On Thursday, following their first two post-pandemic performances to live audiences at the Yarmouth Drive-In last weekend, Goose headed home to Connecticut for their first of two socially distant “pod” concerts at Morris, CT’s South Farms.

There’s so much about live music that is experiential in nature that to deny the feelings would be to deny the experience itself. Goose’s opening night at South Farms provided every ounce of what other pandemic formats have been missing: an authentic concert experience.

A mini road trip just added to the hype as a small crew of bros gathered and alighted upon the farm by driving through fields of wildflowers adorned with obligatory cows, the setting sun behind as a blanket of stars appeared above. This isolated Morris, CT farm was shaping up to be the ideal locale for safe and socially distant pandemic debauchery. It should be noted that safety is paramount at South Farms—a fact that helped attendees feel safe as well as optimistic that these bookings can continue.

Speaking of space, mine was a front-row center pod, an 8’ x 8’ grid with an equal or greater space on all sides to shake my groove thang acquired thanks to quick reactions and dextrous ticket karma. Having seen and quickly dismissed the FM-audio-only drive-in concert format, the massive soundscape coming from the PA checked all the boxes that drive-ins miss. With a kickass light show to match—thank you, Goedde Sound & Light!—this was a real live concert; at least as good as any pre-pandemic and, one could argue, perhaps even better due to the abundance of personal space afforded by the “pods” format.

Goose took the stage as a quintet for just the third time ever after having officially welcomed Jeffrey Arevalo to the band in front of fans for the first time during the drive-in shows in Yarmouth, MA. While his percussion adds a layer of depth and dimension to the band, he also significantly changes the band’s stage plot as the two drummers symmetrically hold up the rear (Ben Atkind stage right; Arevalo stage left) while Trevor Weekz (bass), Rick Mitarotonda (guitar/vocals), and Peter Anspach (guitar/keys/vocals) align stage right to left, respectively. The most noticeable difference in Goose the quintet is how Rick is now thrust front and center, a role he fills beautifully on both an aesthetic and sonic level.

Opening with “Me & My Uncle”, a John Philips cover popularized by the Grateful Dead, Goose really hit the ground running in their home state of Connecticut. Being close enough to hear Ben’s live drums while being shaken from the inside out by Trevor’s bass rig, it became immediately apparent that this dynamic duo is the very essence of what makes Goose, well, Goose. These two are no doubt the engine that drives the band, creating the space for their bandmates to shine and steal the spotlight. Bravo, gents. “Flodown”, a song that captures Goose’s jubilant spirit, followed as Rick Mitarotonda let his impressive chops shine on lead guitar duty.

Goose – “Me and My Uncle” (Partial) – 9/16/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

Goose – “Flodown” – 9/16/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

A lovely “Westen Sun” gave way to “Tumble”, Aravelo adding some nice flavor on percussion while Ben exploded on the drum kit into a soaring Rick guitar solo. Peter Anspach tickled the ivories for the first time as this song alternated seductive reggae beats with wailing jams, funky keys, and rave-worthy Trevor bass bombs. “Tumble” produced the kind of jam that, if not for the early hour, could have been a set-closer, as they tackled it with set-closing ferocity. Whoa.

“Jive II” > “Jive Lee” kept the party in high gear before the band rocked the South Farms crowd down to a cover of Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”. Goose’s cover game has always been on point, though it’s worth noting that the manner in which they fully own these jams and play them in their own style redefines the word “fun.” “Echo of a Rose” finally closed the almost ninety-minute opening frame

Goose – “Electric Avenue” – 9/16/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

A rare “Travelers” got the second set started in fine fashion with some big beats from Ben and more utterly delicious full-band jams. If the “White Lights” that followed ended the show, the South Farms crowd could have left completely satiated. As its name implies, blinding peaks that just wouldn’t quit kept on for the better part of what seemed like half the set. Check out a chunky clip below:

Goose – “White Lights” – 9/16/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

As the “White Light” receded both literally and figuratively, Goedde reminded us of the beauty of our surroundings as he began to illuminate the gorgeous landscape behind the stage. “Bob Don” and “Madhuvan” rounded out a four-song (!) second set that ran for just short of an hour. The band returned for a raging “Disco Inferno” encore that was worth the weight of every one of its thirteen minutes.

Goose – “Disco Inferno” – 9/16/20

[Video: Marc Komito]

Completely obliterating what were admittedly high expectations that South Farms would deliver what no one else has, perhaps the most authentic aspect of the whole deal is being able to return to the scene on Thursday as Goose completes what is essentially a two-night home stand. WHOOP! 25,740 steps of soul-affirming goodness…

Goose returns to South Farms tonight, Thursday, September 17th, for a second sold-out performance. For a full list of upcoming Goose shows, head 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 | 9/12/20

Set One: Me & My Uncle {1}, Flodown, Western Sun > Tumble, Jive II > Jive Lee, Electric Avenue {2}, Echo of a Rose {3}

Set Two : Travelers, White Lights, Bob Don, Madhuvan

Encore: Disco Inferno {4}

Coach’s Notes:
{1} John Phillips
{2} Eddy Grant
{3} W/ Vocal Ending
{4} The Trammps