Goose Opens Winter Tour; Debuts New Song At Sold Out Bowery Ballroom

Photos by Jamie Huenefeld

Goose’s winter tour began in earnest at New York’s Bowery Ballroom last night, their first U.S. show of 2020 since opening for Dead & Company at Playing in the Sand in Mexico earlier this week. Since their Halloween show at the Mercury Lounge this past year, Goose has been on a meteoric rise with no indication of a slowdown, anywhere in sight.

As curious fans flock en masse to check out the buzz, El Goose keep adding to its gaggle — the jamband version of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, luring fans to sold out show after sold out show with their magical pipe. The buzz keeps getting louder. The rooms keep getting bigger. Goose keeps on truckin’, kicking ass and taking names along the way.

Peter Anspach

Opening with “Drive,” dense crowded room got into an easy groove. Trevor Weeks (bass) getting deep and dirty as Rick Mitaronda (guitar, vocals) let some early solos fly. Though it’s hard to peel your gaze from guitarists Rick and Peter Anspach, the rhythm section of Trevor and Ben Atkind (drums) is what dictates the furious, addictive pace of this Connecticut-based quartet.

The band explored some energetic Type II jams before segueing into a cover of Wes Montgomery’s “Switchin’.” Peter took the mic with a big smile for his first vocals of the night with “Lead the Way” before Rockabilly original “Elizabeth.” The crowd really got rocking with Bill Wither’s “Lovely Day,” a tasty slice of funk and soul that was easily the first set highlight as judged by the movement and sway of the room. Goose really shines brightest at this nexus of funk and jamband space, where Rick’s soaring solos are accentuated by the funk oozing from Peter’s keys and the groovy backbone of Trevor’s 5-string bass. “Honeybee” closed the set, but not before your grateful reviewer amassed 5,958 steps of dancing.

After an exciting intermission fueled by the sounds of phenom DJ Chris Tart, the second set got shot out of cannon with “Into the Myst” > “Flowdown,” a very Phishy tune somewhere at the crossroads of Uncle Pen meets Sparkle, met with the roaring approval of a roomful of Goose’s newest fans.

As step counts never lie (8,219), the slightly more energetic second set was off to the races, a shared sense of community and euphoria pervading the now sweaty room. “Bob O. John,” an original debut met with another of the night’s loudest roars, was sandwiched by “Echo of a Rose.” Considering that every song was new to most people in the sold out hall, that applause really spoke volumes about the quality of this debut song that opened with a reggae beat, before eventually finding its way to a signature Goosian-shred.

“Slow Ready” won over any remaining doubters before “Tumble” took us all on a communal victory lap. “Shama Lama Ding Dong,” the encore cover of fictional band Otis Day & The Knights from National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), wrapped up the raucous party in frat house style. 

While Goose has a sound very much their own, it’s noteworthy to recognize the influence of, not only the different genres, but also their jamband predecessors whose sound is sprinkled within in their playing. It is these tip-of-your tongue moments of recognition that help to make the new feel immediately secure and comfortable, like your best old sweater, but suddenly fresh and updated. Comparisons overheard last night ran the gamut from Grateful Dead and Phish to My Morning Jacket, Wilco, and even STS9.

It’s so much fun to see and hear so many new fans take flight, as most of the room raised their hands and shouted when asked who was seeing their first Goose show. “That’s pretty good,” said Peter. The Pied Piper, indeed, but no magic pipe necessary. Just four dudes with a lot of talent and even more humility making really good music. 

The band takes a selfie with the crowd to cap off a great performance

The tour continues Saturday in Brooklyn at the Music Hall of Williamsburg before Goose heads west for an extended winter tour. 

Rick Mitaronda

Set One: Drive > Switchin’ {1}, Lead The Way, Elizabeth, Lovely Day {2}, Honeybee

Set Two: Into The Myst > FloDown > Echo of a Rose > Bob O. John {3} > Echo of a Rose {4}, Slow Ready, Tumble 

Encore: Shama Lama Ding Dong {5}

Coach’s Notes: {1} Wes Montgomery. {2} Bill Withers. {3} FTP. – Original tune. {4} OG vocal ending. They sang “Echo of a Rose” for the outro. {5} Otis Day & The Knights. This was a sold out show. Set 1 Start: 9:18pm – Set 1 End: 10:28pm. Set 2 Start: 10:55pm – Set 2 End: 12:21am. Sound Check: Arrow, Lovely Day, Honey Bee. 14,177 steps danced.

Comments are closed.