After playing exclusively outdoors since their last indoor show on March 11th, 2020, Goose returned to Terminal 5 on Saturday night for the back end of a pair of sold-out shows. Make no mistake about it, Goose made more out of the extended outdoor season than any band in the business, but sound and energy multiply indoors and the densely packed room was pulsating with all manner of positive vibrations.

If you were at the instant classic that was Saturday night’s three-set Goose show, then you felt what I felt and you know what I know; stick around and relive the magic. If you don’t know, then make it your business to find out. Mustachioed peaks built upon sultry bass grooves; beastly bald beats and GQ-smooth percussion keeping time and dictating the pace. These migratory fowl from Wilton, CT with a predilection for improvisation are always seeking new territory (see: Ted Tapes 2021). Come for the party, but stay to peel back the onion and experience much, much more.

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

Responding to the crowd’s vitality in kind, Goose came out with the excited energy of kids with a secret, ripping into an opening “Tumble” that begged the question, “is every ‘Tumble’ the g.o.a.t.?” Probably not, and neither was this one, but it sure does feel that way in the moment—every single time. “Bob Don” preceded a full-band debut of the Peter Anspach-penned “Life On The Shelf”, a song about Peter’s parents’ divorce, a fact he shared during his solo acoustic set at Fred The Festival (this was also the band’s second original debut in as many days).

Goose — “Life On The Shelf” — 10/9/21

[Video: Marc Komito]

“White Lights” was tall to the task that was New York City’s premier party on Saturday night, kicking off uninterrupted forty-plus minutes that included a rowdy “Jive I” > “Jive Lee” combo before a set-closing cover of The Clash’s “Rock The Casbah” with percussionist Jeffrey Aravelo taking lead vocals that engaged the crowd in an ear-splitting sing-along.

The second set kicked off with a slow and sexy “Wysteria Lane” before a new take on “It Burns Within”, a wistful love song (played for just the fourth time since 2014) that had me regretting that my wife didn’t stick around for night two. “Seekers On The Ridge”, a power ballad whose trajectory seems limitless, just keeps getting better with every play since first being unhatched in South Farms on 11/7/20.

It’s hard to find the right words to describe the party atmosphere that is a Goose show, even more so a sold-out Saturday night gig in a 3,000-cap room in New York City. Picture the wildest scene you can imagine, whether it’s the pool party from Boogie Nights, Almost Famous, or The Great Gatsby, Goose’s latest gig approximated the same. Shirtless fanatics, glittered goddesses, and scarf-wielding lunatics scattered about the room, jumping and screaming and losing their minds for the duration, but never more so than when Goose reached into their bag of tricks for “Hot Tea”, long regarded as the singular most fun tune in the growing catalog.

Just to be clear, if this song is in your arsenal and you fail to play it on Saturday night in New York, then shame on you. But it is and they did and it was nothing short of epic. “Dragonfly”, a blazing instrumental with trademark Rick Mitarotonda guitar runs, is only the second song to be played live from the aforementioned Ted Tapes 2021 and made its live debut to mark the end of the second set. Here’s to hoping that Goose continues to play both this and other tracks (“Camino”, pretty please) from the 2020 release.

In the space of time that Goose would normally leave the stage for an encore break (or not), Peter Anspach announced that the band would return for an entire third set, thereby making up for a year’s worth of missed encores and rain shortened-sets as well as confirming ground level rumors spread from building staff and others that it was due to be a late night. As posted by Jon “Coach” Lombardi on social media in the band’s setlist notes, “The band played 3 sets as a surprise and as a gesture of gratitude to our fans. This was very special as the band has only played a handful of 3 set shows since inception on 9/27/14.” On behalf of those fans, thank you, thank you, and thank you. We see you, we feel you, and we love you, too.

Oh this moment is the only thing you know

Kicking off the festive stanza was a rare and appropriately rowdy cover of The Brother’s Johnson’s “Get The Funk Out Of My Face”. Goose staple “Creatures” would follow before Mitarotonda and company would tackle Foster The People’s “Pumped Up Kicks”. “Madhuvan” went deep into extraterrestrial territory before bassist Trevor Weekz read a poem by Robert Frost entitled “Acquainted in the Night”, the first such act since 2020’s Bingo Tour. A turn through Bobby Blue Band’s “Turn On Your Lovelight” kept the fun levels peaking before the bottom bread of a “Madhuvan” sandwich closed the historic set. Goose would return for an encore, a “Hot Teaprise” that completed the second set’s unfinished gem.

Every show is the best show since the last show until the next show. I said it yesterday and I’ll say it again next time. Here on Wysteria Lane, we don’t rank shows, we just collect them (and superlative people with whom to share them). Just as music is the inspiration for these words, the singular purpose of this review is to inspire you to find your next best show (here’s a list). Goose delivers, every single time.

If only there was a way
that I could bring you there today

19,342 steps.

Goose continues their tour with a Halloween run, beginning in Portland, ME on October 28. Head to the band’s website for details and ticketing information.

Goose – Terminal 5 – New York, NY – 10/9/21

Setlist: Goose | Terminal 5 | New York, NY | 10/9/21

Set One: Tumble, Bob Don, Life On The Shelf {1}, White Lights > Jive I > Jive Lee > Rock The Casbah {2}

Set Two: Wysteria Lane > It Burns Within {3} > Seekers on the Ridge pt I & pt II > Hot Tea > Dragon Fly {4}

Set Three: Get The Funk Out of My Face {5}, Creatures > Pumped Up Kicks {6}, Madhuvan > Tweekz Reads Poetry {7} > Turn On Your Love Light {8} > Madhuvan

Encore: Teaprise {9}

Coach’s Notes:
{1} New Original song, FTP
{2} The Clash
{3} Played in a new feel
{4} FTP, After the song Handini told the crowd that they would be back for a third set
{5} The Brothers Johnson
{6} Foster The People
{7} Tweekz read a poem by Robert “Bobby” Frost entitled `Acquainted in the night’
{8} Bobby Blue Band
{9} Finished the Hot Tea from set two
•These were the bands first indoor shows since March 11th, 2020
•Both shows were Sold Out
•The band played 3 sets as a surprise & as a gesture of gratitude to fans. The band had only played a handful of 3-set shows since its inception on 9.27.14.