It’s a Goosemas miracle! Indie-groove quartet Goose flew home to Connecticut on Saturday for their annual holiday show dubbed Goosemas VI at Norwalk’s Wall Street Theater. The band played countless originals, Christmas covers, and even several original debuts throughout their year-ending performance.
Doey Joey began his first of three supporting sets with funk, disco, hip-hop, and Christmas-inspired house music as fans were herded through the entrance and swept through the merch line. He showcased his mixing chops throughout the night with remixes of Prince, James Brown, Sugarhill Gang, and even Goose’s “Time To Flee” between sets.
Talkpeck Soundsystem (TPSS) followed Doey Joey as the dance floor filled to capacity. The band featured many familiar faces while seamlessly weaving together the music of The Talking Heads, Vulfpeck, and LCD Soundsystem. Rob Compa (Dopapod), Sammi Garett (Turkuaz), Avery Acevedo, Scotty Zwang (Ghost Light), Rob Madore (Electroniq Soul), Jeff Engborg (Great Blue), Ian McGuire (CIA), and Miles Livolsi all joined the group led by guitarist and vocalist Matt McNulty. Unique renditions of The Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House”, Vulfpeck’s “Back Pocket”, and LCD Soundsystem’s “Home” were notable aspects of their explosive performance. The room was packed from the floor to the balcony and fans were singing along to nearly every song throughout their 90-minute set.
Following another DJ set by Doey Joey, Goose was ready to take the stage for their sixth consecutive Goosemas just after 10:00 p.m. However, this year’s Goosemas was quite different from the small bar events of the past. When Rick Mitarotonda, Pete Anspach, Trevor Weeks, and Ben Atkind took to the stage, they saw over a thousand faces in the sold-out theater eagerly awaiting their arrival. They wasted little time pulling out surprises.
The band kicked off their “The Ghost of Goosemas Past” set with an acoustic cover debut of The Band‘s “Christmas Must Be Tonight”. The band then exchanged their acoustic guitars for electrics for “Tumble” before breaking out the next surprise. Peter Castaldi, a former member of Goose, joined the band on guitar and vocals for “Gringo” before moving into “All I Need”, a recently released studio single. “All I Need” segued flawlessly into an exploratory rendition of the holiday classic “Carol of the Bells”, best known for the ubiquitous version performed by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Goose – “Carol of the Bells” – 12/21/19
[Video: Charlie Jenkins]
The relatively rare “Rosewood Heart” off Goose’s 2016 release, Moon Cabin, highlighted the second half of set one. Anspach harmonized well with Mitarotonda’s wistful vocals, which carried into a keyboard- and guitar-dominated jam section. This segued into a cover of The Waitresses‘ “Christmas Wrapping” on which Anspach cleverly changed the chorus from “Merry Christmas” to “Merry Goosemas”. The band was staged in front of a backdrop containing several Christmas trees whose lights were controlled by LD Andrew Goedde. The upbeat “Yeti” followed before the set closed with the Vince Guaraldi-penned Peanuts Christmas classic, “Linus and Lucy”.
A third DJ set by Doey Joey led into the final set of Goosemas, dubbed “The Ghost of Goosemas Future”. “Wysteria Lane” got the crowd moving with a thumping bassline, reverberating vocals, and a sprawling jam section driven by Weeks and Atkind. A cover of “Sweet Home Chicago” guided the band into their first original debut of the night, “Arrow”.
The surprises continued to pile up as the band played “White Lights” with “snow” falling from the sky. From there, Goose, who had not debuted an original song in quite some time, was then ready to give fans one of the final surprises of the night. The cheery and buoyant “White Lights” set up their second original debut of the night, “Honey Bee”. Suddenly, the room fell from the top of a high peak into the valley of “Slow Ready”—a trancey, synth-dominated version of “So Ready”. A dark and expansive “Creatures” > “Tomorrow Never Knows” (The Beatles) set the room ablaze as the band powered through extensive improv sections.
As “The Ghost of Goosemas Future” set was coming to a close, they decided to bust out a rendition of “Your Ocean”, a rare original that the band has only ever played a couple of times. “Your Ocean” segued strategically back into a set bookending “Wysteria Lane”.
Goose blew right through their encore break to announce the winners of their Food Drive to benefit The Open Door Shelter. Anspach announced the winning tickets while the band kept a steady groove going. A jam section took the band right up to the 1:45 a.m. curfew. Endless cheers of “Goose!” rang throughout the theater as the band took a family photo, capping off their sixth-annual Goosemas, and by far their biggest yet.
Fans will have plenty more opportunities to see Goose as they kick off a lengthy cross country tour in 2020 including 13 West Coast dates with Pigeons Playing Ping Pong. The tour will begin on January 24th at The Bowery Ballroom in New York City and continue through April. For tickets and tour information visit the band’s official website.
Below, check out a gallery of photos from the show courtesy of Kendall McCargo.
Setlist: Goose | Wall Street Theater | Norwalk, CT | 12/21/19
Set 1: Christmas Must Be, Tumble, Gringo, Slow Need > Carol of the Bells, Rosewood Heart > Christmas Wrapping  > Yeti, Linus and Lucy 
Set 2: Wysteria Lane > Sweet Home Chicago > Arrow > White Lights, Honey Bee, Slow Ready, Creatures > Tomorrow Never Knows  > Your Ocean > Wysteria Lane
 The Band
 w/Peter Castaldi
 Trans-Siberian Orchestra
 The Waitresses
 Vince Guaraldi
 Blues Brothers
 Original Debut
 The Beatles
*Setlist is unconfirmed