Goo Goo Dolls bring a gutsy songbook to Hershey Theatre

NewsApril 7, 2010Unknown source

By DAVID N. DUNKLE, The Patriot-News

The Goo Goo Dolls bring a 24-year pedigree with them when they take the stage Tuesday night in Hershey Theatre. Once tabbed "America's best unknown band," singer/guitarist John Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin today have a track record of rock-solid albums and chart-topping singles.

The band, which formed in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1986, reportedly plucked its name from a magazine ad for a Goo Goo Doll toy. Although Rzeznik, 44, is unquestionably the star of the group, Takac and Malinin are full partners in the enterprise.

A new album, “Something for the Rest of Us,” is reportedly on the verge of release after issues of quality postponed it, and will become the group’s first album of original material in four years. “We are pretty close to being done,” Rzeznik said recently. “I’m sorry that it’s taken so long. The first production of the album was terrible and it didn’t work. And the record company told us we had to go back and fix it. So we had to literally go in and replay a bunch of instruments and re-cut a lot of stuff and put it all back together again. Now I think it’s there.”

The Goo Goo Dolls struggled in relative anonymity for years, but that began to change in the mid-1990s with the release of rock-solid albums like “Superstar Car Wash” and “A Boy Named Goo,” which showcased the band’s inviting blend of gutsy rock (“Girl Right Next to Me” and “Long Way Down”) and more temperate efforts like “Name” and “We Are the Normal.” The long climb to fame was completed in 1998 with the release of “Dizzy Up the Girl,” which sold more than 3 million copies and coincided with hit singles like “Name,” “Slide” and the No. 1 “Iris.”

Nine million albums later, the band’s popularity unquestionably has receded a bit, and it's hard to say where the band’s collective head is at these days — at least until “Something For The Rest Of Us” makes its long-awaited debut. But Tuesday’s concert in Hershey offers a chance to hear this under-appreciated band work through a surprisingly textured songbook, and to appreciate Rzeznik’s fine voice and formidable skill on guitar, as evidenced by the amazing riff that sneaks into the middle of “Long Way Down.”