After recently selling out the band’s landmark debut at Red Rocks Ampitheatre, Goose traded the natural beauty of Colorado’s most famous venue for the more urban landscape of downtown Portland, OR. Following a one-off performance in Stateline, NV, the band packed an exuberant crowd of mostly first-time fans into Pioneer Courthouse Square, a public space occupying a single city block in the heart of Portland’s downtown.

Lines of ticket-holders wrapped around the block as a diverse congregation made their way into the outdoor venue, which is surrounded by imposing urban architecture including the stately Pioneer Courthouse. Once inside, they sought refuge from the blaring sun in the shaded parts of the venue. By the time Goose took the stage, though, the sun had gone down just enough to shade the entire audience.

A fan near the front of the crowd held up a sign entreating Goose to “Play The Pina Colada Song!” as the band went into the first song of the night, “Indian River”. The song maintained a pretty straightforward arrangement, highlighting the band’s indie roots, but Goose wasted no time getting to the jam on the second song, “Elizabeth”.

Goose – “Indian River” – 8/25/22

Spinners young and old danced ecstatically in the walkway to the bathroom as Goose launched into a blissful psychedelic jam. The band’s group improvisation was exceptionally deep for just the second song of the night—the stage lights barely visible with the sun still overhead—but the crowd made it clear that they were along for the ride.

Goose – “Elizabeth” – 8/25/22

[Video: drbobzero]

Rumblings of “Goooooose” permeated the venue after the band concluded its first spontaneous explorations of the night, and once again the “Play The Pina Colada Song” sign poked up above the crowd, but the band ignored the request and began “Turbulence & The Night Rays” instead.

“Turbulence” started with a more laid back and groovier feel than what preceded it. Finally the colorful stage lights started to take effect as the sun began its descent and Goose moved into the composed instrumental section. Rick Mitarotonda showcased his guitar chops with a riveting solo, and as the song picked up, percussionist Jeff Arevalo finally answered the question, “When is he gonna hit that gong?” The crowd erupted when the band settled back down and played the song’s outro.

“Butterflies” was another slower, groovy tune. Multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach moved from keys to guitar for the first time of the night and also supplied lead vocals. The song’s instrumental section, which features complex rhythms layered within an odd meter, was complemented by rainbow LEDs that flashed behind the band, and once again the crowd cheered and bellowed “Goooooose” when the quintet finished together.

“The Old Man’s Boat”, a slow blues shuffle, came next with Rick on vocals. The volume of the audience increased as people talked to each other, having apparently decided that this was a so-called “bathroom song,” but Trevor Weekz called them back with an attention-commanding bass solo as a Trimet train squeaked through the square on the other side of the barricade separating the concert from the city—a tangible reminder that we’re not at Red Rocks anymore.

Goose wrapped up set one with “Time to Flee” with help from the audience, who joined in to sing, “See you later, alligator,” and “Tumble”, a song influenced by both Jamaican and Middle Eastern music. Rasta colored lights complemented the song’s reggae bent, and the crowd pumped their fists while Rick let loose at the end of the tune, shaking out his hair as he wailed during a climactic guitar solo to finish the set.

Goose – “Time to Flee” – 8/25/22

[Video: drbobzero]

Overheard at set break, fans debriefed after set one, discussing notable moments and pondering the illuminated script Goose logo on Ben Atkind’s front bass drum head, which changed colors from green to purple to pink to yellow and everything in between throughout the night.

Goose got right to jamming after returning to the stage for set two. The band opened the set with “Wysteria Lane”. A relatively straightforward cover of David Gray‘s “Please Forgive Me” came next, highlighted by a piano solo by Peter Anspach. Then came a sequence of “Seekers on the Ridge Pt. 1” and “Pt. 2”. Anspach and Mitarotonda’s vocal harmonies were striking as they echoed off the tall buildings surrounding the venue during “Pt. 1”, and “Pt. 2” featured explosive gospel-style drumming from Atkind, as well as an epic guitar solo from Rick over Peter’s ’80s-style synth.

Goose – “Wysteria Lane” – 8/25/22

[Video: drbobzero]

Ben Atkind wished a happy honeymoon to a couple in the audience before Peter Anspach led the band into a joyous “The Empress of Organos”, showcasing his chops with an old school rock n roll piano solo. He also led the audience to clap along and hyped them up during another exquisite bass solo from Weekz before playing a funky clavinet solo himself. The high-energy jam was one of the highlights of the show.

Goose – “Empress of Organos” – 8/25/22

[Video: drbobzero]

Ben Atkind led the charge on the last song of the set, “726”, with a slow but purposeful groove on the toms. More powerful vocal harmonies and raw emotion from Mitarotonda, plus some well placed all-enveloping bass bombs from Weekz helped end the set on a high note. The band finished strong with an extended, high-energy guitar solo from Rick and more gongs from Arevalo.

Goose – “726” – 8/25/22

[Video: drbobzero]

Upon returning to the stage for the encore, Peter Anspach spoke to the crowd expressing appreciation and taking note of the unique venue nestled right in the middle of downtown Portland. The crowd cheered with joy when he announced, “We love playing on the West Coast. We’re gonna keep coming back.” He then asked how many people were seeing Goose for the first time and most of the audience raised their hands. It was surprising to see that it was a first for so many—or maybe not that surprising given the band’s recent rise in popularity. Either way, after a show like that, you can be sure it won’t be their last.

Before starting the encore, Anspach pointed to the fan with the sign saying, “Play The Pina Colada Song!” and said, “We’re finally gonna give them what they want.” The tropical Rupert Holmes cover was a perfect end to one of Portland’s last big shows of the summer.

Goose – “Escape (The Pina Colada Song)” (Rupert Holmes) – 8/25/22

[Video: drbobzero]

As the crowd filed out of the venue, fans craned their necks to identify a mysterious hissing sound, but it wasn’t the nitrous mafia, just Portland’s city street cleaners.

Setlist: Goose | Pioneer Courthouse Square | Portland, OR | 8/25/22

Set 1: Indian River, Elizabeth, Turbulence & The Night Rays, Butterflies, The Old Man’s Boat, Time to Flee, Tumble

Set 2: Wysteria Lane, Please Forgive Me (David Gray), Seekers on the Ridge Pt. 1, Seekers on the Ridge Pt. 2, The Empress of Organos, 726

Encore: Escape (The Piña Colada Song) (Rupert Holmes)