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With 25 years of musical synergy behind them, the Goo Goo Dolls will hit Madison Oct. 3 sporting new songs, hairstyles

A rush of energy passes through your body, electrifying every inch of your being. Screaming at the top of your lungs from the moment the curtain rises to the last note of your favorite song, you’ll look around at your friends and think, “I’ll never forget this show.”

You can’t download, stream, share or upload the experience of a live rock concert, and after 25 years of playing together the Goo Goo dolls have mastered the art of a great show. The Goo Goo dolls are set to perform Oct. 3 at the Overture Center for the Arts, Capitol Theater. The venue is standing room only, and the show will run for an estimated two hours. The Goos will be playing a dozen of their old songs and about six songs from the new album. After over two decades, there is over 20 years of music to choose from. For Robby Takak, singer and bassist for the Goos, that makes for a great show.

“In a lot of the cases you hear a band play, and you hear 70 minutes of acrobats and guitar solos and one song you heard from the radio,” Takak said. “And the problem for us sometimes is that we don’t always have enough time to play all of our hits and to me that’s an amazing problem to have.”

From being a scrappy punk-influenced band in the late ’80s to making chart-topping hits almost three decades later, it surprises Takak he is still playing songs he wrote 20 years ago. “We thought we would make a couple records and then find a new job,” Takak said. “I don’t think anyone thinks they are going to be sitting here talking about songs they wrote 20 years ago. At some point we thought life would intervene, and I’m very thankful it ended up to be this way.”

As the band finishes a show, they’re reminded of the impact their music has had on people’s lives. Although the songs haven’t changed, the band has. They’ve grown up, become a family as a band, formed their own families, but still continue to make and play music as if they were still three guys just starting off.

A major change after all these years for Takak is his hair. After a long-standing pre-show ritual of shaking out his hair, traditions have changed now that he has cut it all off.

“It smelled as much as I washed it,” Takak laughs. “When you get that big ball of…hair, you start finding change, fishing nets and the remote on your hair — my wife said she thought it was time to cut it off.”

A new ritual of putting in products and messing with his hair is now in place, but mostly he simply watches other people get ready and in the zone. And as the band changes their sound from punk to indie and then to rock, their live concert is what will become a lasting memory.

You can get a flashback to the first time you had a slow dance, strummed the chords of “Name” and head-banged to “January Friend.” It’s the permanent feeling that each song constructs.

“To me that’s a chance to get off your computer, get into the real world and get some real social action,” Takak said. “This is what’s left of the music industry, and it’s a very special thing to become familiar with a band and their songs. I think it’s a very potent experience; you don’t get that all the time with other folks.”
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