Goose opened the first two-night stand of its 2023 summer tour at the ornate art deco Louisville Palace Theatre in Kentucky on Thursday. The 1928 theater is one of several in the U.S. by architect John Eberson, a pioneer of the “atmospheric theater” style designed to give attendees the feeling of seeing a production outdoors in a palatial courtyard under a night sky complete with twinkling stars above.
Goose took the stage, clearly in a jovial mood, as lead guitarist Rick Mitarotonda asked the crowd whether they had any questions for percussionist Jeff Arevalo. Despite not being asked any questions, Arevalo answered anyway, mentioning Louisville native Muhammad Ali and “something about Old Foresters,” a reference to the area’s famous bourbon distilleries.
The band then launched into “Mr. Action”, an homage to the members of its crew with its refrain “It’s been a long time / It’s been a wild ride / But you always see it through.” The band followed up with “Yeti”, a tune brought to Goose by keyboardist and guitarist Peter Anspach from his precursor band Great Blue. Was it mere coincidence that a tall audience member wearing a jersey emblazoned with the word “Yeti” was standing on the rail directly in front of Anspach?
Goose – “Mr. Action” [Pro-Shot] – 6/22/23
The fun, danceable “Yeti” was followed up with “Borne” from Dripfield and was the first 20-minute-plus extended jam of the night, but hardly the last. Recently, “Borne” has had at least two different arrangements, one played at the tempo on the album and a second faster-paced version. On Friday, the band played the OG album version and took it to psychedelic places that clearly pleased the audience as the song ended to a protracted ovation and cheers of “Gooooose!”
The only cover of the night, Walter Murphy’s 1976 disco funk hit “A Fifth of Beethoven”, perhaps a nod to playing in a region noted for its fifths of bourbon, followed. The set ended with two Goose staples, “Jive I”, a song that eschews the endless pursuit of money and conformity from the band’s first album Moon Cabin, and closer “Rockdale” (borrowed from Rick’s Vasudo catalog), the true tale of a music venue and barroom from Mitarotonda’s youth.
After about 30 minutes, the band retook the stage and launched into crowd favorite “Arrow”. The second set opener took the audience on another elongated jam-filled ride before morphing into ”Bob Don”, a song about working through difficult times that featured a short but blistering guitar solo. Rick then got down low and began tinkering with his pedals and knobs, all the while keeping eye contact with Peter on keys, and the two led a brief but spacey dissonant jam that morphed into the new Anspach-penned tune “Feel It Now”.
Goose – “Arrow” [Pro-Shot] – 6/22/23
“Everything Must Go”, another newer tune that is not quite one year old but that has become a clear crowd favorite, followed. The song typically appears in the first set at Goose shows but the band has been increasingly opening up the tune and Friday it featured a long jammy ride that clearly made it worthy of its late second set position.
Set closer “Animal” had the audience rocking and smiling as the band sang about “the evolutionary instinct to get up and move your body.” The dance party continued with the encore “Flodown”, the most bluegrass-tinged song in the band’s repertoire, and one that sings about the “rowdiest shindig I ever seen” and also declares “there ain’t no frown at the Flodown!” True to the song, the audience left the Louisville Palace after another epic Goose show all smiles.
Goose plays the second night of its two-night stand at the Louisville Palace Theatre tonight, June 23. For tickets and a full tour schedule visit the band’s website. Check out a gallery of images from Friday’s show courtesy of photographer David Tracer.
Setlist: Goose | Louisville Palace Theatre | Louisville, KY | 6/22/23
Set One: Mr. Action, Yeti, Borne, A Fifth Of Beethoven (Walter Murphy), Jive I > Rockdale
Set Two: Arrow > Bob Don, Feel It Now, Everything Must Go, Animal