Goose capped a historic five-night run at The Capitol Theatre on Sunday night with what many will claim was the residency’s strongest installment. After Goose laid out a career-spanning tapestry over the course of the week—playing a repeat-free run of 64 songs including a whopping 60 originals and nearly as many new songs (3) as covers (4)—trying to sort these shows from best to worst is both highly subjective and a fool’s errand.

It’s hard to pinpoint whether Rick MitarotondaPeter AnspachBen AtkindTrevor Weekz, and Jeff Arevalo‘s most noteworthy talent as a group is their songwriting or their ability to find magic in uncharted territory. While this writer leans toward the former, during the roughly fifteen hours of music that Goose played over the course course of ten sets—not including a private benefit set on Saturday night for FOXG1 and an Orebolo show/podcast with Tom Marshall and RJ Bee on Sunday in Garcia’s—nearly half of that time was spent creating and delivering in-the-moment wonder by way of live improvisation—all while backed by one of the most creative production teams in live music.

Peter Anspach took the time at the tail end of the show to thank Goose’s entire operation—from the front to the back of the house, lights to sound, tour regulars to the best-in-class Capitol Theatre staff who rolled out the welcome mats for both Goose and its gaggle over the course of five consecutive nights. “This is the best venue in the country because the staff is so kind and welcoming,” Anspach beamed.

Few bands in recent memory have played five consecutive nights in a single room—Widespread Panic is the only one that comes to mind—and it’s an accomplishment that considerably bolsters Goose’s already impressive resume. “How many of you have been to all five nights?” Anspach continued as he and his bandmates returned to the stage for the last time. Replying to his query with thunderous applause, the crowd left no doubt that the band and its incredible team were in generous company for the duration. “Then you must feel how I feel right now!” Anspach replied. If you mean exhausted, energized, emotionally spent and spiritually full all at once, then consider that a resounding yes.

With the band having exhausted most of its catalog with a no-repeat run, Sunday’s setlist was easier to pinpoint than the rest of the run. Notable exclusions from nights one through four bobbed to the surface with a 17-minute “Time To Flee” in the opening slot that found its groove early and often. “Indian River”, replete with its ballistic “Welcome To Delta” jam, was somewhat predictably followed by “Honeybee”.

Goose – “Time To Flee”, “Indian River”, “Honeybee” [Pro-Shot] – 3/12/23

The set’s first surprise came by way of Arevalo’s introduction—”This is a song about a Jeff”—as the band launched into just the fifth-ever telling of the ultra-funky instrumental “Jeff Engborg”. This rendition marked Enborg’s first appearance since October, a relatively notable gap of 31 shows, but it was the ensuing “It Burns Within” that took the “shows since” crown with its first reading since March 2022 (75 shows) and just its seventh performance overall since its 2014 debut.

The highlight of the set, the night, and perhaps the run, however, was the jam that emerged in “Butter Rum”. The longest song of the night—besting the second-set opening “Arrow” by one minute—weighed in at 23 minutes and featured some of Goose’s most inspired improvisation to date. While the best light show in live music swirled in 360-degrees around the Capitol Theatre’s domed room, Andrew Goedde seemed to give Trevor and Rick direction as they churned and led the band through some darkly energized spaces that contrasted both starkly and beautifully with the song’s vibrant origins. Though every other show of the run featured a seven-song first set, Sunday night’s six-song opening frame left no fan wanting.

Goose – “Butter Rum” (Partial) – 3/12/23

[Video: Marc Komito]

Every second set this week was a five-song affair and Goose returned after a short break to kick off the band’s tenth Cap set with a monster “Arrow” that’ll be worth revisiting even if it might get lost amongst the evening and week’s other notable goodies. The typical yet dynamic effort was followed by other notable week-long omissions “Western Sun”, “Into The Myst”, and “White Lights”.

Goose – “Arrow” [Pro-Shot] – 3/12/23

“Elmeg The Wise” is still Goose’s special occasion song and its return to frequency in the repertoire can only be attributed to the number of special occasions the band has had occasion to mark over the past year. There was certainly no better or more appropriate way for Goose to mark this landmark accomplishment than with the most coveted song in the band’s catalog—one whose earliest known performance occurred in 2017, when Goose first played Port Chester in the adjoining Garcia’s bar.

After a short encore break, and having taken the aforementioned opportunity to thank the band’s team and Cap Theatre staff, Goose gave fans an emotional respite from Elmeg’s spiritual heft by shifting gears to the vivacious merriment of the “Empress Of Organos”. In spite of the fact that we all knew it was coming, the best things in life are worth waiting for and the final 18-minutes of this five-night stand were a glorious celebration of all things Goose.

We know you think that you’re powerful, but we’ve got the love and rhythm,
You say it looks like rain today, but we say, Oh, what a day to be livin
We know you think that you’re powerful, but we’ve got the love and rhythm,
You say it looks like rain today, but we say, Oh, what a day to be livin

There’s a reason so few bands have played five consecutive repeat-free nights of original music in the same room. It’s exhausting and energizing all at once and Goose, the band’s adoring community and team, and the terrific Capitol Theatre staff deserve a nod of thanks and recognition for the remarkable accomplishment. I don’t rank them, I just collect them, and in that spirit: Every show is still the best show since the last show. Until the next… Oh, what a day to be living.

Revisit Live For Live Music‘s night-by-night coverage of the rest of Goose’s Capitol Theatre run: Night One | Night Two | Night Three | Night Four.

Scroll down to check out the full Sunday setlist and photo galleries from the performance via Andrew Blackstein and Chris Quinn.

Setlist [via]: Goose | The Capitol Theatre | Port Chester, NY | 3/12/23

Set One: Time to Flee, Indian River[1], Honeybee[2], Jeff Engborg, It Burns Within, Butter Rum

Set Two: Arrow[3], A Western Sun, Into The Myst[3] > White Lights, Elmeg The Wise

Encore: The Empress Of Organos

Coach’s Notes:
[1] 80s synth version. With Welcome to Delta jam.
[2] With Coach on rainstick.
[3] Unfinished.

While much of Goose’s upcoming spring tour schedule is sold out, some tickets remain for the band’s two-night headlining appearance at Daze Between New Orleans in New Orleans, LA on May 2nd and 3rd.

Named for the “Daze Between” the two weekends of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival when the Fair Grounds go quiet but the city stays alive with festive energy, the two-day Daze Between New Orleans festival will feature two sets of Goose each night in addition to performances by Tank and the Bangas, Lawrence, Neal FrancisDavid ShawGeorge Porter Jr. & Runnin’ PardnersEggyMeltHoney Island Swamp BandJ & The Causeways, and The Quickening. A portion of proceeds from the Daze Between New Orleans will benefit New Orleans nonprofit organizations via Rex Foundation. Find ticketing information via the festival website.

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