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Dolls, Crows Making Fast Friends On Tour

Of the Oakland Press

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Four weeks into their joint summer tour, Counting Crows and the Goo Goo Dolls are having a ball “Hanginaround” together.

“They’re real gentle men and regular guys,” says Crows keyboardist

Charlie Gillingham.

“It feels to me like they’re just close, old friends and good guys. Everything seems really nice.”

Goos frontman Johnny Rzeznik, meanwhile, says he’s especially enjoying being on the road with his Crows counterpart, singer Adam Duritz, who apparently brings a few virtues to the proceedings.

“He’s just a super mellow, cool guy — all those guys are pretty mellow,” says Rzeznik, 40. “I’m a fan of his songwriting, and I gotta tell ya, wherever that guy shows up, tons of girls show up. That’s a plus, y’know?”

The two groups aren’t on the road just for a good time, though. Each has something new, albeit considerably different, to promote.

The Goos are hawking their 11th album, “Let Love In,” which came out in April and debuted at No. 9 on the Billboard 200 chart. Though its members now live in Los Angeles, the group went back to its native Buffalo, N.Y., to write and record most of the album, and Rzeznik says that working there — the better part of a decade after he moved

— had a settling and calming effect. “It really made me feel a lot

of things, like when I was 18 and 19 and living there,” he says. “But this time I knew how to handle them; I could handle myself emotionally in a better way, obviously, ’cause I’ve been out in the world doing it.

“It made me feel strong, being home and being that close to the foundation of myself.”

The Crows, on the other hand, are in the midst of recording a new album, the band’s eighth. Gillingham reports the group recorded nine songs in New York last month and plan to continue working on material after the tour wraps in September.

“We have several early concepts of what we’re going to do,” he notes. “One is we’re going to try to do an electric side and an acoustic side and kind of separate them, like an old vinyl album. But we’re still talking about it. It’s all pie in the sky.”

For now, however, the Crows have dipped into their vaults for “New Amsterdam — Live at Heineken Music Hall,” a 2003 concert that Gillingham, 46, considers “a typical show” the band deemed worthy of mass distribution.

“It was recorded well,” he explains, “and everybody plays really well. A lot of people like our live shows; they’re fi lled with improvisations and new arrangements and oddball covers and everything, so it’s the kind of thing people like to have when we put them out.

“This is just another one of those, really, nothing special beyond that.”

Counting Crows, the Goo Goo Dolls and the Working Title perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday (July 21st) at DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road north of I-75, Independence Township. Tickets are $49.50-$67.50 pavilion, $27.50 lawn. Call (248) 377-0100 or visit

Web Site: www.palacenet.com

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