Goo Goo Dolls ready to get intimate

InterviewApril 17, 2014Dayton Daily News

“The Otis Midnight Sessions” offers an intimate, acoustic show. Band’s bassist tells us what to expect.

By Ginny McCabe

Contributing Writer

The Goo Goo Dolls’ Friday night concert in Middletown has been sold out for weeks. We caught up with Goo Goo Dolls original member and bassist Robby Takac during rehearsals for “The Otis Midnight Sessions” to find out more about what fans can expect from the acoustic tour.

Takac said the concert will give the multiplatinum, Grammy-nominated band an opportunity to play many of the hits from their extensive song catalog, spanning from a nearly 30-year career history, in an intimate, “story tellers” format.

“These smaller venues, and the closeness of the audience, is going to show a lot of nuance in the songs, which you don’t necessarily get to showcase when you’re blasting it at over 100 decibels to people in a larger concert venue. We will be doing some of the big ones, as well as some of the songs that made their way out of our repertoire over the years,” he said.

“With over 25 years of albums that we’ve released, we’ve done a lot of acoustic material. But, we just don’t play the acoustic songs, some of the heavier songs are re-interpreted in an acoustic format. It’s going to be a great experience for fans, especially for those that know some of the earlier material,” Takac said.

Fronted by lead singer John Rzeznik, the tour supports the Goo Goo Dolls latest album, “Magnetic,” their 10th studio album, released last summer, and release of their live EP, “Warner Sound Sessions,” now available digitally on iTunes.

Recently the pop-rockers’ song “Iris” was ranked No. 1 on Billboard’s “Top 100 Pop Songs 1992–2012,” which also featured Goo Goo Dolls hits “Slide” and “Name.” Other hits by the band include “Broadway,” “Black Balloon,” “Here Is Gone,” Sympathy” “Stay With You” and “Better Days.”

“There’s a bunch of songs that we risk not making it out of the venue if we don’t play, so we make sure we play the ones that people are going to be disappointed if they miss. And, we try to play a pretty fair chunk of new music from our latest album. Then, there are some songs we love to play,” Takac said.

The song “Slide” is a favorite to play live, he said.

The band’s new EP features four tracks from “Magnetic” as well as a live version of “Slide.”

“We play ‘Slide,’ really early on in most of the sets. Everyone in the building knows that song. It’s like hitting the Nitro button on your dragster. All of the sudden, it’s like, whoosh and it takes off. It’s always a lot of fun to play that,” Takac said.

“It’s pretty cool. Run River North will be opening the show as well as playing with us during the show. They have some violin, mandolin and guitar players as well as some singers that will join us. We’re really excited, it’s going to be a great trip,” he continued.

Middletown is one of about a dozen cities to feature the spring acoustic tour, which kicked off on April 7 in Syracuse, New York. Reportedly, most of the shows have sold out in a day.

“The response to this show has been very satisfying. It is not often that we get an opportunity to present an act that is also playing Riverbend in the same season. They were looking to do an acoustic tour in smaller venues to provide an opportunity for their fans to see them in an intimate setting. We were fortunate to be offered this show,” said Howard Epstein, director, Miami University Regionals Artist Series, who confirmed MUM’s sell-out.

The band will be returning to the area this summer when they play Cincinnati’s Riverbend Music Center on Tuesday, July 1 with Daughtry and Plain White T’s.

How to go

What: Goo Goo Dolls present a spring acoustic tour, “The Otis Midnight Sessions,” with special guest Run River North. THE CONCERT IS SOLD OUT.

When: 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 25.

Where: Dave Finkelman Auditorium, Miami University Middletown, 4200 N. University Blvd., Middletown.

More info:, or call (513) 529-3200.

Band info: