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The Goo Goo Dolls has had a slew of hit albums. And the Buffalo-based band knows how to record a great record. But where the band really shines is on stage, where they are one of the great road warrior bands in the U.S. today with its nonstop touring. The band was scheduled to bring its tour to Connecticut on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Warner Theater in Torrington.

The Goo Goo Dolls has given the world the best of both worlds with a new live EP dubbed “Live from Soho.” The six song set presents The Goo Goo Dolls playing some tracks from its most recent album, “Something For the Rest of Us” as well as classic tracks such as “Slide” at the iTunes store in Soho. The band’s bassist/singer Robby Takac said the band was in the midst of beginning its radio promotion tour its latest album when they a call from iTunes asking if the band wanted to record a live set at the iTunes store in Soho. Robby said the iTunes store is always one of the coolest places in any town And he said the iTunes store in Soho has to be the coolest place in the world. So the band immediately said yes. When they arrived at the store, however, he said it was one of those days where it took some time for the band members – vocalist/guitarist John Rzeznik and drummer Mike Malinin— to get their motor running. So they were goofing around quite a bit to warm up and it took a couple of takes to get the songs right. But once The Goo Goo Dolls settled down, said Robby, “It was fun. (The new EP) turned out really well.” Since the EP was recorded early in the touring cycle for “Something for the Rest of Us” Robby said the performances on the EP of the new songs were really fresh because they were still really fresh to the band.

As noted, the Goo Goo Dolls have always had a second home on the road. Asked why the band liked playing live on stage, Robby said the reasons are twofold. First of all, he explained, “We’ve been doing this a long time. We can whoop it up, make it happen and be a good rock band. That’s one of our strengths.” Secondly, Robby said the band likes playing live because it’s an experience for fans that can’t be downloaded or experienced over a wire. He said there’s nothing quite like “actually seeing a band making music for you, a singer emoting. It’s a different human experience.”

The Goo Goo Dolls have been around for 25 years. In the old days, Robby said the band used to keep the experience of playing live fresh by adding additional musicians to the line-up to add to the live sound. New musicians kept things exciting. However, for the past six years, the band has worked with the same set of musicians for the live show. So now the key to keeping things fresh is adapting its live set to fit the tone and vibe of each new record. For the band, it’s always a challenge because there are always songs that they have to include in a set list. But the band’s back catalogue is always growing. So there is a balance that must be found to try to give the audiences what they want and playing something new to help promote the new record.

The band has traveled all around the world. And, aside from the U.S., Robby said one of his favorite places to play is Japan. “We have a great time over there,” said Robby, whose wife is from Japan. Although it is a favorite, Robby said this year, unfortunately, the band didn’t get to tour in Japan for “Something for the Rest of Us” because of the earthquake earlier this year. In addition to Japan, Robby said, “The U.K. is great… It’s an amazing scene over there.” “The band especially likes playing the smaller cities such as Nottingham and Bristol,” said Robby. “I love wandering those little towns.” And the band is finding itself to be superstars in Europe at last, said Robby. In the U.S., the band may have been able to play arenas. But overseas, Robby said the band mostly played in clubs. However, Robby said The Goo Goo Dolls finally saw themselves in the top 10 in Europe when “Iris” became a hit, 13 years after it was originally released. Robby said the song was performed by a contestant on the European version of “X Factor.” Suddenly, there was a lot of interest in the original version of the song (shades of “Glee” in the U.S.) At that point, the BBC began spinning the Dolls’ “Iris” and the track shot to the top of the charts. Suddenly, the Goo Goo Dolls found themselves stars across the pond.

When the band played the Warner in Torrington on Nov. 17, it found itself in a venue smaller than the arenas it historically has played in Connecticut. But Robby said the band has a tradition of closing out its touring cycle by playing smaller, historical theaters such as the Warner. “I love this part of the tour,” said Robby. The Goo Goo Dolls does make some adaptations when it translates its show from the arenas to the theaters. For instance, the band leaves its video wall at home. Instead, Robby said, these shows are about The Goo Goo Dolls and their songs. Robby said the band already has its eye focused on the next record. There are a couple of songs recorded already. John and he have some ideas for other songs. Once the band gets off the road, and has a few months off where they can be human beings, and not Goo Goo Dolls, they will begin the new record in earnest “Hopefully we’ll be back next summer,” said Robby. The Goo Goo Dolls was at the Warner Theater on Main Street in Torrington on Thursday, Nov. 17
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