Anticipation is everything, as much a part of the excitement as the excitement itself. Bands that consistently meet the moment ascend the throne of live music immortality, acquiring throngs of adoring fans willing to road trip, fly, and, where necessary, brave the elements in pursuit of the almighty Goosebump, that split second where your head, heart, and feet align and your hair stands on end; the instant when you wouldn’t trade places with anyone in the world and it’s all worth it.

As the moment nears, anticipation heightens. Usually, it goes off without a hitch, but sometimes Mother Nature comes and throws a Curveball ™, putting your moment in a blender and making you doubt your choices. Thunderstorms are one thing, tornado warnings quite another. Will the moment ever come? Choices ensue: What to do? Is it safe? You start to wonder, was the anticipation was too big? But there was only ever one choice for a fan like you, and you knew all along there was only one answer: lean into it. Hard. Carpe diem. Seize a moment, make a memory.

The people who share that moment become an instant family, and upon those shared experiences, communities are built. Even upon the foundation of a comparatively short history, such is the feeling amongst the gaggle in El Goöse. As fans gathered and embraced, it became plainly obvious that community has become intertwined in Goose’s story almost as much as the music itself. Underscoring that point, a free lot rag called The El Goose Times—by the fans for the fans—circulated yesterday for the first time ever in the time-honored tradition of fanzines like Dupree’s Diamond News.

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Goose, May 3rd, 2021, Frederick, MD. A story that must be told. Thunderstorms in the forecast for days trying like hell to hold off, the show called for 7:00 p.m. and the rain temporarily in check allowing for a false sense of bravado as fans settled in to the venue. At 7:05 the drizzle starts and by 7:15 it’s raining sideways and the crew is scrambling to cover equipment.

An announcement over the PA asks you to wait in your car. Now 7:41 and everyone’s phone lights up with an emergency alert, “TORNADO WARNING in this area until 8:15. Take shelter now in a basement or an interior room on the lowest floor of a sturdy building.” Okay, showing up in a bathing suit is one thing but being told to move from your vehicle to the closest substantial shelter and protect yourself from flying debris is quite another. But this too passes, as all things surely do, and fans emerge from their cars into five inches of calf-high water, the word puddle not even scratching the surface of reality. Lean.

Knowing the band is up against local ordinances and a 10:00 curfew, a full set of music was just left at the altar of the live music gods, but those who remain do so with the tacit but universal agreement to ascend in the name of sacrifice. Goose takes the stage at 8:53, wasting nary a moment as they ready their quivers and launch into “Arrow”, beginning what is their first headlining show of 2021 and the first of five nights of Summer Tour: Leg One.

Soaring now, “Arrow” was literally dripping with intensity, fire metaphorically burning everywhere on the heels of Rick Mitarotonda’s piercing lyrics and unmistakable guitar tone. “Bob Don” would ensue from the blaze, the unlikeliest of jam vehicles—though I honestly don’t think it would’ve mattered what they played—all blissed out and rising to the moment. As seriously heavy rain started up again, the band was forced to take a short break to towel off their equipment. For those in the crowd, there was no such care, especially for those up front as a literal river flowed through the section nearest the stage. No shirt, no shoes, bathing suit covered in mud … lean.

“Yeti” exploded out of the “Towel Jam”, newly shaven bald beast Ben Atkind leading the way with pounding drums, the band feeding off the exponentially high crowd energy as the party in the puddles raged on. “Spirit of the Dark Horse”, a newly released single off the band’s upcoming studio effort Shenanigans Nite Club, was played next for just the first time since 3/1/19, delighting fans before an “Arrow” reprise made an “Arrow” sandwich of the singular set that made up for in intensity what it lacked in length.

Having long ago taken to heart the advice of a wise man who once said that time is never a worthy critique of live music, there wasn’t an ounce of disappointment for what was lost to Mother Nature. Rather, expectations multiplied paradoxically knowing that the band would do their level best to even out the ledger with ferocity and vigor. And while this was certainly not the first inclement weather event in the history of live music, it was unique in its gravity and it’s likely fair to say that it was a first-time experience for many. Five inches of water in an hour, it’s hard to imagine the venue drying out before tonight’s follow-up effort. For those lucky (?) enough to have been there, 5/3/21 is a date that will live forever in the Goose-story books. Fred Night One: Never Forget.

Here’s to hoping that the commentator’s curse doesn’t befall the obvious “No Rain” opener for night two when Goose returns to Showtime at The Drive-In in Frederick, MD tonight.

Setlists retrieved by fans revealed the full night of music intended, including favorites like “Creatures”, “Butter Rum”, “White Lights”, “Seekers On The Ridge”, “Yeti”, “Tumble”, and more. In a cosmic bit of irony, the planned encore was a cover of “The Way It Is” by Bruce Hornsby & The Range. Unfortunately due to the inclement weather, the band wasn’t able to play that 1987 chart-topper, but that’s just the way it is.

Head over to Goose’s Facebook page to watch the “Arrow” opener from the truncated show at Showtime At The Drive-In in Frederick, MD on Monday night.


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Setlist: Goose | Showtime At The Drive-In | Frederick, MD | 5/3/21

Set: Arrow > Bob Don, Towel Jam {1}, Yeti > Spirit of the Dark Horse {2}> Arrow

Coach’s Notes:

{1} Band and crew were toweling off the equipment from the crazy rain.
{2} LTP 3.1.19 Viva Zapata, Westport, CT

This show started very late due to lightning and a tornado. This show was so high energy and a incredibly Ted way to start summer tour. A special thank you to everyone that came out and braved the storm, and thanks to everyone that streamed the show!! We love y’all!!