Goo Goo Dolls say they like small venues

Tara Bradbury
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'Makes the show feel like we're all at the same party'

Goo Goo Dolls perform tonight and Tuesday at The Delta hotel in St. John's and Wednesday at the Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor.

Every time Goo Goo Dolls plans to come to this province, the band brings bad weather forecasts.

 Last Labour Day weekend the band was slated to perform at the Rockin’ the Upper East Side music festival in Mount Pearl, but the outdoor show was cancelled when hurricane Earl was predicted to hit (it ended up passing us by).

 This time around, the band was extra late arriving, thanks to the 20 centimetres of snow it brought with it.

 “I’m from Buffalo, N.Y. — I know what winter is like,” lead Goo Goo Doll John Rzeznik told The Telegram last fall, when he said he was planning to include St. John’s among the first of the band’s Canadian tour dates, which started last month.

 Goo Goo Dolls will perform tonight and Tuesday night at the Delta hotel in St. John’s and Wednesday at Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium in Grand Falls-Windsor.

 The gigs are part of the Canadian leg of a tour in support of the band’s latest CD, “Something for the Rest of Us,” released last August, and are among a number of smaller-market stops, which also include Charlottetown, P.E.I. and St. John, New Brunswick.

 “I want to play every place in Canada that we can,” Rzeznik told The Telegram in a recent phone interview from California. “We haven’t done a really big tour of Canada, and it hit us: why are we not doing it? Canada is a really good market for us.”

 While the Dolls are also playing the big-crowd venues like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, it’s the tinier places that the members — Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin — are particularly looking forward to.

 “The smaller venues are more intimate,” Rzeznik explained, adding they often draw an especially enthusiastic crowd. “It tends to make the show feel like we’re all at the same party.”

 Recorded during the summer of 2009, “Something for the Rest of Us” is the Dolls’ ninth studio album. On it, Rzeznik, who wrote or co-wrote all the songs, took a personal and sometimes a political view in his writing, saying he wanted to speak to the “emotional uncertainty and anger of the hard times we live in, whether related to war, the economy or something else.

Love songs reminiscent of 1998’s No. 1 hit “Iris” abound on the CD, and arrangements include strings. 

Rzeznik’s personal favourite song, “Notbroken,” has become the second-most downloaded Goo Goo Dolls song on iTunes ever, after “Iris.” The song is based on the story of a woman Rzeznik met during a meet-and-greet with fans, who told him of her soldier husband, injured in Iraq and too embarrassed to come home.

The Dolls have been performing in the States since the CD was released, and have had a run in the U.K.

 “We’re happy with how everything’s been going,” Rzeznik said. “There have been good reviews and bad reviews, but the feedback from our fans has been great, and they’re the ones that matter the most.”

 Goo Goo Dolls are headed back to the States once their Canadian tour ends in early March, and will do a short college tour before hitting the European festival circuit in the spring and summer.

 While tickets for Tuesday’s show in St. John’s are sold out, tickets for tonight’s show as well as the Grand Falls-Windsor concert are still available online at

 Twitter: tara_bradbury

Organizations: Goo Goo Dolls, The Telegram, Delta hotel

Geographic location: California, Canada, Mount Pearl Buffalo, N.Y. Joe Byrne Memorial Stadium Grand Falls-Windsor.The Charlottetown P.E.I. New Brunswick Montreal Toronto Vancouver Iraq U.K. Grand Falls

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Recent comments

  • lynne
    February 08, 2011 - 00:02

    If you're a Goo Goo Dolls fans you don't care what size venue they play in. I would rather see them ina 2000 seat venue than 20,000 seat venue. After 25 years they are still turning out hits and touring. How many other bands have had a career that has spanned that long.

  • Jeanna from Wyo
    February 07, 2011 - 14:27

    ANON apparently doesn't realize you need to press flesh to sell records! Goo Goo Dolls are hardly washed up with more hits in adult contemporary top 40 than any other American band!. They are great musicians with a brilliant management team who recognize the value of playing small venues in a tight economy! Our friends to the North are so won't want to miss this goo'rreat rockin' tour!

    • Shane Akers
      February 07, 2011 - 20:07

      First of all on VH1 Top 20 Johnny said he got a letter (Fan mail) from a woman he never met and thats where he got the idea of the song. That 's coming from his mouth!

  • Anon
    February 07, 2011 - 11:53

    I'm always suspicious when I hear a band like the Goo Goo Dolls talk about how they prefer smaller venues because of the "intimacy". What I'm actually hearing is "We're washed up and we're darn lucky we can still sell out a small venue in St. John's, NL". St. John's is where you get to see your favorite band 10 years after they've gone out of style.