Throughout the long, involved rollout of the latest Goose album, Dripfield, the CT-native quintet has echoed a similar sentiment about its creative intentions: one foot in the jam world, one foot in the indie world, all eyes on a future that seems brighter by the day. That vision crystallized in a riveting fashion this weekend as Goose celebrated the release of the new LP with six sets over two nights at New York’s iconic Radio City Music Hall featuring guest appearances by living legends from both worlds including indie-folk hero Joshua Tillman (a.k.a. Father John Misty) and jam band patriarch Trey Anastasio of Phish.

On Friday, as Dripfield made its way out into the world, Goose, a band that was playing modest NYC clubs like the 250-capacity Mercury Lounge just two and a half years ago, notched a new milestone with its debut performance at the 6,000-seat Manhattan entertainment landmark. Taking a cue from the Grateful Dead‘s 1980 Radio City run, immortalized as Dead Ahead, Goose primed the audience with an acoustic set featuring before plugging in for a two-set electric show.

The band gave a nod to that parallel with its first-ever live rendition of “Jack-A-Roe”, the traditional tune adopted by Jerry Garcia and the Dead, though that proved to be the only cover of the night. This night was about Goose, Dripfield, and the new heights to which this unit has climbed. The group went on to barrel through a second set featuring a mix of old favorites and new additions to the repertoire before opening set three with the journeying saga of “Madhuvan”.

To round out Friday’s third frame, Goose called upon a number of guests to highlight the far-reaching sonic elements on the new record. Dripfield‘s producer, the acclaimed D. James Goodwin, strapped on a guitar, Stuart Bogie brought his saxophone, and Dave Nelson added trombone on a pair of old Goose favorites played in the re-worked arrangements found on the album, “Hot Tea” and “Arrow”.

Goose’s Radio City/Dripfield celebration shifted into high gear on Saturday with a flurry of promotional looks, from the band’s national TV debut by way of a pre-taped performance on CBS Saturday Morning (click below for videos) to a record-signing event at Rough Trade NYC to an Akomplice hot dog stand merch pop-up to an NFT poster drop. Even through all of that, a different narrative rippled through the fanbase on Saturday afternoon: Trey Anastasio’s gear had been spotted on 6th Avenue being loaded into the venue.

Goose – “Slow Ready” – CBS Saturday Morning: Saturday Sessions

Goose – “Hungersite” – CBS Saturday Morning: Saturday Sessions

Goose – “Borne” – CBS Saturday Morning: Saturday Sessions

Watch Goose CBS Saturday Morning Performances

Another acoustic prelude got Saturday’s show started as fans filed back into the theater for the big finale. Arcade Fire‘s “Wake Up” and Bruce Springsteen‘s “Atlantic City” mingled with bluegrass-light staple “Flodown”, Dripfield‘s folky “Moonrise”, an even newer selection from the band’s ever-growing songbook (“Atlas Dogs”), and a unique take on rare fan-favorite “Elmeg The Wise” as the band seized attention of the capacity crowd with a whisper ahead of the roar to come.

A rumbling string of jams rolled in to start set two, each showing off the unique sonic qualities the band strives to embody. With abundant credit due to the three-part rhythm section of drummer Ben Atkind, bassist Trevor Weekz, and percussionist Jeff Arevalo, the sound of Goose is the sound of expanding and contracting, of generating steam, of an avalanche closing in around you and a far-off voice calling you back toward the surface. On “Rockdale”, “Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 1 & Pt. 2”, and “Red Bird”, Goose ably navigated that space, constructing towers of swelling sound to fill the cavernous room and washing over the jagged snags in their bricks and mortar like rising flood waters.

Related: I Know That Life Comes Better: Backstage With Goose [Interview]

Set two brought the first of the night’s big surprises as “Red Bird” flowed into Father John Misty’s “I’m Writing A Novel” and Peter Anspach announced that the man himself, Joshua Tillman, was coming on to sing it with them—one foot in the indie world, one foot in the jam world. The set-closing “Creatures” solidified that middle ground, its vocoder-laden melody, hazy ambiance, and contemplative song-craft evoking underground radio even as it pulled toward improvisational exploration.

Goose – “Creatures” – 6/25/22

[Video: LazyLightning55a]

As the set closed, Anspach informed the crowd that the band would be going late tonight and promised plenty more excitement on the way. He doubled down on that telling pledge when the band strode back onstage after 11:00 p.m. “Hey,” he said. “Let’s jam.”

“Feel the rush,” Rick Mitarotonda urged the crowd as Goose began its sixth and final set of the weekend with the probing “Silver Rising”, yet another new tune introduced after Dripfield was in the can. The crowd exploded as a beaming Anspach finally introduced the guest that everyone knew was coming, Trey Anastasio, who would remain onstage for the remainder of the show.

Though the worlds of Goose and Phish had yet to cross before Saturday night, that hasn’t stopped the two fanbases—a Venn diagram with a wide midsection—from discussing the two acts together at length. Listeners often cite similar sounds and approaches taken by Goose as being Phish-inspired, and they’re not off-base. The members of Goose have never been shy about the formative effect that Phish has had on them as artists and musicians. You could even make the point that the list of jam bands with the ability to pull off a two-night Radio City run today is a short one, and the fact that Goose is on it begs the comparison on its own.

