we grew up with them, Johnny and Robby also grew up together, and little by little they left adapting to the new musical sounds and paying attention to their hearts. This is how "Iris" was born, his greatest hit: "I would say that it was a time of change and many creative entrances, it was a period of emotional transition in our lives, and from there we got into the music as much as we could. "

Leaving punk rock was something natural for this duo, and they continued to work as best they could. They retained their rock essence and vibrated merrily, but the music softened a lot and even so they continued to position themselves in the most popular lists. His most recent studio album Boxes came out in 2016 and to show that they fit everything, they made an incredible collaboration in "Flood" with Sydney Sierota, leader of Echosmith. Sydney is one of the most outstanding young talents of recent years: "I think she is incredibly talented, we were lucky to cross over. She's much younger than us, but she's great, she's very professional, I love working with her. And "Flood" is a great song, "says Johnny.

To continue with this evolution, the Goo Goo Dolls will release their next studio album entitled Miracle Pill in September: "we made collaborations with very interesting people and we hired many incredible musicians and soul singers, so there will be many different things. There's a lot to grab creatively on, I'm a Goo Goo Doll and that's what I need to do, not pigeonhole. The point of the title of the album is that precisely there is no 'miracle pill', that is, there is no instant gratification, but we simply have to believe that something good is going to happen soon. "

The years have passed and Johnny and Robby continue using classic recording methods mixed with the latest technology, which has helped them to keep their productions having a lot of personality. "We use a lot of old-school techniques and they make a big difference, I'm a 50-year-old tape recorder fan that's broken, we connect things and we record through it, it makes horrible sounds when it works but the result is very good. With technology you can manipulate things in many ways: if I can not sing well or touch something, the computer fixes it, but I think it loses its soul, "says Johnny, on a par with Robby who says" the possibilities are endless, you find textures you never expect to find. "

Goo Goo Dolls start their summer tour in June and hope to work on a new EP, but they also want to rest: "although I do not know for how long, because I'm an obsessive at work and I need to be doing something, but we'll see how we're feeling ", Concludes Rzeznik.

“Music has been Democratized”: Goo Goo Dolls
Author: Azul Del Olmo

(Translated from Spanish)
Over 30 years of playing around the world and his 11 studio albums have given Goo Goo Dolls a fairly broad perspective on how the music industry has evolved more quickly than in past decades and how changes in consumption and Technology has managed to "democratize" music, making it more accessible to more people.

“The way music is currently consumed seems to me to be a way to democratize it. I do not know if I explain. For me it is a way that music can reach as many people as possible, I can write a song right now on my computer, upload it to the network and get many people to know it almost immediately, that's something very interesting.
The dark side of this is how the streaming companies compensate the artists; it takes lots of thousands of dollars and a lot of time to make an album that people want to listen to, and once you release the streaming it takes a long time to return those monetary compensations to the artists who ultimately make the content ... and without that content, because there would be no business, "said John Rzeznik, vocalist and guitarist of Goo Goo Dolls, in an interview with Excelsior from Minneapolis, Minnesota.

For Rzeznik, who is in charge of most of the compositions of the group, the advances and the new recording techniques, they have given him the freedom to experiment and mix them together, thus he has found that techniques of the 50s make 21st century issues achieve a unique identity.

“I mix a lot of technology with the way in which music was made before, I have a huge collection of recordings in which I have used techniques and devices from the 50s and 60s and I have tried to unite them with the things that we can work with today.

There are very good things in each method and in each time, and that gives you many options to correct errors that you have had before ... that is, if you have plans to stay in this you do not have to lose sight of the fact that things are changing, in this time, much more quickly and that is an opportunity to give personality to your creations, "he added.

Under that premise the restless guitarist recently finished what will be the number 12 album of Goo Goo Dolls. Miracle Pill is the name of this new production that could go on the market during the summer and in which Rzeznik decided to take a different direction than what he had done previously.

“This album was made completely different from others I had made. I collaborated with some composers and worked with several contributors; What I wanted was to be able to capture different textures of the songs and do it with emotions that could be interpenetrated with music and lyrics, the process was very fun, every song during each day, conversations with the people who were involved.

I just finished it and the most likely thing is that at some point in the summer, I'll go out so that people know about it. It's ready, now it's in the mixing process, and it's very likely that we'll play some songs from this album over there, "he said.

