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Goo Goo Dolls at DTE, 5 Things to Know

By Gary Graff
ggraff@medianewsgroup.com, @GraffonMusic on Twitte

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Goo Goo Dolls are not particularly prone to letting things "Slide," as it were.

During the past few years, for instance, the duo of Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac -- formed in Buffalo during the mid-80s -- released a pair of studio albums and an EP, celebrated the 20th anniversary of its multi-platinum "Dizzy Up the Girl" and recorded yet another album, "Miracle Pill," that's due out later this year. The title track is already out as a single, while the Goos are back on the road track with Train.

It's a lot of work in a short amount of time, but the group's blue-collar, Rust Belt work ethic still wins out...

Rzeznik, 53, says by phone that the tour with Train is "something I've been trying to get up for awhile, both these bands playing together. I feel like both of our bands have had really long careers with some highs and lows in them, and I think that's definitely a good thing. You can't predict what's going to happen, but I guess we're both very lucky in that way."

There's also commonality between the two bands, which each have harder rocking roots (the Goos even in punk) that morphed into more polished, commercial sounds. "Y'know, I'm true believer in changing things up and experimenting with stuff," Rzeznik explains. "(Train) definitely took a leap like we did, too, and it worked. At this point in my career I feel like the things that are more important is, 'Am I happy with this thing I created? Did it satisfy me when I left the studio? How much effort did I put into writing it?'"

Rzeznik says that touring to celebrate "Dizzy Up the Girl" during 2018 had a marked impact on the upcoming "Miracle Pill." "I had a lot of fun doing that tour. In a lot of ways, for me, it was a way to just sort of shut the door on that whole thing and move on. As soon as I got done with that tour I started writing for this (new) record and was blown away by how fast everything got done. Usually I'll take a little time off and just sit around having anxiety attacks. But with this album I just started collecting ideas and started writing and recorded as we were doing along. It was pretty painless."

The upbeat "Miracle Pill" finds Rzeznik ruminating on social media and what he feels is its outsized impact and influence. "It's just this level of instant gratification -- 'I'm not lonely. I have 5,000 friends on Facebook.' Well, maybe you are lonely. Connections with people are being replaced by these little digital things and likes and all that kind of stuff. I don't think it's good for people to derive their self-worth from the outside in; You need to develop what's on the inside out. If is completely an inside job, and in order to be truly happy and satisfied you've got to work on yourself and push your identity out from the inside."

Twenty years ago the Goos performed as part of one of the Woodstock 30th anniversary festivals, playing at the original site in Bethel, N.Y. "I remember our keyboard player blew his knee out while he was playing tambourine, and he collapsed on stage and the medics had to come," Rzeznik says. "But it was amazing to play in front of that many people. I don't think they could ever recapture what happened at the original (festival), but it was a fun day. And I finally got to meet Joey Ramone, and that was interesting to just sit and talk with him."

Goo Goo Dolls, Train and Allen Stone perform Tuesday, July 23 at the DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sashabaw Road east of I-75, Independence Township. $29.50 and up. 313-471-7000 or 313Presents.com.

Web Site: www.313Presents.com

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