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By Hannah Rishel
Collegian Staff Writer

The Goo Goo Dolls will “slide” into University Park tonight.

The alternative rock band will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Eisenhower Auditorium. The Spill Canvas will open the show. Tickets are $39.75 for orchestra and grand tier seats and $34.75 for balcony seats. At press time, tickets were still available in both price levels.

The Goo Goo Dolls — comprised of vocalist and guitarist John Rzeznik, vocalist and bassist Robby Takac and drummer Mike Malinin — formed in 1986 in Buffalo, N.Y.

The band gained notoriety in the ‘90s with radio hits such as “Iris,” “Slide” and “Broadway.”

The band recently released its ninth studio album, “Something for the Rest of Us,” which its members are promoting on the tour, though they will also play older hits.

“It evens out to 15 songs from past CDs and six songs from the new album,” Takac said. “I hate when I go to concerts and bands don’t play the songs fans want to hear. I think that’s arrogant.”

He said he knows fans have personal attachment to their songs and spent “hard-earned money” on the ticket to hear them.

“I don’t want the crowd walking out saying, ‘This sucks, they didn’t play “Slide.’ How many people would say that? Probably the whole audience,” Takac said.

While the band is better known for its older songs, Takac said he and his bandmates are lucky enough to have fans who have followed them through the years.

“Every record is the next step,” he said. “We hope to make one a little more smarter than the one before. We try to make natural strides. If you look from when the band started to now, obviously the band has matured, but I think we’re doing it at a comfortable pace.”

In 24 years of performing together, the Goo Goo Dolls has played small clubs and large stadiums.

“In this day and age, we often do more summer tours in larger venues,” Takac said. “But our theater runs are more focused shows and less of a circus.”

John Mark Rafacz, editorial manager at the Center for Performing Arts, said tonight’s venue fits into that goal.

“Eisenhower is more intimate than the Bryce Jordan Center,” Rafacz said. “The audience members in the orchestra seating are going to have an intimate experience with the band that they wouldn’t have in a larger venue.”

He said the CPA is “really happy” to have the Goo Goo Dolls because the show will attract a different audience than the people who usually attend Eisenhower shows.

A portion of these fans will be college students, who grew up listening to their music.

Rachel Wolin, who saw the Goo Goo Dolls at Jones Beach in New York this past summer and has plans to attend the show at Eisenhower, first heard “Iris” with a friend about five years ago and started listening to more of their songs after that.

“I really like their style of music, because they have so many songs I can identify with, through lyrics and meaning,” Wolin (sophomore-elementary education) said. “It’s rare to find a group who has continued to make good music for so many years without always being the most popular group.”

She said picking a favorite song is a “tough call,” but she likes the meaningful “Black Balloon.”

Takac said “weighing the good things with the bad” is a large reason why the band has stayed together for 24 years.

Takac said he considers himself lucky to be part of a band that makes it work.

“It’s a delicate balance of understanding and completely ignoring the people around you,” Takac said. “In the course of any relationship things are done and said that you might not agree with, but you need to let go and move on.”
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