But the point around which Phish/Goose conversations often spin is the “torch,” the idea that Goose (or anyone) is “next,” the heir to a throne held by Trey and his college buddies with minimal contention for decades. I spoke about the futility of that premise on the first-ever episode of (not a) Goose podcast The Great Beyond, and my feelings remain the same after Saturday’s historic summit. If there is a “torch,” so to speak, it’s just a vessel for the flame it carries. That flame has inarguably spread in new directions through the years, but existing burns don’t go out as a fire spreads—they just make the space brighter.

Goose came to play with a growing fire of its own, a well-earned hot streak that deserved every ounce of its spotlight on one of the Big Apple’s biggest stages. Trey strolled over from his home down the block with his Languedoc in one hand and a bit of his long-held flame in the other and helped push the proceedings from fire to inferno.

Beginning with an anthemic “Hungersite” > “Arcadia” segment featuring Anastasio on guitar and vocals, the elder guitarist slid seamlessly into the realm of Goose and gave his younger counterparts a workout at their own game, heating the enveloping material to a boiling point.

“He’s gonna stay,” Rick told the approving crowd after a quick conference with Anastasio in the wake of “ArTreydia”. “Can we keep him, Papa?” an innocent Anspach chimed in.

Goose ft. Trey Anastasio – “Hungersite” > “Arcadia” [Pro-Shot] – 6/25/22

Anastasio stuck around to add a third guitar to “Dripfield“, a song quickly becoming a surefire highlight any time it appears, as he, Rick, and Peter huddled at center stage. The presence of the jam dignitary on this rendition helped make it perhaps the best version yet, an edge-of-your-seat voyage that took the band through a “Loose Ends” (The Band) interlude before winding to a close.

Another conference with Trey, another confirmation from Rick: “Alright,” he reported. “He’s still gonna stay.” With that, Goose took wing into a sprawling “Empress of Organos”, each member of the band getting their time to shine with a solo along the thrilling ride.

Rick’s words seemed to reach beyond the set itself and into the future: “He’s gonna stay.” If Trey was ever holding a torch, it’s still firmly in his grasp. But don’t be distracted by that conventional, linear narrative. Instead, take a look around at the space that this growing flame continues to illuminate. Out of a jam scene long dominated by Trey, and inspired by the indie world of Father John Misty, Goose has found a space of its own in the sandbox, a space big enough for all of them to play in together. Good things tend to gravitate toward other good things, and those cross-pollinations faithfully multiply. The proof was in the air at Radio City, and in the music, and in the mystified grins on the players’ faces. No torch was passed on Saturday night, but the collective flame undoubtedly glowed a little bit hotter.

 

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The encore, a dance-rock explosion in the form of The Beatles‘ “Tomorrow Never Knows”, brought both Trey Anastasio and Father John Misty—two Radio City headliners in their own right—back into the fold for a finale befitting of this collision of worlds. One foot in the jam world, one foot in the indie world, all eyes on a future that seems brighter by the day.

Goose – Radio City Music Hall – New York, NY – 6/25/22 – Full Show

Next Saturday, Goose will take the stage at The Peach Music Festival for a late-night set on the main stage after…*checks notes*…would you look at that, Trey Anastasio Band. Here’s hoping Montage Mountain has plenty of fire extinguishers at the ready. Just in case.

Related: Growing With The Peach Music Festival: 6 Acts Returning With New Momentum In 2022 [Videos]

For a list of upcoming Goose tour dates, head here. Scroll down to check out setlists and photo galleries from both nights at Radio City Music Hall via Bahram Foroughi.

Setlist: Goose | Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY | 6/24/22

Set One (Acoustic): California Magic, Elizabeth, Jack-a-Roe (Traditional/Grateful Dead) [1], Turned Clouds, This Old Sea, All I Need

Set Two: Tumble, Borne, The Whales, A Western Sun, Pancakes

Set Three: Madhuvan, Hot Tea [2], Arrow [2]

Encore: Animal

[1] FTP by Goose
[2] Studio arrangement with Stuart Bogie on saxophone, D. James Goodwin on guitar, Dave Nelson on Trombone

Setlist: Goose | Radio City Music Hall | New York, NY | 6/25/22

Set One (Acoustic): Atlas Dogs, Moonrise, Wake Up (Arcade Fire), Atlantic City (Bruce Springsteen), Flodown, Elmeg The Wise

Set Two: Rockdale, Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 1 & Pt 2, Red Bird > I’m Writing A Novel (Father John Misty) [1], Creatures [2]

Set Three: Silver Rising, Hungersite [3], Arcadia [3], Dripfield [4] [5], The Empress of Organos [4]

Encore: Tomorrow Never Knows (The Beatles) [3] [6]

[1] with Father John Misty on vocals
[2] Peter walked up the stage left stairs while playing the intro
[3] with Trey Anastasio of Phish on guitar and vocals
[4] with Trey Anastasio of Phish on guitar
[5] with “Loose Ends” (The Band) jam
[6] with Father John Misty on drums and vocals, Jeff Arevalo on guitar