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The biggest musical act possibly ever to hail from Buffalo comes home Friday, Oct. 19 through Sunday, Oct. 21. The Goo Goo Dolls return to Shea’s Performing Arts Center 20 years removed from their release of “Dizzy Up The Girl” to perform the record in its entirety, plus an additional set of surprises.

“We’re playing a whole bunch of songs we haven’t played in a long time,” said bassist Robby Takac. “Which I think is pretty awesome. I guess going out on a theater tour like this, I would say probably 80 percent of the shows are sold out already, which is pretty exciting, and playing the whole “Dizzy” record, it’s kind of crazy. We’ve never done anything like that before, so it’ll be a new experience for us, too.”

Takac and frontman Johnny Rzeznik kicked off the tour in Phoenix, Ariz. this past Sunday, Sept. 30. “Dizzy Up The Girl,” released on Sept. 22, 1998, sold more than 6 million albums worldwide, going 4x platinum with five top-10 singles.

“It seems like a lifetime ago, but it seems like yesterday,” Takac said. “A lot’s happened since we put that record out, for sure, but I think we’ve have a pretty good run at it since then and there’s a lot of folks who are still with us, enjoying what we do, coming out to the shows and such, so I think it’s going to be great.”

They were scheduled to perform at Shea’s on Friday and Saturday, but added Sunday’s show as well, following a cancelation of their Toronto show at the Rebel Complex due to unforeseen circumstances.

At last year’s show at Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, Rzeznik said that it’s always a bigger challenge playing for the home crowd in Buffalo.

“Anywhere else you play, you might recognize a person or two when you’re there playing,” Takac said. “In Buffalo, it quite literally happens numerous times a song, where you’re like, ‘Oh, my God, I haven’t seen that guy, Oh, my God, I owe him 20 bucks.’ There’s all of this other stuff that’s going through your head as you’re playing.”

Having been around for 32 years, the Goo Goo Dolls have seen fans of all ages, from grandparents, to kids they refer to as “carseat hostages,” as they grew up listening to their songs and they don’t know a world without the band.

“I was talking to this lady at a meet and greet the other day and she brought her kid and her kid was maybe 17- punk rock kid- he was just so unbelievably blown away,” Takac said. “His mother turned him onto our earlier records and it was like a gateway for him. And now he’s along for the ride. It’s fun to see.”

He added that the older the pair gets, the tougher it gets physically to perform, despite not drinking 18 beers and staying up until 6 a.m. every day like they used to. Additionally, he said it is difficult to fit in in a world where the radio is full of mumble rap.

“We’ve seen a lot of stuff come and go,” Takac said. “And for us you just try to stay consistent and explore some new avenues, and like I said hope people come along with you for the ride.”

Takac, a West Seneca East and Medaille College alumnus, is excited to return to his hometown for the three-show series.

“Obviously, the Buffalo crowds are great. They’ve been with us for an awfully long time. We’ve had a pretty great relationship with Western New York over the last 20 years,” he said. “And this’ll be a pretty special moment for us. I’m glad we can do a couple nights in a row in Buffalo, too. It’s going to be a great experience for everybody.”
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