Mutual respect and admiration marked a perfect symbiosis for Trey Anastasio Band and Goose, two great bands that—regardless of their ability to stand alone—sound great together. In fact, ego was the only thing noticeably missing from “Taboose” tour and the absence of any agenda other than the spirit of collaboration and good clean fun, resulting in a product that transcended both its musical notes and the sum of its parts. Undoubtedly, the ripples of this tour’s legacy will be felt in some way, shape, or form for a long time to come.

From the most eager Goose fans to the most jaded veterans of Phish tour, anyone still having a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that Trey Anastasio Band and Goose just wrapped a co-headlining tour is surely not alone. Disbelief, however, does not change the fact that over the course of eight nights, Trey Anastasio logged roughly eight hours over 17 songs on stage with Goose who reciprocated by joining Trey and his band in some combination of personnel—Rick Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach, Trevor Weekz, Jeffrey Arevalo, and Ben Atkind– for almost double the output in terms of songs (34) but nearly identical when measured in minutes.

As Goose took the stage at Santander Arena in Reading, PA for its final set of the tour, Peter Anspach summed up the experience for Goose: “This is semi-bittersweet because this is the most amazing tour we’ve ever been on. We’re so grateful to everybody. Thanks to Trey and his whole band and everybody. We’re gonna burn it down one more night. Let’s do this thing!”

Goose then kicked things off with a run of “Flodown”, “Pancakes”, “Turned Clouds”, and “Dripfield”. In sharp contrast to the band’s first crack at arena rock earlier this year when Goose leveled up to arena-sized play during Goosemas, both the band and production team were visibly relaxed and dialed in, and nowhere was that more evident than in their ability to improvise and create in real-time. “Pancakes” and “Dripfield”, for example, both provide ample evidence of full Type II improvisation, lingo that may not have been acceptable in this context before anyone other than Trey himself gave Goose his blessing.

Anspach continued his earlier thoughts before inviting Trey to the stage for one last time: “Being on tour with Trey has been a dream come true. We are so grateful for everything that’s happened. Not only do we get to play music with him but he’s shared so much of his wisdom and so many beautiful things with us. We’re so grateful for just having the chance to hang out with him.”

After genuine but perfunctory hugs all around, Trey then joined Goose as the familiar first notes of “Rockdale” rang out. “Elmeg The Wise”, thought by many to be the crown jewel in Goose’s catalog, would follow and was marked equally by both its placement in the setlist and by Rick’s tender lyrics which were paradoxically heavy with purpose. That intention did not, however, deter the musicians from continuing to lean in, on, and around each other in coloring outside the lines and creating spontaneous magic.

The TAB horns (James Casey, Natalie Cressman, and Jennifer Hartswick) then joined Trey and Goose on stage for a “Hot Tea” party for the ages, a coronation to celebrate “Elmeg”’s crown jewel as Goose and Trey put the finishing touches on yet another best-tour-ever, this one truly without comparison or equal.

As much as Goose has evolved under Jedi master Trey’s tutelage and camaraderie, there’s simply no denying that the counterpoint also holds true. Whether Trey was challenged by the closing role of the tour’s format or simply invigorated by the fountain of youth, these eight nights of TAB sets also marked a leveling-up of sorts for a theater-sized band playing arena-sized shows with a renewed sense of childlike joy and vigor.

The 77-person crew responsible for re and disassembling the entire production in eight arenas over 11 days then turned over the stage for the final time before Trey Anastasio took his first turn with the mic to share some of his thoughts, “It’s really impossible to describe how fun this tour has been. We’re gonna be very sad it’s over tonight but it was a true gift getting to know everyone in Goose and everyone on the Goose crew and doing this whole thing together.”

When the capacity crowd—an arena record that bested the previous high set by Phish in 2013—finished a “GOOOOOOOOOSE” chant that he started, Trey then jokingly qualified, ”They’re saying Goose,” before continuing, “We knew it was going to be fun when we met at Radio City, or actually one time before that. We just had a feeling and it turned out to be even more fun than we thought it was going to be. I feel very blessed and want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart … We will cherish (this experience).” “A Life Beyond The Dream” fittingly followed those last remarks.

