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Fans responding well to latest album, which will be heard here next week at concert with The Spill Canvas

There was a time when burly security guards at rock concerts stopped fans from carrying in cameras, and especially recording devices.

But the tidal wave of cell phones equipped with photo and video capabilities changed all that, tucked in nearly everyone's pockets. Security gave up trying to control the sea of glowing screens held above fans' heads recording portions of concerts.

Nervous old-school record company executives probably didn't foresee a benefit to the phenomena, like the videos posted online that made hits out of the Goo Goo Dolls' new songs, and eventually their new album. Music from the band's latest, "Something for the Rest of Us," was all over the Internet before the album was released this fall.

Hear some of those songs when the Goo Goo Dolls play Augustana College in Sioux Falls on Monday, with openers The Spill Canvas. The Goo Goo Dolls say they'll keep playing a half dozen songs from the new project, just as they did at during almost 100 live shows before the project was released.

"So, thanks to a thousand crappy cell-phone videos from those shows, people online got excited about what we're doing," Goo Goo Dolls' bassist and sometimes lead vocalist Robby Takac recently said by phone from California.

The new album debuted at No. 7 on the Billboard Top 200 album chart in August.

"When we're playing somewhere, and there's 1,000 kids mouthing the words to a song that has not even come out yet, your heart gets a little bit warmer," said Takac, one of the founding members of the band with Johnny Rzeznik.

"We haven't seen anything like this in the past five years," Takac said. "It's turned out to be sort of a new model for us, you know, getting people excited about these songs before they are released."

The push also landed the band on lots of TV shows, most recently on the finale of "America's Got Talent," on "Lopez Tonight" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."
The Spill Canvas

Opening act The Spill Canvas, Sioux Falls musicians, have been fun to have along on the national tour, he said.

"This is the second leg of The Goo Goo Dolls tour for The Spill - the band wanted them back out with them," said Nikki Herceg, The Spill Canvas spokeswoman at Reprise Records, the band's label. "So far, the Spill's total albums sold has hit 250,000."

Takac says the locally based band has been fun on tour.

"They're good dudes, man, and we loved having them out with us, and they're back on this entire late-summer to fall tour," Takac said. "We were out with Switchfoot as well, and they're all the most mellow bunch of dudes I've ever been with in my life. We decided that's not a bad way to spend the fall, so we make a good package."

The Spill Canvas released singles online and smaller groupings of new songs before releasing its new, full-length album, "Formalities," this summer. They played the Sioux Empire Fair on Aug. 13 on a double bill with Lifehouse.

Takac and Goo Goo Dolls' lead singer and songwriter Rzeznik have been the core of the three-piece band since they started in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1986. Mike Malinin is drummer since 1995, and the band adds a few musicians for their live shows.

Along on the Sioux Falls leg are Brad Fernquist on rhythm guitar and mandolin, and Korel Tunador on keyboards, guitar, saxophone and backing vocals. They're on the new record, too.

"This is the first time that's ever happened," Takac said, since in the past studio musicians were hired to fill out the band's sound for recording sessions.

"But we are out there playing and playing and playing, so it just seemed natural to walk into the studio with the gang of people we've been playing with," Takac said.

"Because of the the way the business works now, we really never topped touring lately, because you can't," he said. " I like to say we're kind of like carnies now, you know, it's about being out there all the time. It's not so much about sitting around at home collecting record sales anymore."
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