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Grown-up Dolls

Playtime Sunday at Robinson


DOLLS: Letting love in to Robinson.
  • DOLLS: Letting love in to Robinson.

Check out the Goo Goo Dolls’ well-organized website (www.googoodolls.com), and you’ll quickly be reminded via their video music section just how big a part these guys played in the mid-1990s alt-rock movement. They blended melodic acoustic with thumping metal-influenced background sound beginning with “Name” and soared up the charts from there.

The Goo Goo Dolls are back with a strong record, “Let Love In,” which features the popular “Better Days” that’s become somewhat of an anthem for the post-Katrina rebuilding of the Gulf Coast.

The trio has also been out on a tour nearly a year, and this theater-venue leg is stopping by Robinson Center Music Hall on Sunday, Feb. 11, in a 7 p.m. show.

“We just had our first month off,” bassist Robby Takac said last week. “We’re busying ourselves with other projects, but I can’t wait to get on the train again. We’re just so fine-tuned now with this set, with this music and what we’re playing. We always play with a couple of other dudes on stage and it’s fun. We’re hitting 90 percent of the songs people want to hear, and whoopin’ ass with the other 10 percent.”

Takac says he’ll never forget the Buffalo, N.Y., band’s stop in Juanita’s before it hit “Name” took off in 1995. Then came “Iris,” from the film “City of Angels,” and “Slide.”

“When you have a tendency to be for real, like we try to be, and write songs about what’s going on with you at that moment, it’s going to sound like that moment,” Takac said. “When we were 20-year-olds we were writing songs about being 20. Now, it sounds like 42-year-olds writing about being 42, but it’s 42-year-olds who can whip everlovin’ ass.”

Frontman and guitarist Johnny Rzeznik wrote “Better Days,” Takac said, as a Christmas track for Target and NBC-TV before the Katrina rebuilding campaign began. CNN heard the song and adopted it for its post-Katrina coverage.

When Monday Night Football broadcast the New Orleans Saints return last fall to the Superdome after a year’s absence, the Goo Goo Dolls gave a free concert outside the venue in front of an estimated 45,000 people.

“After all the craziness that went on there, it was a trip,” Takac said. “That place is still screwed, man. I was thinking, they are spending millions to put this football game on, but these people need a place to live. ... What struck me afterward was how many people came up to us and said, ‘Thank you, dude, for doing this.’ "


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