By Chuck Taylor
I first saw Goo Goo Dolls live in concert when they were touring with No Doubt and Bush, and made a stop at New Haven Coliseum on April, 12 1996. More than 23 years later, I got to see them again, Sunday (8/11/19) night at Mohegan Sun. And while they were certainly good the first time, now they show the poise of a band that is confident in what they’re doing, and has a little more experience playing live shows. And by a little, I mean a lot.
The crowd sang along to their classic song Name, which was the band’s only hit, and a recent one at that, the first time I saw them. Showing the stage presence that has undoubtedly come from over 30 years of performing live, founding members Johnny Rzeznik (lead vocals and guitar) and Robby Takac (vocals and bass) know what they’re doing on stage, and interject just the right amount of banter in between songs. They also have the luxury of choosing to play from a song catalog that now includes a significant number of awards and hit songs. As Takac once said, likely from the experience of the early days playing clubs around the Buffalo, New York area, “Don’t give people a chance to boo and throw things.”
In addition to their musical prowess, the group has taken on a number of charity initiatives. Over the years they have been involved with the Food Bank of Western NY and Compass House. The band has also volunteered their time to perform at events for ECHO, Light of Day, and other organizations. They have also contributed to causes like autism research and scholastic musical programs as well as participating in and donating to other charities. Additionally, Rzeznik is an ambassador for VH1’s Save the Music Foundation. and Takac is the founder of the Music is Art Foundation.