As Goose prepared for game two of the 2022 Dripfield summer tour on friendly home ice in Connecticut, the never-say-die New York Rangers were staving off elimination against the Carolina Hurricanes on the other end of the Metro North New Haven line at New York’s Madison Square Garden. Given the timing, the proximity, and the band’s allegiances—not to mention the fact that the Hurricanes once hailed from Hartford, CT as the Whalers—the excitement of the ongoing game seemed ever-present in the air at New Haven’s Westville Music Bowl on Saturday.

With blue jerseys littering the crowd, Goose took the stage to kick off a flawless first set that had the crowd quickly forgetting that puck drop was just over an hour away. For the second straight day, Goose took the stage under sunny skies after threatening summer storms turned away in the most un-JRAD weather pattern of all time. With smiles for miles and eye contact for days, fans bathed in Vitamin D as the gallinaceous group took the stage.

Opening with one of the most reliable jam vehicles in the band’s songbook, Goose put the gear shift in “Drive” as Rick Mitarotonda and Peter Anspach showcased dueling guitars and soothing vocal harmonies that established an early theme for the night’s proceedings. With the weather tensely cooperating, newer tune “California Magic” aptly described the vibe produced by its combination of guitar tone, B3 organ, and vocals—a sound eerily reminiscent of the Grateful Dead’s mid-’80s interplay between Jerry Garcia and Brent Mydland.

Goose – “Drive” [Pro-Shot] – 5/28/22

“The Old Man’s Boat”, a brilliant composition that dazzled with its bright keys, sultry bass, and intoxicating vocals, displayed the songwriting chops that recently inspired Trey Anastasio to name-check Goose in a recent interview with Ari Fink on SiriusXM Phish Radio. As “Turned Clouds” accurately gave the weather report, elusive reporter Kirsten Wintergeen from Quality News 3 ran onstage trying to get an interview with Peter Anspach before being chased off by Jon “Coach” Lombardi in a strange and amusing spectacle. Thankfully not too tired from playing security guard, Coach returned shortly after to play rainstick on the ensuing “Honeybee”. The fun-factor was high during the first set’s pre-game skate, and with Ben Atkind bringing it on the floor toms and Pete and Rich tossing cool around like it was a noun, “Honeybee” has never sounded quite that good.

You say it looks like rain today, we say, oh, what a day to be livin’…

Those lyrics rang true in both theory and actuality as Goose closed the set with “Empress of Organos”, Trevor Weekz slinging sex on the low end while Ben kept time and Pete and Rich stood together looking on in awe, ultimately joining the fray to challenge each other on guitar and ride this song to new improvisational heights. Praise is due to Anspach here—the multi-instrumentalist doesn’t get enough credit for his guitar chops, and that ends now.

With the first set in the books, fans streaming at home were treated to the Quality News 3 report including the stage rush from Kirsten Wintergreen. As intermission continued, the puck was about to drop at MSG and fans all over the Bowl clamored to get their fix of the NHL playoffs. Ranger game on the Goose rail? Yes, please. With early goals from Tyler Motte and Mika Zibenajad, it was 2-0 for the home team before Goose returned for the second set.

Quality News 3 Interviews Peter Anspach

Now under darker skies, the vibe turned mischievous as Spuds flapped his proverbial wings and lighting director Andrew Goedde painted the sky appropriately for “Red Bird”. It was time for a bird to fly as this newer Anspach-penned fan favorite kicked off the second set in high gear while red lights bathed the Westville stage. “Butter Rum” arrived next, escorting a cool breeze and tropical coloring from AG6 that felt right at home with the lime-flavored Goose x Tribus Beer Company “DRIPA” beer collaboration flowing from Westville’s taps. By the time this island banger was over, Filip Chytil had added a goal to make it 3-0 New York as a “Let’s go, Rangers” chant bridged the quiet before the next song. “Echo Of A Rose” followed before finding “Into The Myst” without pause.

Fire on the ledge, smoldering red
No you can’t hold us severed
We are the tide tonight

“Dripfield”, the titular track of the new album, tour, beer, and general “season” of Goose, came next. Jeffrey Arevalo’s percussive flair complemented the deep rumbling bass and celestial synths as the live cut lived up to the metaphor laid out by Mitarotonda upon the song’s release: “The underlying idea of ‘Dripfield’ is that of saturation. Imagine a piece of earth — it’s kind of like the water level rising and seeping up to the top. It’s a metaphor for the creativity we have inside of us. I’m not sure what pulls it out of us — maybe it’s our subconscious.”

As the song wound down into a wash of reverb and production smoke, the band pulled a disappearing act, allowing the still-unfinished “Dripfield” to drip and drone through the encore break as they briefly left the stage. They returned a few moments later to drive “Dripfield” home, the enthralling display of artistry enveloping the packed Bowl with feelings of boundless possibility.

Though the internet may have received the hazy, set-closer/encore “Dripfield” with somewhat befuddled reviews, those with boots on the ground at Westville Music Bowl were undoubtedly captivated— saturated with and satiated by the creativity of the composition and delivery.

For a full list of upcoming Goose tour dates, head here.

Goose – Set Two – 5/28/22

[Video: Half Step]

Setlist [via]: Goose | Westville Music Bowl | New Haven, CT | 5/28/22

Set One: Drive, California Magic, The Old Man’s Boat, Turned Clouds, Honeybee[1], The Empress Of Organos

Set Two: Red Bird, Butter Rum, Echo Of A Rose > Into The Myst[2], Dripfield

Encore: Dripfield[3]

[1] Coach on rainstick
[2] First finished Myst since 11/17/21
[3] Continued from set-closing rendition


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