Goose began its two-show Independence Day stand on the outdoor Summer Stage at Asbury Park, NJ’s iconic Stone Pony on July 3rd. The hot and humid day began with a packed beach and boardwalk with signs notifying the ocean-goers that the beach would be cleared at 6 p.m. and that the celebratory fireworks display would take place this year at 9 p.m. on July 3rd. Meanwhile, just across from the beach at the Summer Stage, a lengthy line began to form with the Goose faithful in a clearly celebratory mood and getting ready for what would be a truly wild night.

The band took the stage at 6:45 p.m. and to the delight of fans immediately launched into a cover of Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” a rarer choice last performed nine months ago in New Orleans. Peter Anspach then got up from the keyboards and strapped on his guitar for an extended shreddy version of his song “Elizabeth” which saw him and lead guitarist Rick Mitarotonda trading licks back and forth.

The set turned introspective with the newer ’80s-type synth arrangement of “Indian River” off the band’s first album Moon Cabin. “Indian River” commonly ends with one of several jams and Monday it was the bouncy, “Welcome to Delta” jam. “Everything Must Go” is a newer and still unrecorded song that has become a crowd favorite even as the band has toyed with opening it up more and more with each rendition. Independence Day Eve stands among the jammiest versions of the song’s still-nascent history. It got the crowd dancing wildly and, one not to stop the dance party, the band closed the set with the one-two punch of the now classic “Turned Clouds” followed by “Animal”.

Just before the band took the stage for the second set, the audience experienced some momentary trepidation as an announcement was made that severe thunderstorms could be moving into the area and that the crowd should leave the venue and proceed to their cars if and when instructed to do so. Happily, those thunderstorms never arrived and the show was able to proceed as planned.

As bassist Trevor Weekz’s unmistakable thumb-slapping technique shook the crowd, the band launched into a fun version of the Peter Anspach song “Yeti”. Rather than finishing the number as usual, the band took the song into an extended jam that never returned to “Yeti” but instead morphed seamlessly into “Creatures”. A song that describes various fantastic denizens of the natural world from insects that “glide on the water like it’s ice” to stalking tigers, the song was appropriate Monday as it references a “fire on the beach” into which various creatures are falling. “Creatures” took the show across the 9 o’clock hour and there was indeed a fire on the beach, or rather above the beach, as fireworks lit up the night just across from the Summer Stage.

The boom of the fireworks and colors in the sky seemingly caused the band to step up the already fast-paced jam even more as Goose lighting designer Andrew Goedde produced breathtaking on-stage fireworks to match those happening above. The fireworks continued throughout “Arcadia” which again featured a jam that seemed to have been taken up a few notches by the display happening in the night sky. Even lead guitarist Rick Mitorotonda, who typically closes his eyes stoically during jams, kept his eyes wide open and focused on the sky during the dazzling overhead presentation.

Goose – “Creatures”, “Arcadia” [Pro-Shot] – 7/3/23

As “Arcadia” came to a close, so did the colorful aerial exhibition, and perhaps purposefully, the band transitioned from the electric sky display to a cover of Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue”. The set then closed with a massive bass bomb that shook the audience to its core and a jammed-out version of “Dripfield”, off the band’s most recent album. After a brief pause, the band then returned to the stage for an encore of the Steppenwolf classic, “Magic Carpet Ride”. From beginning to end, Monday was indeed a “Wild Night” that took the audience on a gorgeous and memorable “Magic Carpet Ride”.

Check out some photos from Goose at the Stone Pony Summer Stage on Monday courtesy of photographer David Tracer.

Goose – “Wild Night” (Van Morrison) – 7/3/23

[Video: Borrowed Tune]

Goose – “Electric Avenue” (Eddy Grant) – 7/3/23

[Video: Dean Novin]

Setlist: Goose | Stone Pony Summer Stage | Asbury Park, NJ | 7/3/23

Set One: Wild Night (Van Morrison), Elizabeth, Indian River [1], Everything Must Go, Turned Clouds, Animal

Set Two: Yeti -> Creatures, Arcadia, Electric Avenue (Eddy Grant), Dripfield

Encore: Magic Carpet Ride (Steppenwolf)

[1] ’80s synth version, w/ “Welcome To Delta” jam