Goose returned to the socially-distanced South Farms in Morris, CT on Thursday night to complete a two night, sold-out home stand—begging the question, is there anything more normal than seeing one of your favorite bands play live music two nights in a row? Damn, if it doesn’t just feel so right.

Related: Goose Returns To Connecticut For Sold-Out First Night At South Farms [Photos/Videos]

Just as Goose was soaring to previously unknown heights pre-pandemic, there was concern as to whether they could continue their ascent under the current conditions. Emphatically answering the question with “aGoosetic” shows featuring Rick Mitarotonda, Peter Anspach, and soon to be full-fledged band member Jeffrey Arevalo, an uber-creative Bingo Tour that was one of the best streaming events of the last six months, and a pair of drive-in shows on Cape Cod, Goose has not only stayed relevant but continued to climb, the South Farms home stand giving their gaggle of adoring fans the in-person celebration they so desperately craved.

The band was flying as high as their flock coming into Thursday’s performance, as evidenced by the raucous pre-show cheer arising from the band’s trailer just off stage right. Moments later, Goose emerged on the South Farms stage to excite fans with a cover of Wes Montgomery’s “Switchin’”.

Goose – “Switchin'” (Wes Montgomery) – 9/17/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

With both drummers occupying the rear stage, it’s interesting to note that while Ben Atkind faces the audience, Jeff faces Ben. To see the way these guys smile and play off of each other is to understand Arevalo’s role in the band, the double drummer format really taking Goose to another level as Jeff adds some extra pizazz to Ben’s secret sauce. Sir Joe Russo, my favorite drummer on the planet who plays eponymously in his own band, recently said in an interview, “98% of being in a band is hanging out.” To that point, and even without the pleasure of knowing these guys personally, it’s clear that Aravelo’s a “glue” guy that all the others play off of.

“Doc Brown” took Derek Jeter’s spot in the batting order, followed by a lovely cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night” in the three-hole.

Goose – “Wild Night” (Van Morrison) – 9/17/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

Another trio of originals really took the set to dizzying heights, Peter Anspach leading the way on guitar/keys as “Elizabeth”, “Rosewood Heart”, and “This Old Sea” showcased all the very best of our beloved fowl before a first-time-played, instant classic cover closed the set moments later. Asking for a friend, but is there another frontman besides Rick Mitarotonda with the vocal chops—and cajones, to boot—that could pull off covering Jim James? Well, he did just that as a glorious rendition of My Morning Jacket’s “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” left fans’ jaws agape heading into set break. One fan’s tongue-in-cheek comment, “I, uh, liked that a lot,” gave Peter a giggle as the band hit their trailer. Check out pro-shot footage of the cover shared by the band below:

Goose – “State of the Art (A.E.I.O.U.)” (Jim James, debut, pro-shot) – 9/17/20

[Video: Goose]

Taking a walk to check out the venue during halftime, another fan stopped to ask if perhaps I was perhaps the “scarf-waving guy dancing up front and holding down the fort for the band and rest of the venue?!?” Guilty as charged, brother, I’m blessed to have energy for days and it was an absolute pleasure to do so. The rest of the walk revealed the most unique and incredible vending situation, more reminiscent of a farmer’s market (very apt for the setting!) than a concert. Food trucks and pop-up tents revealed offerings ranging from “Pig Candy” (slow roasted bacon brushed with brown sugar) to a Cupcake Wars award-winning food truck to an artisan coffee stand also serving paella, because everyone wants paella with their cinnamon apple whiskey iced latte (delicious!). Highest marks to the folks at South Farms for creating the ultimate pandemic concert site whilst returning a much needed dose of normalcy to those of us for whom these nights rank as more of a necessity than a luxury.

Goose, emerging from their trailer another audible pre-set roar, opened the second frame with “Indian River” and, as they seamlessly segued into a cover of the Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed & Painless”, it became obvious that they were now soaring in free flight. Good luck and better seats allowed the entire twenty-six minutes to be captured on video. They merit your attention. Watch the segment below:

Goose – “Indian River” > “Crosseyed and Painless” (Talking Heads) – 9/17/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

It would be all Goose the rest of the way with “Lead the Way” immediately following the popular jam band cover of “Crosseyed”. “So Ready”, in comparison to its slowed-down partner, “Slow Ready”, was a party tune of the highest order, exploding with danceable peaks while being anchored by Trevor Weekz’s bass-driven grooves. Who wouldn’t love to see the band one day play both versions together, somewhat akin to Pearl Jam stringing together slow and then fast versions of Steven Van Zandt’s “I Am A Patriot.” Anyway, just throwing that out there in case anyone’s listening.

Goose – “So Ready” – 9/17/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

“Arrow” closed the set, and as it started off all slow and sexy before an auto-tuned climax, I had the somewhat ridiculous but likely accurate thought that this is the type of tune that’ll leave a trail of Penny Lanes in Rick’s wake. Props to Peter, too, who was a force all his own, playing assertive leads on the guitar all night and really driving the funk with his red Nord, especially on this last song. An appreciative band returned to thank the fans and play one last tune, a celebratory “Arcadia” that put the exclamation point on a triumphant, two-night, sold-out home stand.

Goose – “Arcadia” – 9/17/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

Being close enough to participate in the transfer of energy that is the hallmark of live music, the drug that keeps us all coming back so to speak, was absolutely everything. Attending both nights of the run and anchoring down the front-row center spot for each was no small task and I’d like to think I rose to the challenge, perhaps even with some room to spare. I surely don’t take for granted some of the luxuries that socially-distanced concerts have provided—for example the opportunity to stand an unobstructed twelve feet in front of this group of rising stars, with Rick straight ahead, Trevor and Peter almost as close but to my left and right, respectively, nary a soul in front of me nor anyone within an equal radius on all sides. Professional tarping as a pandemic-induced necessity is likely something that won’t happen again and I was on the receiving end of that goodness for a back-to-back that won’t soon be forgotten. To the talented dudes in front of me, the friends who shared in the groove, and the gracious folks behind who supported my steps with kindness and affirmation, thanks for making me feel so alive. 19,502 steps that hopefully spread my excitement to everyone behind me.

Next up for Goose is a pair of drive-in shows in Burlington, VT (10/2) and Swanzey, NH (10/3). For more information, head to the band’s website here.

Scroll down to check out photos from the 9/16/20 performance courtesy of photographers Kendall McCargo and Chad Anderson.

Setlist: Goose | South Farms | Morris, CT | 9/17/20

Set One: Switchin’ {1}, Doc Brown, Wild Night {2}, Elizabeth, Rosewood Heart, This Old Sea, State of the Art {3}

Set Two: Indian River > Crosseyed & Painless {4}, Lead the Way, So Ready, Arrow

Encore: Arcadia

Coach’s Notes:
{1} Wes Montgomery
{2} Van Morrison
{3} Jim James, FTP
{4} Talking Heads