Just three days removed from the first arena show in the band’s history, Goose returned to the storied 9:30 Club in Washington, D.C. to kick off the second leg of winter tour with a veritable barn burner.

Visibly unburdened of the pressures and expectations of rising to an arena-sized occasion—which they did with aplomb—team Goose settled into a resounding victory lap fresh on the heels of their greatest accomplishment to date. Wasting no time, Goose unleashed an instant classic performance in our nation’s capital on Tuesday to kick off a stretch of ten shows in twelve nights. It’s a good thing that every show is the best show since the last show until the next show, because the bar has been raised yet again… the Goose is loose!

Opening with the traditional “Liza Jane”, lead guitarist Rick Mitarotonda took some not-so-traditional white light peaks that helped the capacity crowd find its sea legs in the swollen room. “Drive” followed, keyboardist Peter Anspach quickly fleeing the safety of his stage-left keyboard and unleashing his wireless pink Fender Strat as he joined Mitarotonda for dueling guitar shred. The band quickly found its improvisational footing as lighting director Andrew Goedde bathed the room in linear pastels that later burst into muted spirals while Rick crouched down to turn knobs lead his mates through some darker, psychedelic space. The interplay between Rick and Peter would emerge as an early theme as Peter moved back to his Vintage Vibe electric piano and patiently led the band through a scorching peak.

More than twenty minutes later, Goose satisfied fans with the elusive “Travelers”, part one of the Elmeg suite and likely the closest we’re going to get to the most coveted song in Goose’s steadily expanding catalog, especially for a first set offering. “Doc Brown” took the ninety-five-minute opening set to its midway point. Trevor Weekz led the way through “The Old Man’s Boat” with an early bass solo as yet another recent debut (11/8/21) verified its stronghold on fans’ wishlists. Shoutout to both sound technician Sam Bardani and Trevor for delivering the low end rumble in four dimensions.

Goose – “The Old Man’s Boat” – 3/1/22

[Video: Troy Laur]

The most exciting part of 2022 for Goose—arena shows, Radio City Music Hall, and Red Rocks notwithstanding–is the steady drip of new material, pun intended with new studio effort Dripfield set to drop June 24. The catalog continued to grow on Tuesday as Goose debuted “California Magic”, a bluesy Mitarotonda number with a fierce tone and crisp vocals that stacks up as the eleventh new song of the calendar year.

Goose – “California Magic” (Debut) – 3/1/22

[Video: Marc Komito]

The very-newly engaged Ben Atkind was the driving force on the set-closing “Madhuvan” that played more like a Mardi-van on this Fattest of Tuesdays, Goedde once again tripping the light fantastic as he blanketed the room in purples and greens and yellows. During the break, the guy next to me who was seeing his first show remarked, “I wish every concert was like this.” Check and mate.

The second set started with quintessential Goose staple “Into The Myst”. About six minutes in, a fan up front went down and the band, hyper aware of their surroundings, immediately stopped playing to make sure everyone was okay. While some folks may have been annoyed by the temporary interruption, the band’s members were practicing what they preach and taking care of their people. It was the very essence of community and looking out for one another. We see you, and we love you, too. The band would resume mere seconds later without missing a beat once the scene was settled.

Goose next dusted off an ultra-rare reading of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish”, played for the first time since a private gig at Greg Knight’s wedding in the late summer of 2021 and first time publicly since a 12/7/19 performance in Steamboat, CO. As the rhythm section of Trevor, Ben, and percussionist Jeffrey Arevalo continued to shine, Peter channeled his best Stevie and worked every inch of his rig, most notably his Hohner Clavinet. A party song if ever there was one, the packed room found an easy and collective groove with smiles for days. If I weren’t there to see it myself, I’d no doubt be chasing this one in perpetuity.

The band’s last rendition of “Wysteria Lane” in San Francisco on 1/30/22 was released to YouTube amidst much fanfare and even though I’ve watched and enjoyed at least four of its 11k views, I’ll begrudgingly admit that it’s never been high on my wishlist. Last night’s twenty-four minute, exploratory monster emphatically changed all that. I am forever sold thanks to the behemoth that will surely be known shortly as the “DC Wysteria”. With Trevor and Bardani once again flexing their MVP muscles as bass rose up through the floorboards and Rick and Peter trading peaks in jam after endless jam, this was one for the books. Sonic exploration like this is why we Goose, and as glorious as Goosemas was, it’s what was missing from Saturday’s show. The “DC Wysteria” is why you should be doing everything in your power to pack yourself into a room with 1250 people before it’s too late, because while arena-sized Goose was certainly on fleek, these club days may just be numbered.

A perfect telling of “Your Ocean” preceded another monster jam vehicle, “Pancakes”, yet another tune debuted by Goose on the first leg of tour (1/27/22), for its fourth-ever outing, appropriately arriving on National Pancake Day. With no less than half a dozen new grooves that sat atop the most luscious and ethereal percussive space, it’s safe to say that this Great Blue offering has found its home in the Goose catalog as well. When musicians take chances on stage, it’s very plain to see not only how much they love their jobs but how safe and comfortable they feel in the warm embrace of their audience. They poured their hearts out with bent strings, hammered keys, and tapped out beats, and we give it all back with the joy of expression and presence. As Jerry Garcia once remarked, “Magic is what we do, music is how we do it.”

On the backside of a short encore break, Goedde dotted the room with irie yellows, greens, and reds as the reggae vibes of “Doobie Song” put the finishing touches on what was arguably the show of the year to date. As if aware that they held a gift that needed to be shared, Goose nearly instantaneous soundboard recordings to both nugs.net and bandcamp.com in the middle of the night.

Goose returns to 9:30 Club tonight for the second of ten shows in twelve nights. So, here we are again: every show is the best show since the last until the next show. Check out tour dates and ticketing information and find your next best show here.

Setlist: Goose | 9:30 Club | Washington, D.C. | 3/1/22

Set One: Liza Jane {1}, Drive > Travelers, Doc Brown, The Old Man’s Boat, California Magic {2}, Madhuvan

Set Two: Into The Myst > I Wish {3} , Wysteria Lane {4} > Your Ocean, Pancakes {5}

Encore: Doobie Song

Coach’s Notes:
{1} Traditional Tune
{2} Original, FTP
{3} Stevie Wonder, LTP 2019
{4} Dripfield vibes
{5} I Wish Teases
Next Show: 3.2.22 • 9:30 Club • Washington, DC