Goo Goo Dolls stay on the go, set for Universal Mardi Gras gig

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Goo Goo Dolls keep on going. And they’re coming to Orlando again, this time as part of Universal’s Mardi Gras celebration. The group, which sports hits such as “Iris,” “Slide” and “Name,” will be on stage Saturday night at the theme park.

“We have a bunch of songs that people are attached to and want to hear. So it’s a constant wrestling match between not bringing this same show places and not alienating the folks that came out to hear the hits,” Robby Takac, bass player and vocalist for the group, said from his home in Buffalo, New York.

At Universal, “we’re playing all the songs people expect, or at least most of them, that people would be excited to hear, you know, the general public,” Takac said. “There’s definitely some fan stuff and some newer stuff thrown in there as well. So, it’s a good show.”

After the pandemic canceled a tour twice, the band, which features John Rzeznik as its frontman, got back in front of audiences last year and is set for a tour that hits Ireland and the U.K. plus 30 sites in the U.S. this year.

“John keeps writing great songs, and we keep filling up places, so, it’s awesome,” Takac said.

“After taking a couple years off, which we had never done since we were kids, really, it was super-exciting and refreshing for us get back again,” he said. “People were engaged and really excited to be back out, you know, partaking of music again.”

Goo Goo Dolls put out two records during the pandemic, one with holiday music (“It’s Christmas All Over”) and another produced under unusual circumstances, at least by pre-pandemic standards.

“We went up to Woodstock, New York, and to a place called Dreamland Studios and recorded the ‘Chaos in Bloom’ record, which was just us and a couple of engineers because you weren’t allowed to see anyone,” Takac said.

The band, which formed in 1986, has seen many changes in the industry during its run.

“I went to school to be a DJ, you know, that’s what I wanted to do. … I’m kind of glad I didn’t do that, quite honestly, watching what’s kind of happened to that career over the years,” Takac said.

“Our heroes when our band started were selling 100,000 records and calling it a successful career,” he said. “We were pretty much not in the mainstream of what was going on, and somewhere along the way, stuff just sort of lined up and what we were doing at the time — or what we had grown into doing 15 years after the band started — sort of grew into what the mainstream was listening to. It gave us a pretty awesome run.”

The Goo Goo Dolls performance is included with regular admission to Universal Studios theme park. It follows the Mardi Gras parade, which begins at 7:45 p.m. Saturday.

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