Goose returned to the Joy Theater on Friday night to complete a back-to-back in the Big Easy. It was another one of those kinds of shows—heck, it was another one of those kinds of weekends, and the fact that it started on a Thursday was just the most New Orleans thing ever. In contrast to night one, which had a brighter setlist and was a Rick-driven, pedal-to-the-metal affair characterized by hyper speed and ballistic jams, Friday’s show ran at a more measured and deliberate pace while visiting darker sonic territory and heavier song selections. No matter how you like your Goose, all the boxes were checked in New Orleans. For those who saw both nights, it was the complete package.

Continuing a thought from yesterday’s review, there always exists a myriad of personal factors that render the wholly subjective concept of “best show” true or false. Well, there is no debating that last night was the best show ever for two young women in the room, both of whom were on the center rail, both of whom were celebrating birthdays, and both of whom were given the surprise of a lifetime when Goose returned for the second set through a side door and into the pit to serenade them with cupcakes and candles. Last night was about two young women experiencing the night of their lives. Last night was about the relationship between a band and its audience. Last night’s story was written between the lines.

Once the band climbed onto the crowded stage and crawled into place behind their cramped gear, they built an ambient soundscape into a fifteen-minute set-opening “Tumble”, a hybrid version with a slow start and a fast finish. Guitarist Rick Mitarotonda put his consummate professionalism and otherworldly talent on display during “California Magic”, impossibly never missing a note even after breaking a string during his solo about halfway through the song. Multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach then lent an ’80s synth vibe to “Indian River” before “Bob Don” was marked by a unique outro jam.

Goose – “Tumble” – 10/7/22

Just as The Band did when they originally wrote it, Peter, Jeff Arevalo, and Rick traded vocal leads by the verse as they ran through a cover of “Look Out Cleveland ” that seamlessly transitioned into “Turbulence & The Night Rays”, a pairing so good that it nearly cracked a smile from the usually stoic bassist Trevor Weekz as the band rode Mitarotonda’s mind-numbing fretwork into the intermission. It’s safe to say that this fun and newish addition (FTP 6/10/22) that recently entered to the Goose catalog via the band’s predecessor Vasudo has found its legs.

The band would return from the break through a side door, standing in the pit just inches from the crowd as tour manager Sam King lit two candles on a box of cupcakes and all five band members sang “Happy Birthday” to two shocked and visibly appreciative young women. Being in their space and sharing in their glow is something I’ll never forget so I can’t even imagine how they felt, nor will anyone else as from that moment forward the room was infused with a feeling of love, joy, and community that marked the second set with that special something reserved only for lifetime memories.

Goose Sings “Happy Birthday” To Fans

[Video: Marc Komito]

An unscripted “Flodown” matched the mood and kicked off the set with party vibes for days before the originally planned set-opening “Into The Myst” followed at a heavier emotional pace. An abrupt and slightly dark transition marked the beginning of “Pancakes”, a bright song that quickly found space in the shadows of its sonic exploration, becoming one of those signature “Type II” jams where one could completely forget what song was being played as the band let go of the rudder and got lost in glorious extraterrestrial improvisation. Perhaps the members of the band forgot where they were, too, or maybe they went too far to return as drummer Ben Atkind gently and appropriately steered the ship from the unfinished “Pancakes” towards “Dr. Darkness”. The evening’s longest song followed with an absolutely wild “Madhuvan”, an emotional tugboat played with set-closing ferocity for the lion’s share of its 26 minutes.

Well if I had it all,
If I had it all,
What life would leave me satisfied?

Goose – “Pancakes” – 10/7/22

Returning from the encore break, Anspach finally shed his wool sweater to reveal a striped shirt that Cory Wong might have given him at Sacred Rose before the band launched into a cover of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?”, one of the more rare and most fun covers in Goose’s repertoire. The song is listed as having been played for the first time since June 27, 2020, but one could argue that the gap was even longer than the 125 shows indicated in Coach Jon Lombardi’s notes since no fans were in attendance for the online event that was Bingo Tour. Go back to 12/11/19 and add 36 more shows and seven more months to that gap for a total of 161 shows and almost three years since the last time Goose played the 1992 smash hit in front of a live audience. Friday’s rendition was, in a word, sublime.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Marc Komito (@marckomito)

Goose – The Joy Theater – New Orleans, LA – 10/7/22 – Full Video

“Every show is the best show since the last show until the next show,” and while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, that statement rings true for at least two people last night, if not many, many more. The afterglow may be temporary, but the memory is forever. Goose tour continues tonight at Stubb’s in Austin, TX before heading to Austin City Limits on Sunday. Find the rest of the band’s upcoming tour information and purchase tickets here.

Happy Birthday, Tamara and Merin!

Setlist [via El Gö]: Goose | The Joy Theater | New Orleans, LA | 10/7/22

Set 1: Tumble[1],  California Magic,  Indian River[2],  Bob Don[3],  Look Out Cleveland[4] -> Turbulence & The Night Rays

Set 2: Flodown,  Into The Myst[5] >  Pancakes[5] >  Dr. Darkness,  Madhuvan

Encore: What’s Up[6]

Coach’s Notes:
[1] Vibey Tumble. Played with regular Tumble composed section and jam.
[2] 80s synth version.
[3] With outro jam.
[4] The Band.
[5] Unfinished.
[6] 4 Non Blondes.

Coach’s Corner: Vibey Tumble was played for the first time since January 30, 2022 (60 shows). What’s Up was played for the first time since June 27, 2020 (125 shows).