By Brent Michael, Rock At Night Tampa Correspondent
Venue: Busch Gardens Wine and Food Festival Concert Series, Tampa, Florida. Sunday, March 18, 2018
For a band named on a whim – the trio picked their name from a True Detective ad for a toy called a Goo Goo Doll. According to lead singer/guitarist John Rzeznik, “We were young and we were a garage band not trying to get a deal. We had a gig that night and needed a name. It’s the best we came up with, and for some reason it stuck. If I had five more minutes, I definitely would have picked a better name.” – they’ve done pretty well. Rzeznik is still fronting the band, and Robby Takac still handles vocals and bass. Along the way they’ve expanded to a quintet, on the road at least, joined by Brad Fernquist – guitar, mandolin, backing vocals, and Korel Tunador – keyboards, guitar, saxophone, backing vocals since 2006, and Craig Macintyre – drums, percussion, backing vocals since 2014.
Along the way they’ve churned out a number of hits, with “Iris” – a song that almost didn’t get written, according to several interviews with Rzeznik, he was experiencing serious bouts of writer’s block when he was approached to write a song for the City of Angels soundtrack, and was on the verge of quitting the band days before he wrote the song – pushing them to superstardom, spending 18 weeks atop the Billboard Hot 100 Airplay charts and being nominated for three Grammys.
Naturally, that song was the next-to-the-last song they played Sunday, with “Boxes” as the encore, and other hits sprinkled throughout. Some in the crowd remarked they “weren’t going anywhere until they play Iris,” but I didn’t see anyone rushing to leave until it was very clear there would be no more Goo to be heard! And you could tell the band would have liked to keep going, they were having as good of a time as the crowd! Find out more about them and their tour at the official Goo Goo Dolls website, or Facebook, Instagram, or other social media sites!