Goo Goo Dolls launch ‘DUTG’ anniversary tour with sold-out show in Phoenix

The Goo Goo Dolls kicked off a tour celebrating the 20th anniversary of their biggest-selling album, “Dizzy Up the Girl,” at the Van Buren Sunday with a sold-out show that started with them playing that entire album with the cover art projected on the screen behind them.

They came back for a second set of 13 songs that started with John Rzeznik interacting with a video projection of himself and playing three songs accompanied by that projection.

The Dolls were clearly into the nostalgic possibilities of celebrating the songs that made it possible for them to still play sold-out shows two decades down the road from that quadruple-platinum triumph.

And it showed in the enthusiasm Rzeznik and the other Goo Goo Doll who’s been on board from the beginning, bassist Robby Takac, brought to the proceedings.

He and Takac launched the Goo Goo Dolls in 1986, 12 years before the album they were there to celebrate.

“It is amazing that our relationship has lasted longer than most marriages,” Rzeznik said after leading the crowd in a spirited singalong on “Slide,” the second second song on “Dizzy Up the Girl.”

And he didn’t just mean him and Takac. He meant him and Takac and the fans who made a meaningful enough connection with those early records to keep coming back for more.

You could hear that in the singalongs.

By now, the Dolls have played the four hit singles from the album – “Iris,” “Slide,” “Black Balloon” and “Broadway” – more than 1,000 times each.

But there were other songs they hadn’t played live since the early 2000s (“Bullet Proof,” Amigone,” “Full Forever” and the album-closing “Hate This Place”).

They even had to relearn one song that they hadn’t touched since the recording session — “Extra Pale,” which sounded great.

After “Black Balloon,” Rzeznik told the crowd, “This is our first night on this tour, so if we (expletive) something up, just please understand. If you come see us in a week, we’ll be way better.”

The Dolls are touring as a five-piece with second guitarist Brad Fernquist, keyboardist Jim McGorman and drummer Craig MacIntyre rounding out the lineup.

Together, they managed the delicate balance of bringing the music to life in a way that was true to the sound of record while still tearing it up like a live rock-and-roll band.
The Goo Goo Dolls perform in Phoenix at The Van Buren for their Dizzy Up the Girl tour launch, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

Rzeznik’s solos, in particular, were electrifying, especially on “All Eyes On Me” “Hate This Place.”

He did most of the talking. He even cleared up who the woman on the album cover is.

“Everybody asks us about her,” Rzeznik said, going on to explain that she was the photographer’s assistant. “She was just lying on the bed because she was tired,” he said, “and they took a picture.”

He also recalled the making of the record.
The Goo Goo Dolls perform in Phoenix at The Van Buren for their Dizzy Up the Girl tour launch, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

“It was sort of the first time that we could make a real record,” he said, “with real producers and cocaine if we wanted. It was very exciting. But when I found out how much the cocaine cost, I was like ‘(Expletive) that. no way. Let’s just get a bottle of vodka.'”

It’s a very special album for Rzeznik, one that marked an important transition “from being a naive kid to being a naive adult and just trying to not get completely cynical along the way.”

He had to learn how to survive, Rzeznik said, in a world where all of the sudden, everybody treats you differently because you’ve had a big hit record.

“And you haven’t really changed,” he said, “but the people around you do.”

So he circled the wagons, he said, and the Goo Goo Dolls became more insular.

“I think that’s part of the reason we managed to stick it out for the last 20 years,” he said.

Then as Takac walked over, he added, to rousing applause, “I came into this with him. I guess I’ll go out of it with him. Because at this point, it’s like 80-year-old people getting divorced. Why?”

The second set off to a surreal, ridiculously entertaining start with “Better Days,” “Can’t Let It Go” and “Two Days in February,” performed by Rzeznik and that video projection of himself.

Then the other Goo Goo Dolls returned to rock their way through “Fallin’ Down,” “Lucky Star” and “Stop the World” from 1993’s on-the-verge-of-making-it “Superstar Car Wash” album. (It’s not too late to come back with a 25th anniversary tour on that one, guys).

“Name,” their breakthrough single from “A Boy Named Goo,” touched off a massive singalong, of course.
The Goo Goo Dolls perform in Phoenix at The Van Buren for their Dizzy Up the Girl tour launch, Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018.

Then, after dusting off two relatively recent songs, “Think About Me” and “Notbroken,” they went back to the old-school, bringing the set to a raucous conclusion with “Another Second Time Around” and “There You Are” (from 1990’s “Hold Me Up”).

The encore started with a funky “Big Machine” and they signed off with a great choice, an anthemic “Flat Top” from “A Boy Named Goo” that climaxed with Rzeznik tearing it up on lead guitar over a classic garage-rock rave-up ending.

Set 1 setlist




“January Friend”

“Black Balloon”

“Bullet Proof”


“All Eyes On Me”

“Full Forever”

“Acoustic #3”


“Extra Pale”

“Hate This Place”
Set 2

“Better Days”

“Can’t Let It Go”

“Two Days in February”

“Fallin’ Down”

“Lucky Star”

“Stop the World”


“Think About Me”


“Another Second Time Around”

“There You Are”

“Big Machine”

“Flat Top”

**Hit Link for some awesome photos**

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