On the first day of Goosemas, our true loves in Goose gave to Colorado classic songs, face-melting jams, an incredible light show, and a visit from “Coach Santa” bearing gifts requested by audience members.

As the audience filed into the 1stBank Center in Broomfield at the beginning of the night, they were met with a large display in the rotunda with red and green colored balls, markers, and a large sign proclaiming “All I Want for Goosemas.”  Audience members were invited to write their wishes—for songs or anything else—on a ball and drop it into a bin at the front of the display. What would become of these requests, they were to find out later in the evening.

For the first set, Goose came out firing on all cylinders.  The evening began with a driving jam that quickly morphed into the raging dance tune “Flodown”. Yes, it was what has widely become known among the Goose faithful as a “Flopener”.  “Flodown” gave way to the newer Goose tune “Everything Must Go” and then the island-flavored, “Butter Rum”. “Butter Rum” ended with an extended psychedelic jam that would kick the band up a notch; a place it would stay for most of the rest of the evening.

Goose – “Flodown” [Pro-Shot] – 12/16/22

“Old Man’s Boat” slowed the pace a bit, though, once again, it featured an ending jam that had the entire arena up and dancing. “Drive” ramped things up again and hit what were arguably the highest peaks of the first set.

But what would Goosemas be without a Christmas song? The band kicked into full Christmas mode with a cover of The Band’s “Christmas Must Be Tonight”. Rick Mitarotonda sang it beautifully and did justice to the Rick who originally sang the tune, the incomparable Rick Danko. This moment in the show was enough to moisten a few eyeballs in consideration of the two Ricks, one passed and the other keeping his legacy alive.

The first set then ended with “SOS” and its associated coda tune from the Shenanigans Nite Club album, “(dawn)”. The song with its allusions to a rising sun and a new day was the perfect ending to a heater of a set that portended new and exciting things to come after the set break.

The second set began with Peter Anspach telling the crowd, “Ok we’re going to do the balls.” With all of the musical excitement of the first set, it was easy to forget the massive “All I Want For Goosemas” display that prefaced the show, but it all came flooding back as stage manager Jon “Coach” Lombardi appeared in full Santa regalia, carrying a big red bag emblazoned with “Merry Goosemas!” and filled with the red and green balls upon which audience members had written their requests.

Set two of Goosemas night one would turn out to be an all-request adventure. Peter dipped his hand into the bag, pulled out the first ball, and read it, telling the crowd “Pancakes!” After one of the most syrupy sweet versions of the song played to date, it was time for another pull from the Goosemas bag which yielded the beautiful “Rosewood Heart” off the band’s first album, Moon Cabin.

The next ball pulled from the bag made it apparent that for Goosemas, some audience members had requested gifts other than songs. The ball read “Trevor Christmas Poetry” and so the cheering crowd next received a quick recitation of a couplet of Christmas-themed poetry courtesy of bass player, Trevor Weekz.

Next came a request for fan favorite, “Wysteria Lane”, which once again ended in a jammed-out coda that went far out from the main theme of the song. As that jam began to wane, Peter pulled another ball from the magic Goosemas bag, ostensibly to direct the band which song to segue into next, but instead of a song title, the next ball read “Audience Group Hug”.  As individuals and groups dutifully followed directions and engaged in hugs, the love in the room became palpable.

Amidst the communal display of affection, Goose kicked the previously waning jam back into high gear—was it again “Wysteria jam”? Was it “Audience Group Hug jam”? Actually, it was kind of all of the above and one of the most gorgeous moments of the night in an evening full of them.

A couple more pulls from the Goosemas bag brought out the rare instrumental treat “Moby” from Ted Tapes before a rocking “Rockdale” closed out the set. An attempt to pull a ball for the encore song first yielded three non-song audience requests that had Rick and percussionist Jeff Arevalo sharing a tender moment, Peter twerking, and Ben, along with the entire crowd, yodeling. Then it was time to end the first night of Goosemas—and it should be mentioned, Goosekkah, represented by the flashing menorah on Ben Atkind’s drums—with the “festivals of lights” appropriate, “White Lights”.

Goose – “Wysteria Lane” > “Moby” [Pro-Shot] – 12/16/22

Goose returns for a second night of Goosemas tonight, December 17th, at the 1stBank Center followed on Sunday the 18th by a Conscious Alliance benefit show at the intimate Fox Theatre in Boulder. Check out a gallery of images from night one courtesy of photographer David Tracer.

Video livestreams (with 48-hour replay) and post-show audio recordings of both Goosemas shows at 1stBank Center are available via nugs.net. To order your Goosemas webcasts, head here. Subscribe to nugs.net here to access more than 200 live Goose shows.

Setlist: Goose | 1stBank Center | Broomfield, CO | 12/16/22

Set One: Flodown[1], Everything Must Go, Butter Rum, The Old Man’s Boat, Drive, Christmas Must Be Tonight[2], Same Old Shenanigans

Set Two: Pancakes, Rosewood Heart > Trevor Reads Poetry, Wysteria Lane[3] > Moby, Rockdale[4]

Encore: White Lights
Coach’s Notes:
[1] Flopener. With River Lullaby tease.
[2] The Band.
[3] With “Audience Group Hug” ball.
[4] With Crazy Train teases.

Coach’s Corner: The second set was decided based on a random selection of balls with fan requests written on them. Christmas Must Be Tonight was played for the first time since December 21, 2019 (177 shows). Trevor Reads Poetry was played for the first time since March 4, 2022 (63 shows). Before the encore, Peter pulled “Jeff and Rick Kiss” and “Peter Twerk” balls.
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