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Concert a ‘thank you’ to area fan club members, fundraiser for theater restoration

For the Goo Goo Dolls, the chance to do a show at the North Park Theatre seemed too perfect to pass up.

So on April 29, the internationally known band with deep local roots will take the stage at the landmark theater with even deeper history and perform a special show for fan club members. The concert, a benefit for the restoration of the theater, which recently reopened after a short dark period, will be filmed for a future movie release.

The bad news for fans who are not in the fan club: It probably is too late to get tickets for this show. But the good news is this is one of three shows the Goos are playing in Western New York this year.

The Goos – currently, founders John Rzeznik and Robby Takac, following the recent departure of longtime drummer Mike Malinin – are in the midst of a tour they’re calling “The Otis Midnight Sessions,” which finds the group performing in smaller venues in an intimate, acoustic-based setting.

“The band came to us with the idea of, like, ‘We want to make a film of what we’re doing on our current acoustic tour, and you guys are a movie theater with a deep Buffalo history, so why not get together?’ ” said Mike Christiano, manager of the theater. “It seemed like a perfect matchup.”

Christiano said, “The band will come out and do an acoustic set, with a to-be-seen drummer, and then they will be joined by a 12-piece orchestra from Japan that they’ve been working with, after which the other musicians will leave one by one, and John will perform a few songs on his own.”

The Goos plan to film four of their “Otis Midnight Sessions” shows in small venues, and then compile the best footage for a feature-length film. Members of the band did not return phone calls Friday so detailed plans on distribution for the film were not available.

The Goos are on a break from their tour, which will recommence April 7 in Syracuse and make its way to the Bear’s Den at the Seneca-Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls on April 12.

Christiano stressed that “this is not some sort of money-grab for the North Park, but the fact that it is a fundraiser for the theater’s ongoing restoration, and that this is a film-based performance in Buffalo by a Buffalo band for a Buffalo landmark, made it very appealing to us.”

The show is a “thank-you” gesture from the band to its Buffalo fans, according to the Goos’ official website. As such, members of the group’s Inner Machine Fan Club have been offered a presale opportunity for ticket purchase, via GooGooDolls.com. Membership in the fan club, which starts at $29.99, is a prerequisite for presale opportunity for the North Park show. According to Christiano, the maximum reserved seating capacity for the theater is 607, so tickets – if any are left – are likely to move quickly.

The Goos also recently announced a joint summer touring venture with Daughtry, which will include a stop at the Darien Lake Performing Arts Center on Aug. 22. Tickets for that show go on sale to the general public next Saturday, through LiveNation.com.

The North Park show marks the first time the Goo Goo Dolls have played a full show in Buffalo since an intimate gig at the Town Ballroom in April 2006. Arguably the band’s most famous local performance came during it historic Fourth of July engagement in front of City Hall in 2004.
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