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posted: 6/30/2013 6:00 AM

Goo Goo Dolls join Matchbox Twenty at Ravinia for three shows

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  • The Goo Goo Dolls -- Mike Malinin, left, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac -- play three shows this week with Matchbox Twenty at Ravinia.

    The Goo Goo Dolls -- Mike Malinin, left, John Rzeznik and Robby Takac -- play three shows this week with Matchbox Twenty at Ravinia.

  • Video: Music video "Rebel Beat"

  • Video: Goo Goo Dolls' "Iris"

By Peter Timotijevic

Originally dismissed as a copy of The Replacements, the Goo Goo Dolls have come a long way since their start in 1985.

Among the band's accomplishments: The megahit "Iris" was the No. 1 song on Billboard's Top 100 Pop Songs over the two-decade period from 1992 to 2012.

And the Goo Goo Dolls keep moving forward. The pop-rock band's 10th album, the recently released "Magnetic," adds a modern touch while maintaining the integrity of the band.

Fans will get a taste of old and new when the Goo Goo Dolls join Matchbox Twenty for three shows this week at Ravinia. There are plenty of hits to choose from: The band has had 14 top-10 hits.

"The people love the hits. At this point I feel people are paying to hear those songs," said bassist Robby Takac in a recent phone interview. "It's a pretty special thing to share music together."

They've been doing it for awhile now. The early comparison to The Replacements came from the Goo Goo Dolls' initial sound as more upbeat and punk-rockesque.

"We started as 20-year-old punk-rock kids," Takac said.

He went on to offer some advice to bands. "If you let your band grow up and transform, you can keep going without getting bored."

Takac sees "Magnetic" as "the next step" for the Goo Goo Dolls. Lead singer/lyricist John Rzeznik has said in interviews that he was aiming for something more upbeat than the band's previous album, "Something for the Rest of Us."

The Goo Goo Dolls hit it big after "Iris" was released in 1998 as part of the soundtrack for the movie "City of Angels." With regards to people always bringing up the success of "Iris," Takac feels pretty good about it.

"It casts a long shadow, but I never feel weird about it," he said. "It's good to have some automatic association with your band; that's something a lot of other bands don't have."

The July 2, 3 and 4 shows mark the band's first time at Ravinia. Though Matchbox Twenty is younger than Goo Goo Dolls, the pairing works. Matchbox Twenty has achieved a fair share of acclaim since the band's debut album, "Yourself or Someone Like You," was certified diamond in the United States.

The two have already played a few shows together. When asked about the atmosphere and the reactions from the crowd, Takac says the tour is going well.

"There's a big crossover with the Matchbox crowd to our crowd," he said. "It's all about living that moment and sharing it with everyone in the room."

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