Trey Anastasio Band – “Push On Til’ The Day” [Pro-Shot] – 11/19/22

Rick and Peter then joined Trey and company for a run of “Ghost”, “Hey Stranger”, and “Everything’s Right” before bandmates Trevor, Ben, and Jeff joined to account for all 13 members of both bands on stage together for the final time. No matter what other takeaways this tour had to offer, one theme that surfaced time and again is the unimpeachable fact that despite his own humility and the excitement toward Goose’s rise, Trey Anastasio takes the backseat to no one. Repeats be damned, there was no way this tour wasn’t ending with Trey holding his guitar aloft under the glow of a disco ball with a perfectly scripted “First Tube” to close out the Taboose tour’s final main set.

Intention in Trey’s song selection continued into the encore, as did the repeats, and the slow “Llama” that followed gave Trey and company one last chance to shout “Llama, Taboose, Taboose” as a highlight from the tour’s opening night mercifully resurfaced just under the wire.

“Show Of Life” lent a vibe of heartfelt gratitude and expressive thanks before “Party Time” brought the party to a light-hearted close. As the song wound down and the Taboose pulled into the station for the final time, Cyro Baptista led a second-line march around and eventually off of the stage but not before a fan up front passed a toy torch to Trey who then passed it to Rick who then dropped the pass which was then picked up by Peter and held high overhead before being handed off to Trevor who then carried it off the stage, firmly in Goose’s possession. That actually happened so don’t shoot the messenger but do feel free to draw your own conclusions.

Whether viewed in light of Goose pulling off yet another unthinkable achievement in a long line of them or through the lens of Trey eschewing collaborative projects outside of Phish or TAB for the duration of essentially his entire career, Taboose tour has been unmistakably significant. Further, whether it happens again or not, though decidedly a point of interest, is moot. Many of the experiences garnered along the way were transformative in nature and thus outside the reach of language for all involved, but the lessons learned will remain as surely as the playlists. Fresh off a night–and a tour–to be cherished forever, don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.

Goose will take a victory lap through Colorado for Goosemas in December before wrapping up a remarkable year with a New Year’s run through Cincinnati as Trey Anastasio’s next show’s will be with Phish at Madison Square Garden.

Goose – Santander Arena – Reading, PA – 11/19/22 – Full Set

Goose & Trey Anastasio Band – Highlights – 11/19/22

[Video: Dean Novin]

Goose – “Flodown” – 11/19/22

[Video: aershko]

Goose, Trey Anastasio – “Rockdale” – 11/19/22

[Video: Jude Perfect]

Trey Anastasio Band, Rick Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach – “Ghost” – 11/19/22 – Partial

[Video: Amber Schaeffer]

Trey Anastasio Band, Goose – “Party Time” – 11/19/22 – Partial

[Video: Dean Novin]

View Fan-Shot Videos

Setlist: Goose | Santander Arena | Reading, PA | 11/19/22

One Set: Flodown[1], Pancakes, Turned Clouds, Dripfield, Rockdale[2], Elmeg The Wise[2], Hot Tea[3]

Coach’s Notes:
[1] Flopener.
[2] With Trey Anastasio on guitar.
[3] With Trey Anastasio on guitar, James Casey on saxophone, Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet, and Natalie Cressman on trombone.

Setlist: Trey Anastasio Band | Santander Arena | Reading, PA | 11/19/22

Set One: Push On ‘Til the Day, Love Is What We Are, Mozambique, Cayman Review, Camel Walk, Twist, No Men In No Man’s Land, A Life Beyond The Dream, …And Flew Away, Dark and Down, Ghost [1], Hey Stranger [1], Everything’s Right[1], First Tube [2]

Encore: Llama [3], Show of Life [4], Party Time [5]
[1] Rick Mitarotonda on guitar and Peter Anspach on keys.
[2] Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys, Trevor Weeks on bass, and Jeff Arevalo and Ben Atkind on percussion.
[3] Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys, and Jeff Arevalo, Ben Atkind, and Trevor Weeks on percussion; performed in an alternate arrangement. Final lyric changed to “Taboose.”
[4] Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys, and Jeff Arevalo, Ben Atkind, and Trevor Weeks on percussion.
[5] Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys and vocals, and Jeff Arevalo, Ben Atkind, and Trevor Weeks on percussion. Ended with the horns and everyone else on percussion playing as everyone walked off stage.

Goose opened for TAB at this co-bill show. Hey Stranger through Party Time featured Rick Mitarotonda on guitar and Peter Anspach on keys. First Tube through Party Time also featured Jeff Arevalo and Ben Atkind on percussion. Trevor Weekz played bass on First Tube and was on percussion for the encore. Llama was performed in an alternate arrangement and had its final lyric changed to “Taboose.” Party Time ended with the horns and everyone else on percussion playing as everyone walked off stage.