Goo Goo Dolls have a history
IF YOU GO
Who: The Goo Goo Dolls
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City, 351 Canal Road, Cleveland
Tickets: $25 to $128 at Ticketmaster outlets
By JOHN BENSON
Goo Goo Dolls singer-guitarist John Rzeznik is well aware of his alternative band’s image. In fact, from a stylistic standpoint, that’s the impetus behind the group’s new album, “Something for the Rest of Us,” which is due out in late August.
“We’re sort of known for our ballads, and that’s something we do,” said Rzeznik, calling from a tour stop in Arkansas. “I’m not ashamed for that, but a lot of people have this impression of us as being a very soft, mellow, acoustic band. And it’s like there’s a lot of material that’s really more rock-oriented. I just hope it gets to see more light.”
So far, getting the spotlight is the new album’s lead single, “Home,” which is an uptempo affair that Rzeznik describes as the band’s first straight-ahead rocker that went to radio in a long time. For diehard fans of the act, this upbeat sound is nothing new; however, those same folks are going to show their age when they talk about the old Goo Goo Dolls days before the Buffalo-based band’s breakout 1995 album “A Boy Named Goo.”
Rzeznik is excited about the Goo Goo Dolls’ new tour, which comes to Cleveland for a Saturday show at the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater at Tower City, because the group is digging into its 1993 album “Superstar Carwash” for the underrated song “We are the Normal.”
“It’s really cool to go back as far as ‘Superstar Carwash,’” Rzeznik said. “As for the material on the albums before that, people say to me, ‘Why don’t you play stuff off your first two records? And I always say, ‘Well, it’s for the same reason I don’t play with G.I. Joe dolls anymore.’ I’m grown up, and it seems kind of silly playing a song called ‘Livin’ in a Hut.’”
The songs that Rzeznik can relate to are Goo Goo Dolls’ hits “Name,” “Naked,” “Iris,” “Slide” and “Dizzy.” The 44-year-old realizes those are the tunes that turned this relatively obscure punk-leaning band into an adult-contemporary, platinum and headlining act.
Albeit from a hair metal, guitar-heavy rocking beginning, the evolution of Bon Jovi into soccer-mom act is similar to the Goo Goo Dolls’ transformation.
“I wish we were on the level of Bon Jovi,” Rzeznik said. “We opened for those guys on one of their tours and man, the guy brings it every night. I was never a Bon Jovi fan, either. But when you see it live, you’re like, ‘Holy crap.’ Whether you like it or not, you have to admit it was an event. With us, I’m just happy whenever somebody shows up to see us play. And now they’re going to get a big, fat rock show. That’s what we’re out for, to show people a good time.”