Buffalo hard-rock-gone-soft act the Goo Goo Dolls will perform at halftime of the Orange Bowl this upcoming January 3 at Sun Life Stadium -- only about 17 years too late. Back in the early '90s, when the band was a rising scuzz-punk act frequently compared to the Replacements with songs like "Sex Maggot" -- based upon the band's original name -- major college football bowl organizers weren't beating down bassist Robby Takac's door with any blunt instruments at all. But imagine Florida State University quarterback (and 1993 Heisman winner) Charlie Ward pumping his fist to "We Are the Normal" right before Superstar Car Wash was released. Awesome, but that was never gonna happen.
Since then, the Goo Goo Dolls have become synonymous with songs that all resemble this one to a greater or lesser extent and are staggeringly popular. Is "Better Days," a likely inclusion come January, gonna rile up fans assembled to watch "the ACC Champion against a BCS at-large team"? We'd say no. Here are some suggestions.
"Don't Fear the Reaper" (Blue Öyster Cult cover) from 1987's Goo Goo Dolls
Already a stadium anthem in its original form, and now played twice as fast.
"Don't Beat My Ass (With a Baseball Bat)" from 1987's Goo Goo Dolls
Yes, this defiant, two-speed punk blast is really the same band that wrote "Iris."
"We Are the Normal" from 1993's Superstar Car Wash
Johnny Rzeznik notes at the outset of this live version, "We wrote this with Westerberg." And then a lot of people rightfully cheer. Honorable mention: "On the Lie."
"Never Take the Place of Your Man" (Prince cover) from 1990's Hold Me Up
Everyone loves covers, and remember who happened to play the best halftime performance ever?
"Long Way Down" from 1995's A Boy Named Goo
At this point, it's clear that nothing as flimsy as "Name" is coming anywhere near this set, especially to close it out. We need to keep the energy high for the second half. Settle for something from the same album? Stay tuned for riff liftoff at 2:01!