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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.

Santa Barbara:
S. Coots
M. Hanson
K. Hearn-Abbott
M.E. Jordan
J. Stephan
L. Swensrud
T. Tauriello
E. Wong

B. Major
M. Bardach
J. Bortz
E. Corradino
S. Cosgrove
L. Forsythe
C. Grady
N. Hilsabeck
P. Medina
P. Racosky
V. Sassenfeld
S. Schumacher
M. Trujillo
N. Van Cleave
C. Wood

J. Bender
S. Delano
E. Hayes
T. Hayes
Sheila K.
E. Moran
J. Savoy
S. Smith
T. Smith
M. Tichota
P. Whittemore
C. Zizah

J. Dean
J. Barry
A. Fox
N. Hartmann
M. Hartmann
L. Sams
D. Sullivan
A.-M. Walden

Airway Heights
E. Blessing
D. Dvorak
K. Entner
K. Mann
L. Mox
C. L. Reed
B. Von rader
S. Jones

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.”

Ticket sales start at noon venue local time Monday.  This has been updated on IM. 

You do not need a Bands in Town account but a Ticketmaster account is helpful.

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.

Click through for photo set:

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


By Katie Lauer:

There’s something innately familiar about a Goo Goo Dolls show.

It might be that their songs are bred into the DNA of anyone with a radio in the late 90s and early 2000s.

But, it might also simply be front man Johnny Rzeznik’s voice.

From one of the best first lyrics, “and I’d give up forever to touch you,” to even the quick “yeahs” he’d yell into the microphone between verses, his voice is its own instrument in the band’s beloved sound.

That familiarity only further lent itself to this tour, which was in honor of the 20th anniversary of their 1998 album, “Dizzy Up the Girl.”

“I’m f**king old,” Rzeznik said with a laugh, going on to say that people ask why they don’t just play some new shit.

But first – like anniversary tours that have come before – they played that album in its entirety for the first half on the sold-out show at the State Theatre in Downtown Minneapolis Saturday.

The tribute to the staple alt-rock album was not lost on the audience from the first song in, as the driving rock and response-worthy, back-up vocals within “Dizzy” kicked off the night.

But almost too quickly, the first “hit” of the night arrived, and the nostalgic triplet-esque opening riffs of “Slide” started. While he sang out about sliding into rooms, running away and getting married, the sounds of every instrument on stage were also married perfectly: the drums behind a sound wall weren’t overbearing; the two guitars complimented each other well; the keys provided wonderfully glittering backing riffs to the rock bops.

Bassist Robby Takac then took over lead vocals for “January Friend,” keeping everything aligned with the original recordings. While his voice is admittedly more punk and less crooning, he was no less a lead man with the sheer energy he had when bounding around stage or triumphantly throwing his fist in the air after each song.

Now back to the main front man, it would be a good time to mention that Rzeznik, himself, said he was “very, very high on cough medicine” onstage. But between occasional coughs, his vocals were seemingly flawless, so no one would’ve known.

Well, that is, apart from his monologue rants.

“I feel like one of those mumble rappers,” he said, wiggling all 10 fingers in the air. “Do you know what those are, you old people?”

He even went on to explain, PSA style, what “purple drank” is and why jolly ranchers are involved…

But despite any of these tangents, they just kept on playing through the 13 tracks of the album, and “Acoustic #3” was one of the highlights of the latter half, as Rzeznik said he wrote it with his mother in mind.

Then, it happened. A collective sigh could be felt when the beginning notes of the mandolin in “Iris” rang out. From the belting chorus and the heart-tearing verses, every word was sung along by everyone in the theater. During the solo breakdown, the band was even backlit with white lights, which gave the small theater a stadium feel.

It was a moment that, at its very essence, was pure nostalgia. At this point in their careers, the band must know it’s a moment concert goers look forward to, and the song did not disappoint.

A few songs later, Rzeznik was onstage alone with his guitar as he told the room that “this was one of the cities that opened up its arms to us before the rest of the world.”

After briefly chatting about how he thinks the world has changed, every opinion will always upset someone and that times were simpler, he then broke into (aptly timed) 2006’s “Better Days” and “Sympathy,” which is four years its senior.

His strong voice again shined as he played through his cold, as he has no problem playing with just his guitar. His incredible songwriting could just even more clearly be seen.

After playing so many hits, however, there was a bit of an energy lull for the next few tracks before “Name” brought it back again, and the show ended a handful of songs later.

But all in all, the tour stop was primarily a nod to “Dizzy Up the Girl,” which brought the Goo Goo Dolls into the musical forefront of the time; The night was evidence that the band perfected the art of the driving, heartfelt rock of the 90s and 2000s.

Their music has continued on since then, but the nostalgia trip was much appreciated at the State Theatre Saturday night.

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