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Goo Goo Dolls back to giving fans a good time

Chapman Baehler
The Goo Goo Dolls

Matchbox Twenty and Goo Goo Dolls

When: 7 p.m. June 29

Admission: $30-$115

Where: First Niagara Pavilion, Burgettstown

Details: 800-745-3000 or

Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Now that the Goo Goo Dolls' brand-new album is out, bassist and vocalist Robby Takac says that fans can expect a good time. The band's three members sure are happy.

“Magnetic” came out on June 11 and debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard Top 200 Chart, and the record sold almost 29,000 copies the first week. The album's first single, the sunny and cheerful “Rebel Beat,” slowly climbed the adult contemporary charts.

Now, the Goo Goo Dolls are touring and co-headlining a summer tour with Matchbox 20 — coming to the First Niagara Pavilion on June 29 — to promote the new album, which is notably different than recent past work. “Magnetic” captures the light, optimistic pop sounds from the band's earlier work in the '90s, rather than the more-serious, more-melancholy “Something for the Rest of Us,” which came out in 2010.

“I think we felt that the last couple of records got a little dark,” Takac says. This album is “more upbeat and positive, and less brooding.”

Members of the band that originated in Buffalo, N.Y., also took a different approach to recording “Magnetic.” The Goo Goo Dolls used to write a bunch of songs and go into the studio to record them. With this album, the band would write a song, make a demo, then play and record it.

“We had a different approach to this entirely,” Takac says. “We went in one at a time.”

It's not just the sunny nature of the songs on “Magnetic” that is exciting the Dolls, though: Exciting things are happening in their personal lives, too. John Rzeznik — the band's primary singer, songwriter and guitarist — is marrying longtime girlfriend Melina Gallo this summer. Takac and his wife — Miyoko, who is from Japan — are parents to baby girl Hana, who is about 16 months old. It is the couple's first child.

“It's a whole new experience,” Takac says. “It's the most awesomely exciting, terrifying thing that I've ever done.”

Yes, even compared to performing in front of thousands of people. That is “nothing compared to pressure from ... a very little girl, that's for sure.”

The Dolls first formed in the mid-'80s with original drummer George Tutuska, whom Mike Malinin replaced in the mid-'90s. The band started with a name unfit to print, but adopted their oddball Goo Goo Dolls name after a band member saw a magazine ad for a toy called a Goo Goo Doll. Under pressure from an impending gig to change names, the band chose that name on the spot and it stuck.

“Sometimes, we wish we would have had 10 more minutes,” Takac says jokingly.

His Buffalo roots, shared by artists including Ani DiFranco, don't produce a certain kind of music sound, but the hard-driving spirit is similar, Takac says.

“It's a very small market,” he says about Buffalo. “The one thing they have in common is ... the work ethic: Make it happen at all costs.”

Kellie B. Gormly is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at or 412-320-7824.

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