After Monday night’s compact and torrid affair in the swamps of Frederick, MD, Goose returned to Showtime at the Drive-In for the second night of a tour opening back-to-back run. Under sunlit skies with only a passing drizzle, Tuesday’s show was lining up to be a more traditional affair.

For the fans lined up early for GA car assignments, a nearly two-hour soundcheck graced the early summer afternoon—running the gamut from some proper “Ted” jams to “726”, “Jive II”, and a few others that would prove as spoilers for later that night—eliciting memories of days of yore and prompting the thought, “Is there anything more summer tour than a mid-afternoon soundcheck under hot and sunny skies?”

Aside from the marsh that occupied the area closest to the stage (another present for those who spent the day in line), the venue was mystically restored to its antediluvian state for most of Tuesday’s attendees.

With no time to waste after Monday’s rain-shortened effort, the band took the stage promptly and charged out of the gates with a dense and powerful “Time To Flee”. “Echo of a Rose” gave guitarist/keyboardist Peter Anspach a chance to provide the mustache-iest background vocal in the Goose catalog (Jungle roo-oom) for just the first time since Swanzey, NH on 10/3/30, but if we’re honest, is an eight-show stretch really worthy of setlist footnote? {C’mon @Coach.}

Anspach got down and dirty on the Nord as “All I Need” thumped along to usher in the crowd’s first look at Rick Mitarotonda’s stank face with sweltering leads on guitar and the night’s first soaring peak. The band’s transition work behind the scenes continued with a perfect segue that ultimately found its home in the extended intro into dance vehicle “Flodown” as the sun set slowly behind the band. Let the lyrics tell it:

The sun is going down and everyone around

Is headed for the Flodown

We’ll freshen up and head into the scene

Rowdiest shindig I ever seen

The gathering of clowns

From all the nearby towns

Living up the Flodown

“Honeybee” went deep before the crowd was treated to an absolutely searing and first-ever cover of Jackson Browne’s “Doctor My Eyes”, a moment portended during the afternoon’s soundcheck. Make it a point to listen back to this one to reveal the stylistic fire that defines Goose’s highly discussed cover game.

Feeling like that could have been enough for a proper set, but with ample time left before the break, the band then launched into a ferocious “Arcadia”, worthy of any position in the setlist but called to its set-closing task on this night. A song that readily engages the good old best-ever debate, “Arcadia” is this band’s opus: it’s the reason why we wait in line and it’s the reason why we come back. So while I won’t engage in the folly of whether or not this was the best “Arcadia” ever, it was definitely the best “Arcadia” last night and I wouldn’t be surprised to see it rise to the top of the heap once the historians have their way with it.

The magic lives in the moment when both sides of the stage are mutually present for the symbiotic transfer of energy that makes live music livemusic. But they’re exhausting, so after a well-deserved rest, the band emerged after the break with “Creatures”, another one for the historians to sort out in due time. Throughout nearly 20 minutes full of, well, everything, Rick drove the point home over and over, time and again, “Oh this moment, is the only thing you know.” “Ocean”, another of the afternoon’s soundcheck features followed the segue on the back end of “Creatures”.

“Tumble”, yet another of Goose’s signature tunes that will vie for the attention of the record keepers, its lyrics find a home in moments both big and small, from the smaller scale of the last two days to the much grander scheme of this thing we call life. Music heals and helps people connect with their deepest selves on a visceral, almost tribal level. The community that has become such a part of Goose’s success is here for more than a good time. We’re here for this…

Maybe there’s no bad luck

You gotta go down if you want to get up

It’ll all come around some day

But for now, what to do

If you take a, if you take a tumble

If you take a spill

There is a lesson to learn

And a cup to refill

And if you stumble

If your balance you lose

A road lies ahead so tie up your shoes

“Seekers On The Ridge”, debuted at South Farms (11/7/20) and played again at Goosemas (12/11/20), was played last night for just the third time ever, a slightly misleading fact since all of those took place within the stretch of Goose’s last five shows. A big song that no doubt holds a far deeper meaning beneath the surface of its lyrics, there is perhaps a larger saga woven by Rick into the fabric of the Goose catalog with his unmistakably personal pen.

One day I’ll hope to unravel that tale, but for now let’s just say that the questions are the answers and the joy is the journey. This song makes me feel. And “Slow Ready” makes me dance, even if Goedde’s lasers were a one-time South Farms deal. Running up against a hard curfew, there was nothing left to give, even if the unfortunate strike-through on back-to-back nights of “The Way It Is” turned out to be the way it wasn’t.

Living for the moment myself, I’ll firmly aver that Goose doesn’t lay eggs and every show is the best show since the last show, last night being no exception. The next best show is two days away in Charleston, SC.

17,714 steps. (and 9,233 from Monday’s compact affair which corrects this writer’s omission from 5/3/21)

Check out the “Time to Flee” opener from Goose night two at Showtime At The Drive-In on Tuesday.

Goose – “Time To Flee” – Frederick, MD – 5/4/21

Setlist: Goose | Showtime At The Drive-In | Frederick, MD | 5/4/21

Set One: Time to Flee, Echo of a Rose {1} > All I Need > Flo Down, Honey Bee {2}, Doctor My Eyes {3}, Arcadia

Set Two:  Creatures > Ocean, Tumble, Seekers on the Ridge, Slow Ready

Coach’s Notes

{1} LTP 10/3/20 • Swanzey, NH

{2} First version w/o rainstick since Bingo tour acoustic sheep set 6.28.20 Millstone Farm Wilton, CT

{3} FTP, Jackson Brown

Soundcheck: Doctor, Ocean, Jive II