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Goo Goo Dolls, Actually

| Thursday, April 24, 2014

goo goo WEBKeri O'Mara | The Observer

I unapologetically am absolutely not an expert music critic, and have never pretended to be anything of the sort, even in the rare album reviews I’ve done — I fear the five-shamrock rating I handed to Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’s “The Heist” will prevent me from ever being good friends with any self-important, “real” music fans for years to come. My defense to friends, colleagues and haters over the years has always been that I may not know what’s good, but I know what I like and don’t like, and that’s good enough for me.

Additionally, I don’t like to criticize student organizations on campus for their programming decisions, because I know how difficult it is to pull together big events successfully, and it’s not like planning an event for a club is a full-time job upon which the merits of someone’s character should be judged. I think SUB does a great job, and the people who work in it are generally nice kids.

All that being said — the Goo Goo Dolls? For real? They’re a fine band, sure. I like “Iris” much in the same way I enjoy bad Wayans brothers movies — somewhat ironically unless no one’s around, and then wholeheartedly. They created some of the most memorable and pop-culturally referenced songs of the late 90s, and the songs are soft enough that maybe the band can still kill them live like they did 15 years ago when they debuted.

But for goodness’ sake, couldn’t we have edged a little more toward, I don’t know, relevance? Someone who has put out meaningful, noteworthy, popular or even nameable music in the last decade? Please?

Last year’s concert was Atlanta-based almost-rapper B.o.B, and even though I was abroad, general consensus seems to be positive. People liked him, and it was a fun show. The change in venue from the traditional choice of the dreadful, God-awful, why-don’t-they-tear-that-down Stepan Center to Compton was a much-lauded decision, and B.o.B’s energy and popular music was a much-appreciated shift from the previous two years, which featured O.A.R. one year and Third Eye Blind the next.

Clearly, though, B.o.B and Compton proved too radical a policy shift, as this year they’ve been replaced by the Dolls and a return to that good old ninth gate to hell, Stepan. There are students on this campus who like music other than soft rock and musicians other than mid-forties guys in funny hats. It’s like our concert selections are being made by a middle-aged man who wasn’t cool in high school and now is desperately trying to fit in with somebody, anybody. It’s me in 20 years, and I’ll be picking bands like All-American Rejects and Good Charlotte.

Look, I can live with the Goo Goo Dolls, whatever. But they’re not much more than a carbon copy of two of the three bands we’ve seen in our four years here. Can’t we broaden our horizons? And for the love of all things holy, can we have the concert literally anywhere other than Stepan Center? There’s got to be someone popular, exciting, talented or edgy in the slightest way whatsoever that we can convince to come cash a check here. Fine, we probably won’t see Tyler, the Creator any time soon — though how fun would that be? — but let’s try taking a chance in a different direction next time. Maybe. If you feel like it. Who am I kidding, I’m graduating; I don’t care. Have fun with Spin Doctors next year.

The concert opens at 7 p.m. in Stepan Center. Tickets are $20, but they’re probably already sold out, because my opinions are generally wildly exaggerated and even more wildly wrong.

    The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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About Kevin Noonan

I'm a senior from Kansas City studying Marketing with a minor in Journalism, Ethics and Democracy. I've written for The Observer since I was a freshman, and now serve as editor for Scene.

Contact Kevin
  • anymajordude

    This is hilarious. I was a teenager in the ’90’s, and even then, at the height of their fame, we would have thought it was mortifying for the Goo Goo Dolls to play at our school.

  • Kim Guertin-McCarthy

    How sad. You have to watch the Goo Goo Dolls in concert.
    Be grateful you have bands come to your college. There are colleges who don’t give students creative outlets.

    They are a decent, hard working band, who have paid their dues. Granted their talent doesn’t lie in their musical ability, but rather, lyrics are their strength.

    Seriously, there is nothing more pathetic that aging rock musicians who try to live the way they did in their 20s and 30s. At least the Goo Goo Dolls have matured with their audiences.

    As a songwriter, it’s rough. I respect them.

    • Jazzy

      Yeah I’ve heard that line before. Yeah they sound way better in concert than they do recorded. Yeah, No thanks. Usually they spend a lot of money and time to make bands sound good recorded (example: Fall Out Boy).

      When did letting every other musician on the planet die from getting hit by a bus due to the nurse neglecting to watch dementia patient and “paying your dues” equal a free pity pass to hang out?

      I won’t even go into the lyrics. I might hurt your feelings.

      Matured like a couple months ago when John Rzeznik drank so heavily and pop too many pills that they ruined the concert? Oh you must have missed that. Or how about the bar incident? Did Warner Bros take that down from youtube and claim copyright infringement before you could see that? Is that the type of 20 year old behavior you are talking about? What about the groupy wife he married yet still sleeps with other groupies? hmmm The guy is top tier liar. There is a reason why nobody ever let him in…and it goes beyond all that and then some.

      Finally, he doesn’t write the songs. He buys them and writes his name on them. THAT is how it works for the majority of people signed to a label like Warner Bros. Sorry, but its true. They rely on your naivety to make money sweety.

      • Kim Guertin-McCarthy

        Glad you had the opportunity to purge that adolescent angst of yours.

        The only thing I find offensive about your reply is your condescending tone. You can make your point with out being rude. You sound like a pretentious, spoiled, privileged brat. Doesn’t mean that you are, but it’s how you sound to me.

        As for the unprofessional concert antics, drunken behavior, groopy-wife, botox, and bar incident you’re talking about, So what? I was talking about the music as far as maturing, not really his drinking. There are 70 year old alcoholics who make fools out of themselves. Who cares if everything you say is true? I know someone who dated him before he met his wife, and she left him b/c she couldn’t stand the drinking. A lot of musicians battle those demons or worse. Doesn’t make it right, and it happens all too often.

        Anyway, you’re entitled to your opinion of the GGD music, as I am entitled to mine. I buy what I like, just as any other fan of any other band/artist. I know about record deals and PR. I worked for years in PR, (not in the music industry) and I hated it. I hated what it does to people. It’s an evil business, and it eats your soul.

        I don’t know enough about him to say he’s a liar, but I do know about spinning a story, and I’m sure you know that anyone with a record deal “sells out.” It begins as soon as they sign.

        Anyway, I still like the GGD. I still think they are a band that paid their dues years ago. It doesn’t have to do with naivety, It has to do with taste.

        You feel I have none; you and a few million people most likely agree.

        You proved your point; good for you.

  • Jazzy

    All it takes is 40 years, some botox, hair transplant, buying a PR team, and Warner Bros pissed off and tired of loosing money on these guys to try to make the goo goo dolls ‘look cool’. Are you freaking joking?! LAME