For his presentation tomorrow in the Mexican capital-after visiting Monterrey and Guadalajara-the vocalist said that one of the things he loves most about shows is the possibility of offering the public songs that they like to sing, something that really He never bothered to do, referring to Iris, success with which they became known globally thanks to the film City of Angels.

“I've never done a show there, so this is something new for me, for us; We had many years of touring, but we had not been able to go. I know we have a lot of fans in Mexico because many of them go to concerts in the United States, but now the opportunity to go there to play is incredible, I know we're going to have a great time. The idea is to play as many songs as people know as Iris, it is exciting to experience this kind of community and be 'touched' by the public, "he concluded.


BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Variety Kids Telethon is getting ready for its 57th go-around helping children in Western New York.

The telethon will broadcast live
on 7ABC from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, March 3rd from the Seneca Niagara Casino. Members of the 7 Eyewitness News team will also be live at Oishei Children's Hospital.
This year's telethon will feature Celebrity Child Victoria Reyes and Honorary Chairs The Goo Goo Dolls.

Every dollar donated to the telethon stays in Western New York. Donations help fund programs at Oishei Children's Hospital, Camp Good Days, the Boys and Girls Club, and more than a dozen other local children's charities. Again this year, credit card donors will receive prizes for donating.

You can view the different prize categories here.

You don't have to wait for the telethon to help the Variety Club,

you can find out how to donate here.

Over and Over:

So Alive:

Let Love In:

Big Machine:

Thanks to Kelli:



Goo Goo Dolls’ Dizzy Up the Girl 20th Anniversary Tour is a Gift for Diehard Fans

By "MADD" Manda Walsh

This year the Goo Goo Dolls celebrated the 20th anniversary of their iconic album Dizzy Up the Girl with a 27-date tour to commemorate the occasion. The 4x platinum certified album, featuring five top-charting hits, which includes its massive City of Angels soundtrack single (“Iris”), was performed in its entirety for the first time since its debut in September of 1998, an experience that proved to be truly unforgettable for both fans and original members, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac. Although prior to its kickoff the tour was described as a celebration of Dizzy Up the Girl, it was also more than implied that the second set of the show would feature a mix of the band’s various hits as well. However, as the tour kicked off in Arizona and Texas and the reviews started to roll in, it became clear based on the set lists shared from each city that the second set was in fact not what it was originally marketed as. After seeing the show for myself, it was quite obvious that this very special tour commemorating the acclaimed album was meant for genuine fans of the Goo Goo Dolls and not the casual listener whose only familiarity with them are their radio hits.

Fortunate enough to catch the Dizzy Up the Girl 20th Anniversary Tour when it came through Chicago on Friday, October 26th, I can tell you firsthand how memorable a night it was. Choosing The Chicago Theater as the backdrop to celebrate this particular stop on the tour couldn’t have been more fitting considering the venue’s history, not only as a landmark in the Windy City, but also a staple in the entertainment world. I imagine as an artist, having your name featured on the marquee outside a venue like The Chicago Theater is comparable to seeing your face on a billboard in Times Square – there’s an indescribable magic in that moment that signifies leaving one’s mark. And to say the Goo Goo Dolls have left their mark would most certainly be an understatement.

There’s something special about hearing an album live from beginning to end by a band whose music has not only spanned decades, but has also had a seriously significant impact on such an excessive number of people. There’s a level of comfort that’s similar to the comfort felt when reuniting with an old friend. You know there’s going to be anecdotes shared, but not so many that they get in the way of the songs themselves. This is exactly what it felt like walking into this tour. The anticipation and excitement in the air were undeniable as the sold-out crowd ranging from twenty something year olds to those in their mid to late forties shuffled into their seats after having bought their souvenir t-shirts and special edition vinyl of Dizzy Up the Girl to remember the special event.

With an oversize frame holding the Dizzy Up the Girl album artwork centered in the middle of the stage, as the house lights finally dimmed at 8:30pm and the stage lights illuminated the beautifully detailed theater, the audience very loudly welcomed the Goo Goo Dolls to Chicago as they kicked off the first of their two sets of the night. Beginning with “Dizzy,” and followed by two of the album’s biggest hits – “Slide” and “Broadway” – Rzeznik and Takac proceeded to take fans on a journey back in time when backpack purses were all the rage and you weren’t cool unless wore plaid. As promised, the Dolls played every song on Dizzy, including those featuring Takac on lead vocals. Fans watched with glee as black balloons were appropriately released in the air during one of many fan favorites, “Black Balloon,” and sang their loudest when it was time for “Iris.” Rzeznik and Takac’s performance was flawless, as they never skipped a beat.

