9,651 feet of altitude. Bright sunshine and deep blue skies dramatically dotted by puffy cumulus clouds, so white they were almost fluorescent as the majestic Rocky Mountains hovered over Lake Dillon just a stone’s throw away. Without question, Wednesday night’s Goose was the most visually stimulating show I’ve ever seen, from the natural majesty to the overwhelming talent of lighting phenom Andrew Goedde.

A bucket list destination for lovers of live music, nature, and/or both, Dillon Amphitheater is simply a perfect setting for live music. Add in a generous 77 degrees with zero humidity and an abundance of Vitamin D, and the elevation in vibe was dramatic. While the atypically cold and rainy circumstances at Tuesday’s Dillon opener inevitably detracted from the experience to some extent, the forecast and the music aligned for an all-timer on Wednesday evening.

Related: Trey Anastasio Band & Goose Announce Joint Fall 2022 Arena Tour [Watch]

“California Magic” has been gaining traction in the opening slot and the bright interplay between Peter Anspach’s Hammond B3 organ and Rick Mitarotonda’s pure guitar tone was a perfect match for Lake Dillon’s idyllic setting. Rick has been channeling an ethereal jazz vibe in his playing this tour and a cover of Wes Montgomery’s “Switchin” gave him a chance to put the best of his Berklee College of Music education on display. A perfect start, bright and cheery to match the day.

Goose – “California Magic”, “Switchin'” (Wes Montgomery) [Pro-Shot] – 8/17/22

The crowd remained at attention as Rick’s tender crooning and piercing guitar solos ushered in bone-thumping bass rattles from Trevor Weekz and the music turned from light to dark with “Borne”, the band advancing its eerie video game sounds with the ease of Wade Watts navigating the Oasis as Rick kneeled down to turn his knobs and Ben Atkind added haunting flourishes from the cymbals and toms. Things reached a fever pitch as Peter started playing keys with his left foot, a stunt the crowd met in kind with a chorus of ballistic “woos.”

Whether the twenty-minute jam that bubbled up here was extended outro from “Borne” or a long intro to the ensuing “Dr. Darkness” seems not to matter at all. For those seeking to explore the sounds of evil Goose, let this thirty-six minute, two-song segment serve as a primer. An otherworldly cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo” followed, covering the first set’s final seventeen minutes, the lofty jam standing tall against the Rocky Mountains as the sunset glowed gold behind the band.

Goose – “Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo” (Grateful Dead) – 8/17/22

[Video: keith frechette]

Returning under a night sky, Goose opted for “Honeybee”, a short and sweet heater to kick off the second set. Another jam-of-the-year contender followed, this time packaged as “Wysteria Lane”. With huge drum fills and savage guitar leads that seemed to bottle the exuberance of youth illuminated by a truly spectacular light show, these twenty minutes might just hold up as the one of my favorite overall segments of live music ever. Goose then added another entry to the band’s ’80s cover rolodex with a buttery transition into Talk Talk‘s Brit-pop hit, “It’s My Life”.

“Rosewood Heart” was next, bathed in vivid reds and purples as Rick Mitarotonda became Rick Vaughan and unleashed his inner Wild Thing on lead guitar. At this point, Dillon 2 had already crested the nearby Rockies to become my favorite Goose show ever, and there was still nearly an hour left on the clock.

The fourteen-minute free fall from “Rockdale” was glorious. “Your Ocean” served as an appetizer for a spirit-cleansing “Madhuvan”, Rick and Trevor locked into full mind-meld as they put the spoils of a lifelong friendship on display for all to see. A “Turned Clouds” encore finally rounded out the second night of Goose in Dillon.

Goose – Dillon Amphitheater – Dillon, CO – 8/17/22 – Full Show [Pro-Shot]

Never has the phrase “every show is the best show since the last show till the next show” been truer than it was last night. The memory of this one will forever be cherished. Goose finishes off three consecutive nights in Colorado with Thursday night’s visit to Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the band’s first-ever show at Morrison’s live music mecca. Further upcoming tour information can be found here.

Check out a gallery of photos from the show below via Marc Komito.

Setlist: Goose | Dillon Amphitheater | Dillon, CO | 8/17/22

Set 1: California Magic, Switchin’ (1}, Borne (2} > Dr. Darkness, Half-Step Mississippi Uptown Toodeloo {3}

Set 2: Honeybee {4}, Wysteria Lane > It’s My Life (5}, Rockdale, Rosewood Heart, Your Ocean, Madhuvan

Encore: Turned Clouds

Coach’s Notes:
{1} Wes Montgomery
{2} Tumble teases
{3} The Grateful Dead
{4} Jon on rain stick
{5} Talk Talk

Next Show: 8.18.22 • Red Rocks Amphitheater • Morrison, CO