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WHEN/WHERE: 8 p.m. Sunday at the F.M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts

THE SHORT WORD: Doing a short tour of colleges and theaters while the finishing touches are applied to its latest record, multi-platinum trio Goo Goo Dolls delighted a nearly sold-out F.M. Kirby Center audience Sunday, keeping the crowd on its feet from the start. The trio of John Rzeznik (lead vocals, guitar), Robby Takac (bass) and Mike Malinin (drums) played crowd-pleasing versions of all of its hits including “Slide,” “Better Days,” and “Name.” New songs “Home” and “One Night” sounded like vintage Goo Goo Dolls and should soon join the ranks of the band’s greatest hits.

The Rocket Summer opened the show with an energetic and melodic 10-song set, highlighted by the strong vocals and multi-instrument skills of frontman Bryce Avary.

THE HIGHLIGHTS: Highlights of the opening set by The Rocket Summer included “Walls” and “I Need A Break…But I’d Rather Have a Breakthrough.” Goo Goo Dolls’ highlights included the songs listed above, plus “Stay With You” and “Black Balloon” as the audience hit black balloons around the theater. As of 10:30, the band still hadn’t gotten to its biggest hit “Iris,” but it was only a matter of time.

THE SURPRISES: The Rocket Summer’s Avary played drums, keyboards, bass and guitar on one song, and played an acoustic guitar while standing on the seats of the sixth row.

FAST FACTS: Goo Goo Dolls got together in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1986 and first hit the national charts in 1995 with “Name.” The group’s biggest hit is 1998’s “Iris” from the “City of Angels” soundtrack, which was No. 1 for 18 weeks and was nominated for three Grammy awards. The band’s two most recent hits were 2007’s “Before It’s Too Late” from the first “Transformers” film and 2008’s “Real.” The group has finished recording its ninth studio album, “Something For The Rest Of Us,” which is scheduled to be released in June.

THE CROWD: According to a Kirby Center official, there were just over 1,750 in attendance Sunday night.

UP NEXT: Goo Goo Dolls will be at the Hershey Theatre in Hershey on Tuesday. The next concert at the Kirby Center is The Disco Biscuits on Friday, April 23.

- Brad Patton

Source: http://www.timesleader.com/entertainment/WHEN_WHERE___04-11-2010.html
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