Before we knew it, the 13-song set was over and the band was exiting the stage for what fans assumed would be a short intermission in between sets. Much to their surprise and pleasure, though, Rzeznik immediately returned with an acoustic guitar in hand for a solo performance of “Better Days” and “Sympathy.” The talented singer-songwriter took the time to explain before beginning “Better Days” that although the song started out as a holiday song, over time it developed a much deeper meaning. Filled with hope and words of encouragement about pushing through life’s toughest moments and remembering second chances exist for a reason, the emotionally charged song was even more haunting when stripped down to only Rezeznik’s vocals and the acoustic guitar.

As Takac and the rest of the band returned to the stage, they picked things up and took everyone back to the Dolls’ early days with “Falling Down,” “Lucky Star,” and “Stop the World,” from their 1993 album, Superstar Car Wash. This is where I noticed the two very different types of fans in attendance. While one of the guys in front of me had a look of confusion on his face as he subtlety tried to search the Goo Goo Dolls catalog on Spotify to try and figure out what songs they were now playing, the group of guys behind me happily sang along to most if not all of the second set which included (to the casual Dolls listener) less familiar songs, like “Notbroken,” “Another Second Time Around,” and “There You Are.” I realized then that as incredible as this 20th anniversary tour was, it was definitely meant for those who are actual, diehard fans of the band, as opposed to those who are just fans of their bigger, more well-known hits.

Rzeznik and Takac concluded the second half of the show with a one song encore that left everyone satisfied, but wishing their evening with one of their favorite bands could last longer. As the audience sang along to “Big Machine,” their applause and cheering booming, it was clear how undeniable the influence the Goo Goo Dolls has had on my generation (those born in the mid-80s but grew up in the 90s) is. Yes, it was Dizzy Up the Girl that launched them into mainstream success, but the veteran alt-rockers are also responsible for a hefty number of other majorly successful hits that music fans immediately know the moment they hear them. The outstanding catalog of albums this band has gifted us with is nothing short of impressive. And whether you live and breathe for the Goo Goo Dolls or you casually enjoy their radio songs, Rzeznik and Takac’s music legacy is firmly planted, and they are in no hurry to slow down any time soon.

Set List – Chicago Theater – 10/26

Set One:




January Friend

Black Balloon

Bullet Proof


All Eyes On Me

Full Forever

Acoustic #3


Extra Pale


Set Two:

Better Days


Falling Down

Lucky Star

Stop the World


So Alive


Another Second Time Around

There You Are


Big Machine


Adam Duke
Editor in Chief
Put together for archival purposes to document and preserve the history of Buffalo’s punk scene, the book Underground Buffalo Rock Posters: The Continental and Beyond offers a look into the lost art of designing concert advertisements.       

Like automobiles, the Big Mac, furniture, and various household appliances, concert posters just aren’t what they used to be, no matter how cliché that phrase may sound.

Upon inspecting the posters outside of smaller venues in 2018, you will find that a typical show poster is comprised of a computer-designed logo or a photo of the band that will be performing, along with the date and showtime underneath. Somewhat artistic, but nothing like the hand-drawn or cut-and-pasted, mass copied, punk-era posters of the late 1970s through the 90s. Posters of the kind could be seen in stores, venues, and on signs and bulletin boards around Buffalo at the time, specifically down Elmwood Avenue.

Earlier this month, Goo Goo Dolls bassist Robby Takac and designers Don Keller and Karl Kotas released a compilation of many of these these Buffalo show posters in the form of “Underground Buffalo Rock Posters.” The compilation was collected from poster artists including Keller and Kotas, as well as band members, who saved copies after plastering them around town.

The book features a foreword by Takac, a poem and illustration by Kotas, posters from over 30 bands, including the Goo Goo Dolls, the Ramones, 10,000 Maniacs, The Fems, Cannibal Corpse, and Famous Blue Raincoat, and over 15 clubs, including The Continental, Goodbar, Jingles, and Uncle Sam’s.

Included in the book is a copy of The Continental’s first flyer, from February of 1980, advertising their grand opening Feb. 6 and 7, with draft beer for 25 cents, mixed drinks for 50 cents, and three shots for a dollar as well as a light show and dancing. “For new wavers, mods, punks & rockers,” said the flyer.

