Robby's Lobby #170Blog • August, 2021 • INROCK Magazine
Hey Hey In Rockers and Welcome to The Lobby here in the pages of the mighty In Rock! I’ve been coming to you for years and years now filling you in on the goings on of myself and my band, The Goo Goo Dolls as we make our way through life with it’s ups, downs and all the rest! The Oympics are about to happen in Japan as the world waits to see how the games are presented through this pandemic and we in the music business are doing the same. The surge in cases has slowed here in the US by nearly 90% and we’re starting to see tours and shows happening in venues across the country. The GGDS Summer 2021 North American tour was once again postponed to 2022, but we are seeing some random dates pop up on our calendar during the summer of 2021 including a show with one of my favorite bands, Cheap Trick in Michigan and a performance at Milwaukee’s legendary Summerfest show which is billed as the world’s largest music festival.
But I was finally able to step on a stage for a moment last night for the first time in a long time with some friends of mine here in my hometown of Buffalo NY, they’re called KISS THIS, and they are a KISS tribute band. I recorded with them last year for a charity album. I sang the song Hard Luck Woman in front of a crowd of fueled up KISS fans (they were in full KISS makeup …. I was not) and I have to say it felt pretty great being out in front of people here again making some rock. I’ve included a photo from the show and I have to say, I’m really, really excited to get back out there and have some fun, it’s been way too long.
I’m furiously preparing for the 19th Annual Music is Art Festival here in Buffalo, our staff and committees are readying their rosters of performers for the largest one day presentation of music, art, dance and general creativity here in our Western New York community. I know I mention this every year as we prepare for this huge yearly event, and I guess after all of this time I tend to assume that the readers know about MiA. But I realized that’s probably not the case, so here’s a short primer. I started Music is Art in 2002 as a small festival outside my recording studio, it was scheduled during an art festival in my neighborhood which had run for nearly a century featuring largely traditional arts and crafts and no music at all. We figured it was a good opportunity to showcase some bands and some “more edgey” artists that lived in a different culture than most of the artists displaying at the existing festival.
Our little festival was met with opposition from the existing festival and the local arts and music community rushed to our side to help keep the event on track. The first festival had 2 stages and a handful of artists. This year, 19 years later, we feature 21 stages of music, art, dance and so much more such as live artists, gymnasts, clowns, punk rockers, performance artists and more gathering to celebrate the culture and creativity of Buffalo, NY’s diverse arts community.
We went on to form a not for profit organization with an amazing board of directors and a whole bunch of committees running various not for profit programming which runs throughout the whole year. With programs such as band camps, mentoring, battle of the bands, musician alliances and so much more. All the programs are run by a very small group of paid employees and a huge group of volunteers and members who understand the value of the arts and music opportunity in the community. We’re entering our 19th year and have brought much of the festival to the internet since we discovered the value of having an outreach internationally for our mostly regional organization! The g=festival is on September 11th this year and I hope you join us to take a look at musicisart.org.
Don’t forget to pick up the Goo Goo Dolls “Rarities” album, which is out this week, a cool collection of B-sides and unreleased gems from our past. It’s a cool listen and a good piece of red meat to chew on as we work on our new album here in the states! That’s it for this month and I look forward to joining you again next month here in the pages of the mighty In Rock …..