Goose put on a Halloween cover-filled party for the ages on Thursday night at Mercury Lounge in Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The band’s ongoing 2019 fall tour has gone four for four in venue sell-outs thus far, and their October 31st performance may have been the hardest ticket yet. Fans began kicking and screaming for extras tickets to the band’s fifth “Netflox and Chill” show on social media months prior, and dozens more were turned down at the door, proving to the music world that this waterfowl is going to need a bigger pond in the future.

In nature, it takes two years for a common goose to develop fully. Yet over the past year, the Norwalk, Connecticut-based quartet has been growing on a level not seen since Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. Comprised of Rick Mitarotonda (vocals, guitar), Peter Anspach (vocals, keyboards/guitar), Trevor Weeks (bass), and Ben Atkind (drums), the band’s music can only be described as eclectic, groovy melodies, folky lyrics, Rasta vibes, jazzy interludes, and wing-flapping funk. In a world where new jam bands pop up more frequently than craft breweries, it is more apparent than ever that Goose is flying with the best of them.

Related: Goose Releases New Single, “Butter Rum”, Featuring Luigi Lombardi [Listen]

Brooklyn-based Of Clocks and Clouds opened the Halloween event and added their flavor of psychedelic jam rock to the delight of the costume-wearing audience members. DJ Doey Joey spun throughout the night, ensuring there wasn’t a silent moment for bodies to stop grooving between sets and equipment changes.

Goose took the stage around 11:30 p.m. dressed as the Flint Tropics from the hit comedy film, Semi-Pro. With matching basketball uniforms and the movie’s 1976 timeframe in mind, the ghoulish gaggle dove into Jackie Moon’s one-hit-wonder, “Love Me Sexy” from the 2008 film. Jon Lombardi sat in on rainstick for this first-time-played magnificent rendition of the show opener. A one-two punch of originals, “Hot Tea” and “Yeti”, got the tightly packed dance floor shaking as Mitarotonda showcased his guitar chops and vocal talent. Going back to 1976, the second cover of the night came in the form The Brothers Johnson’s “Get the Funk Out of Ma Face”, triggering sonic quakes from Week’s bass.

“Wysteria Lane” was craftily executed with help from Atkins’ anchoring drum work which blended seamlessly into Patti LaBelle’s “Lady Marmalade”, the third cover and third track on the Semi-Pro soundtrack. One of Goose’s many distinct features is their ability to navigate different styles and generations of music without missing a note. Paying tribute to a music master in Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven” found the band time traveling back to ’76 one more time before closing out the disco and funk-fueled set.

The colorful crowd was ready for the set break Halloween costume contest, and this year’s winner was none other than the caddy from Happy Gilmore. Talk about a hole in one.

Atkins and Weeks slightly teased Phish’s “Maze” but instead dropped into another sexy cover from the soulful ‘70s with Barry White’s “Never, Never Gonna Give You Up” to open the second set. “Jive I” from the band’s 2016 debut release, Moon Cabin, included “Jive Turkey” soundbites from Anspach. War’s 1976 Grammy-nominated “Why Can’t We Be Friends” gave the Semi-Pro soundtrack even more love as the intimate room sang along with the band. “Jive Lee” was packed with Mitarotonda’s soaring guitar solos which gave way to a powerful “So Ready”.

The Anspach-penned “White Lights” cooled things down to set up the final song of the set in “Short People”, the same tune sung by Will Ferrell on the bus in Semi-Pro. While Randy Newman’s 1977 classic is wrongfully accused of being a prejudiced attack on short people, it is, in fact, an attack on prejudice in general; an idea celebrated in Goose’s flock.

No Halloween show would be complete without some interstellar space funk. As the team of four returned for the encore, they entranced the crowd with Deodato’s “2001”, a song popularized by another aquatic animal-themed jam band. The overflowing room shook with excitement as the band blew the roof off Mercury Lounge to end the show with one more tune from the 1970s.

Goose has hit the ground running, annihilating the first batch of shows this tour. The newly announced Bowery Ballroom show on January 24 sold out in under five minutes, and many more venues are reaching their capacity as the gaggle flocks from city to city.

The band’s next show will be in support of Pigeon Playing Ping Pong at College Street Music Hall in New Haven, CT on Saturday (November 2nd). Grab the concert crew and form a V, because Goose is flying to a town near you. Visit the band’s website and grab your tickets while they are still available.

Watch a clip from the band’s Halloween performance on Thursday below.


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Setlist: Goose | Mercury Lounge | New York, NY | 10/31/19

Set One: Love Me Sexy {1}, Hot Tea, Yeti > Get The Funk Out Of My Face {2}, Wysteria > Lady Marmalade {3}, A Fifth Of Beethoven {4}

Set Two: Never Never Gonna Give You Up {5}, Jive I {6} > Why Can’t We Be Friends {7} > Jive Lee, So Ready, White Lights {8}, Short People{9}

Encore: A Fifth of Beethoven {4} > 2001 {10}

{1} Jackie Moon cover, FTP (First Time Played). Jon L sit-in on rain stick.
{2} The Brothers Johnson cover, FTP.
{3} Patti LaBelle cover, FTP.
{4} Walter Murphy cover, FTP.
{5} Barry White cover, FTP. Phish’s “Maze” was teased before the song.
{6} Handini played a Jive Turkey soundbite from Semi-Pro before playing Jive I.
{7} War cover, FTP.
{8} Randy Newman cover, FTP.
{10} Deodato cover.