Additionally, there is a poster from a free outdoor concert at Buffalo State College, where Green Jelly, then Green Jell-o, opened for The Ramones in 1985. The advertisement has the band names scratched in with a Sharpie, Green Jell-o filled in solid black and growing from the white box-letter Ramones text, as if Green Jell-o were a tree gaining its roots from The Ramones.

Kotas and candio contributed their designs for The Fems to the book and Keller designed for shows at Adventure Club and The Scrapyard, including multiple Goo Goo Dolls advertisements. Artist David Kane added many designs for the bands Erectronics, Alien Registration and Celibates as well as clubs like The Continental and Goodbar.

Kotas’ posters displayed the look of the busier designs that bands were using during that era, with little to no white space between the art and the words. Alternatively, Keller’s provide a look at the cleaner, more symmetrical designs, with each item of text receiving its own line above, around, or on top of the graphic. Kane’s and candio’s posters used color to their advantage, filling negative space in with black or gray as opposed to white and making many of his designs stand out.

The second-to-last page of the book features a newer poster, designed by Keller, advertising a Continental reunion at Town Ballroom March 15, 2013. On the back of the page is the raw sketch for the cover design, a punk-looking buffalo with The Continental logo beneath.

Underground Buffalo Rock Posters: The Continental and Beyond is available at Amazon.

By Dave Gil de Rubio

It’s been 20 years since the release of Dizzy Up the Girl, the Goo Goo Dolls’ multi-platinum sixth studio album, that yielded five Top 10 singles and signaled the commercial arrival of this Western New York outfit. Arguably one of the most successful post-grunge bands to emerge out of the ’90s, the Goos did not arrive fully formed. The early days of the band found them tagged as Replacements Lite (that group’s Paul Westerberg cowrote the 1993 single “We Are the Normal” off that year’s Superstar Car Wash) and they were actually college radio staples up through the early 1990s.

While the band’s latest road stint found them helming the Dizzy Up the Girl 20th Anniversary Tour, founding member Robby Takac is quick to point out that his band hasn’t forgotten its hardscrabble roots.

“The tour has been going great and we’ve been going out doing our best to play everything that everybody wants to hear every night. That’s sort of been our goal for the past few decades. With this new format of this show—going out and playing this whole Dizzy Up the Girl record—we got five of our pretty big songs out of the way really early in the set, so it really structured a really different kind of experience for us,” he said. “We would sort of put things together and there were two ways to go. We could play Dizzy and then nail everybody with a mini-set of super-hits and say goodbye. Or, we could go the opposite way and go a little deeper, which is what we decided to do. So we were a little skeptical as to how that was going to work. First off, we made sure to keep it in a little bit smaller places than we normally play. But it’s turned out great. People have been into the whole idea and it’s been a pleasant surprise for us for sure.”

While the release of Dizzy turned the Goo Goo Dolls into household names, the skids were greased by the release of “Iris,” a chart-topping power ballad released on the soundtrack to the 1998 film City of Angels. For Takac, he knew big changes were on the horizon for his group.

“We had already recorded ‘Iris’ and it was already sort of bubbling up as we were recording this album. I can remember sitting in the lounge of the studio and the Stanley Cup Finals were going on,” he recalled. “Somebody was skating around with a Stanley Cup over their head—I’m not a big sports fan, so I can’t really tell you who it was. But ‘Iris’ was playing on the background and as this was going on during the broadcast, I remember we were all looking at each other thinking how crazy that was. So we already knew that something was starting to happen a little bit. People were treating us differently.”

It was quite a change for the then-trio that got its start in Buffalo and took its name from an ad for a toy they saw in True Detective magazine. Too soft to be considered a hardcore punk band and too aggressive to be lumped into the alternative music camp, the threesome signed up with Metal Blade Records and worked hard on their craft, touring with everyone from Gang Green and Cannibal Corpse to cow-punk outfit The Gun Club. And while the band started out with the bass playing Takac as the lead singer, the vocal duties gradually shifted over to guitar player Johnny Rzeznik. It was all part of the learning curve and progression as a band that Takac acknowledges was needed.

“I just think [having John become the singer] was more of the journey of becoming a real band. We just had the unique or unfortunate opportunity of making that growth that most people do in private, on record. At the time, there was a scene that embraced what we were doing. I don’t know what kind of records we were trying to make back then. Even on our first record, I think we fancied ourselves a little bit more like The Cure than we really came off as. But it was what our tendencies took us to. But I think from that, John and I learned to stand in front of a room full of people in any situation and make this thing come down. I think that 10 or 12 years of knowledge contributed when it became crunch time and we really had to make it happen,” he said.

