On June 12 and 13, at the new Westville Music Bowl in New Haven, CT, Goose presented two unique anthologies, juxtaposed just so. The raw, epic intensity of the first night enabled the spirit of shenanigans and invoked a welcomed fugue where we forget about the factory and fiction became reality. Fortunately, Capt. John O’Hagan was not the one asking, “What happens to the next guy who says “Shenanigans?””
The Westville Music Bowl felt like home. There was an air of recognition that was difficult to place. The access, the reasonably tight security providing a sense of shelter, and most importantly, there was not a bad seat in the house to be found. Upon reaching the ticketing area, it all made sense. The show was put on by the Twilight company, best known for making sanctuary happen at the beloved, now defunct, South Farms in Morris, CT.
It was comforting to discover people hanging out behind the bowl for a pre-show jam session and socializing. Alien it felt, but glorious it was – violin, familiar faces and the occasional shenanigans involving small sloths and remote control cars.
Saturday: “Greg Knight’s Quest for the Holy Jam”
On Saturday, the Goose army assembled and became fully aligned. Tony Vasile, longtime fan, commented, “In Goose country, the long haulers would be more likely to ditch their family Thanksgiving celebration before missing out on this.” The band communicated endless gratitude through their commitment to a flawless execution of the curated evening of music.
As the night progressed and sequined clothing glistened under Andrew Goedde’s superb lights, the crowd appeared to become more cohesive.
People were chatting on the bathroom line. Jenny Ruthie Pearlman theorized, “People were running into each other for the first time. There had been friendships cultivating over the internet and it was hard to figure out who someone was when our faces were covered. There were songs I loved that came on, but what was more beautiful was that I could think of all the people that were excited not because it was their favorite song too, but because they knew I loved it.”
Just as we were together in the throes of battle with the elusive pauses during “Earthling of Alien?,” things were getting desperate. Spirits were dwindling in the “Madhuvan” forest.
The army was beginning to doubt their planetary origins when suddenly a Knight by the name of Greg Knight appeared to contribute some reality through his flawless rapped verses. The battle was over and we were rewarded with a sought after and rare “Factory Fiction.” Greg’s last appearance with the band was a year ago during Bingo Tour, which happens to also be the last time we heard “Factory Fiction.” Were they related? I don’t know…
The first night’s encore finished what they started the night before. After getting the PA cut during the encore of “So Ready” the night before, it was only fitting to start exactly where they left off in New Haven.
But Make It Fashion
The anthology of Goose tales continued with a segue that could not have been more clever. Closing with a tune from their animated music video for “So Ready” was the perfect setup for the capsule-style show similar to the themes they have done with movie soundtracks on Halloween.
The band showed up on stage wearing their respective outfits and opened with the “Trailer Jam” from their wildly cinematic video announcement for the album Shenanigans Nite Club. Goose and its incredible crew worked so hard over the past few years. Nothing could signify a moment worthy of celebration then a home show “flodown” party than the outfits (and very importantly, the hair) worn by the characters each band member played.
Shenanigans Under The Stars
Sunday kicked off with an upbeat, bubbly energy that was completely reversed, yet somehow, with essence of yin and yang, the band made thoughtful selections to perhaps assist our future long term memories of the weekend to seem as if they were one night. For example, we had a knight for both shows, but this time it was the cover “Knights in White Satin.“
Many bands created communities within their following, but Goose created a safe, supportive space for exploration of our own metaphysical dark forest in order to understand which turn might be next in the labyrinth. A fanbase full of artisans, creatives, and empaths. A healthy dose of unquestioned, unchallenged quirk made for a remarkable time for connection during the come up of Goose, especially during shutdown.
When artisans would post something they made to one of the many Goose Facebook groups, things would not only sell immediately, but the overwhelming support would have been hard to find in any other social group, pandemic or not. Some found even more down this electric avenue.
The mood progressed into actually feeling exactly like Thanksgiving dinner. Val Walis commented that “it was a feast of music and so many favorite people everywhere. There was hardly enough time to have a conversation with anyone, but the voltage level of emotion we were all feeling at the same moment did not need words.”
(dawn) Of A New Era
Both sets on Sunday felt like a victory lap of sorts. The aged and trusty jam vehicles like “All I Need” and mustache anthem “Mustang Sally” helped usher in the dawn of a new era for Goose to creep out somewhere along the line with the live debut of “SOS” and its accompanying jam-hymnal (dawn).
From the ashes of solitude, we were able to give ourselves permission to go everywhere, see everyone and feel everything. Admirals like Greg Knight kept more in line than we could imagine.
The crowd could not have been more friendly. The amount of smiles might almost parallel the amount of scarves on peoples heads used as dance props. There were scarves everywhere!
Marc Komito (aka Scarf Guy) is perpetually the fearless (and fashionable) leader we all needed. He has taught to so many the responsibility we have to relish in these rare, perfect moments. By expressing our gratitude with individuality and without apology, balance is found. For some, it might have looked like giving Mike, from Spafford and JamBandWorkout, a run for his money. For those that prefer to turn inward, simply sitting still and watching with full attention could have been an equally respectful avenue.
We as a community, felt the light of dawn creeping out while enjoying great music, and hopefully the band and its rock solid crew felt the little bit of ourselves that we tried to send up. Goose got us through it and Coach only knows what might happen as the days get brighter.
Setlist June 12: Me and My Uncle (John Phillips), Flodown, The Whales, Honeybee, Yeti, Seekers on the Ridge Pt., Seekers on the Ridge Pt. 2, Madhuvan>Fish in the Sea (Fat Freddy’s Drop), Jive I, Earthling or Alien?, Tumble > Factory Fiction
Encore: Slow Ready
Setlist June 13: Shenanigans Jam > All I Need > Indian River >Time To Flee > Your Ocean, So Ready >Arrow > Nights In White Satin (Moody Blues), Rosewood Heart > Bob Don > SOS > (dawn)
Encore: Mustang Sally > Butter Rum
It has been rumored that Frankie Bosco gained some kind of super shredding power when he is wearing bracelets from Orion Jewelry Design, made by my sister Val. If you would like to support her (and Little Baby Crepes,) check out https://orionjewelrydesign.com/
Pink strat or bracelet? I don’t know, but it can’t hurt to support your local Goose Chick Val Walis and her jewelry business https://orionjewelrydesign.com/
Want to get in shape for scarf season? Check out this workout featuring a killer version of what some have affectionately nicknamed “Lookout Clav-land”
Curious what all the hype is about with Factory Fiction? Check out this similar, yet different version from the historical Bingo Tour