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Goo Goo Dolls surprise West Herr employees

West Herr Auto Group gave its employees a holiday party they'll never forget Wednesday night with a surprise performance by the Goo Goo Dolls.

Employees and their families were only told the holiday party would be at Shea's Performing Arts Center and that they "didn't want to miss the last 90 minutes" of the party, said Cory Thie, 25, of Buffalo. When the Goos took the stage, the shocked audience erupted. "Everyone was surprised and started screaming. No one expected it," he said.

The Goos played a 90-minute set including the hits "Name," "Iris," "Slide" and "Better Days."

It was the first time Thie has seen the Goo Goo Dolls live and said it was "a cool atmosphere. It reminded me of an upscale acoustic show like a big coffee shop performance. It was real low key." Danea Johnson, 32, from Cheektowaga, is a longtime Goo Goo Dolls fan who attended the event with her boyfriend Jason Helmbrecht. "From what they said, we thought it was going to be a motivational speaker. We thought it would be someone we knew, but never expected the Goo Goo Dolls," said Johnson.

She has seen the band perform about 10 times, but it was a first for her boyfriend who she said was impressed by the performance, especially of the song "Name." She said the band seemed to be having as good of a time as the audience. "I felt they were really relaxed. They were having fun," Johnson said.

Email Toni Ruberto at

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