With 2019 looming, the Goo Goo Dolls are working on a follow-up to 2016’s Boxes and are set to make a major announcement for next summer. When asked about his band’s longevity, Takac pauses before acknowledging that the school of hard knocks he and Rzeznik attended helped forge their determination and hone their creative vision. “I think [our being an album band was] one of the things that sets us apart from a lot of the bands that were happening at that time. People sort of popped into that scene, when it became popular and I think we sort of rose into it as part of the journey here,” he said. “We love The Replacements, Bad Brains and The Clash and everybody that formed what we were doing early on. Especially John’s desire to move beyond what we were doing at the time, but at a reasonable pace, has led to this sort of growth over the past 30 years. And a lot of bands never get to realize that, so we’re pretty lucky in that way.”


Thanks to @debbieschorsh:

Thanks to Jeannie Hannah:

Thanks to @delilahmadness for this clip of So Alive:

And Better Days:

And Extra Pale:

Thanks to @terrysfour_mj for this clip of Notbroken:

Thanks to @dellp84:

By Tom Foster

Click through for video links:

It’s kind of funny to realize just how the Goo Goo Dolls got their name. They had a gig one night when they were still little more than a garage band and they hadn’t decided on a name for their group yet. So after looking in a True Detective magazine they saw an ad for something called a Goo Goo Doll and went with it. Apparently if they’d had just a few more minutes to really think about it they might have come up with a better name, in their estimation anyway. But eventually the name stuck and people came to know them in this manner so it was something that became more of a funny story than a wasted moment trying to come up with a suitable name.  To this date however they’re still one of the favorite bands of many people around the world and known to many more.

Here are a few of their songs as performed on TV and in movies

5. Family Guy – Iris

There was a time when Family Guy was considered to be the next big thing that was worse than The Simpsons or even South Park in some ways, and in truth it still has the Simpsons beat out for sheer audacity and controversial topics and material. But it’s also been widely embraced by so many that cancelling it wasn’t much of an option since there wasn’t a lot that could take its place if it would have been taken off. The family is like nothing that’s ever been seen before and yet they still bring in so many different parts of pop culture that it’s hard to condemn it completely.

4. Transformers – Before It’s Too Late

The initial Transformers movie was something that a lot of people loved since it brought one of peoples’ favorite cartoons to life and created a live-action show that managed to show the Transformers in all their glory. There were detractors of course, and some of them were even diehard fans of the series. But in all honesty this movie coming out was a turning point in films since unlike the animated version that was released many years earlier this brought the action to life in a way that hadn’t been done yet and introduced a new chapter in the history of the Transformers that hadn’t been seen yet.

3. WWE Christmas in Baghdad – Better Days

Despite being a business and being all about the ratings and the money at times, the WWE has still been seen as a charitable organization that has learned how to take care of people accommodate their needs and wishes in order to make them feel that they are in fact appreciated as fans. After all, without the fans the WWE isn’t much since it takes people watching and idolizing the stars and the business in order to make it work. Anything else and they would make no money and have no show to put on. That’s why appreciation for the troops and other shows like this are so important to the survival of the WWE.

2. Twister – Long Way Down

If you can imagine actually running TOWARDS a tornado or hurricane then this might be one of your favorite movies since it involves people that actually chase storms in an effort to find out more about them. In this movie there seems to be a lot of inaccuracies that were allowed to remain largely because it was meant for entertainment, but real storm chasers would no doubt be happy to point them out. Be that as it may, the whole movie was quite enjoyable since it kept up a rather interesting pace that would slow down occasionally as though to catch its breath, only to pick up and go again.

1. City of Angels – Iris

People believe that there are angels all around us at all times. In this movie that’s quite true as angels are to be found everywhere, watching, observing, and even influencing if they have to. But when one of them is seen by a mortal woman he finds himself falling in love, wishing to be with her since she saw him, which is something no human is supposed to be able to do. Eventually he gives up his life as an angel to be with her, but loses her not long after. The pain he endures is great, but through her mortality and his descent from his position he comes to find out just what being human means and why it’s so valued by those that are bound to exist as mortals.

One thing you can say about the Goo Goo Dolls’ music is that it has a lot of heart and is filled with passion. Iris spent at least 18 weeks at #1 on the charts and can still be heard over the radio today every now and again.

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