Five Nights of Goose at The Capitol Theatre

Goose and their flock of fans have descended upon Port Chester for five nights of indie jam rock. With three nights down, there have been debuts, fresh covers and a sit-in from none other than Jimmy Fallon.

Photo by Cory Schwartz

Sunday, March 12

Goose closed out their five-night stand at the Capitol Theatre on Sunday night with a blazing hot show packed with pockets of dense improvisation.

Opening the night with “Time to Flee,” the quintet wasted absolutely no time and delivered a punchy 17-minute version highlighting guitarist Rick Mitarotonda’s scorching guitar tone and playing. The band next offered up the synth-drenched arrangement of “Indian River” coupled with its usual “Welcome to Delta” jam. The peppy piano-led groove felt more energetic than its normal laid-back vibe, blasting to more incredible peaks as the energy in the crowd seemed to continue rising.

A big trend for the final two nights of the Cap run was pure ENERGY. The 1800-capacity venue was amped from the first note of Wednesday night’s show but the weekend crowd took it to another level.

A deceptive cool-down song in the Peter Anspach-penned “Honeybee” quickly elevated to more soaring guitar licks from Mitarotonda before Goose fired up the dance party of “Jeff Engborg.” Named for Anspach’s old Great Blue bandmate, the fifth Goose performance of this song is a personal favourite of mine due to what I call “Big Clav Energy.” The rhythm section of drummer Ben Atkind, percussionist Jeff Arevalo, and bassist Trevor Weekz locked in as Anspach and Mitarotonda shredded over peak after peak.

Taking a moment to breathe and reflect with the 75-show bustout of “It Burns Within,” the band jumped into a fun “Butter Rum” to close the set. While a concise and energy-filled 8-minute version could have done just fine in this slot, Goose opted to deliver possibly the finest version of the song played to date, stretching just past the 20-minute mark. Anspach’s Prophet and Nord synths got a serious workout in the latter half as Mitarotonda riffed on a theme similar to Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head.”

The final set of the five-night run began with a lengthy “Arrow,” breaking its longest show gap in three years. Mitarotonda attacked the jam with the same animalistic ferocity he had been displaying all week, and while it stayed relatively within the song’s boundaries, it should NOT be overlooked. A calm and beautiful reading of ballad “A Western Sun” led to another dance party in “Into the Myst.” Atkind propelled the band into a steady jam as Anspach worked his Vintage Vibe electric piano through the segue into “White Lights.”

Looking at the setlist on paper, this relatively short song in the middle of the set may look innocent enough, but it is well worth a listen. One of the biggest peaks of the entire weekend took place as the incredibly positive energy of the band and crowd flowed. Anspach danced like a happy camper within his keyboard rig as all five members became pieces of the same improvisational brain and launched the Cap into orbit.

A patient build on iconic Goose song “Elmeg the Wise” brought the tenth and final set of the run to a close in fine fashion. Anspach took a moment before the encore to thank each and every member of the Goose crew as well as the venue staff for an unforgettable week before the band absolutely tore “The Empress of Organos” to shreds. Weekz got his final bass solo to cap of what was undoubtedly the week of the BASS.

Over the course of five nights, Goose played 64 songs – 60 of which were originals and three of those debuts. The band took new risks in improv, debuted new rigs and tones, a new light rig – the list goes on!

With an extensive spring tour beginning next week in Boston, their first proper “tour” since October, anticipation could not be higher for what is to come in the future!

Goose – Sunday, March 12

Set 1: Time to Flee, Indian River[1], Honeybee[2], Jeff Engborg, It Burns Within, Butter Rum

Set 2: Arrow[3], A Western Sun, Into The Myst[3] > White Lights, Elmeg The Wise

Encore: The Empress Of Organos

[1] 80s synth version. With Welcome to Delta jam.
[2] With Coach on rainstick.
[3] Unfinished.

Saturday, March 11

For night four of five at the Capitol Theatre, Goose delivered what some have called the best show of the run yet – two dense sets packed with energy, improvisation and incredible playing from all five members.

Opening up the show with an upbeat “Echo of a Rose,” guitarist Rick Mitarotonda quickly led the jam from an airy space into a grimy section propelled by drummer Ben Atkind’s persistent beat. Using that as a launchpad for a modulation into Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights,” the band and crowd alike blazed through the rocking cover with great aplomb.

Ripping through a thick “Bob Don” next, Mitarotonda and multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach locked in on the outro “With” jam as the crowd’s energy continued to climb higher through the band’s return to the ending of “Echo.” The twin parts of “Seekers on the Ridge” offered a bit of a breather before another incendiary Mitarotonda solo blew up the building in Part II.

“Mr. Action” was tapped ahead of a set-closing “Same Old Shenanigans,” a perfect call for the energy-focused first set. Anspach and Mitarotonda shined once again during their respective solos as the rhythm section locked in underneath them on the path to several mountainous peaks that ended the first frame.

Returning with “Hungersite” to open the second set, Goose wasted no time before diving directly into a heavy-hitting space that Mitarotonda peaked massively. Atkind and percussionist Jeff Arevalo’s insistent drumming helped push the blazing improv. Post-peak, bassist Trevor Weekz stepped out as the band led into a thick and grimy motif that has popped up numerous times throughout the Cap run.

“Silver Rising” offered a cool-down after the intensity of the “Hungersite” jam before the band debuted Anspach original “Feel It Now.” This catchy and danceable song is highlighted by a peppy groove and bright guitar lines from Mitarotonda – there is also tremendous jam potential that I am certain will come to fruition as the song gets played more.

Where else to go in the middle of a Saturday night second set than with “Arcadia”? Weekz once again absolutely brought the house down with a deep and funky bass solo before an aggressive theme developed. Picking up the pace and energy once again, Goose blasted the capacity crowd with peak after peak as they shredded through the ending of the song. A heartfelt and tender “726” closed out the second set.

Ripping into “Dripfield” for the encore was a perfect choice, getting the crowd moving in time with the pounding drums as the title track to the band’s most recent album rocked the Cap to close.

Goose – Saturday, March 11

Set 1: Echo Of A Rose[1] -> Hollywood Nights[2] > Bob Don[3] -> Echo Of A Rose, Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 1 > Seekers On The Ridge Pt. 2, Mr. Action, Same Old Shenanigans
Set 2: Hungersite, Silver Rising, Feel It Now[4], Arcadia, 726
Encore: Dripfield
[1] Fast version
[2] Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
[3] With
[4] FTP

Friday, March 10

For the third of five nights at the Capitol Theatre, Goose delivered two blazing sets that were lighter on the improv that the first two shows but had possibly the highest energy of the run so far.

Opening up the night with a funky “Animal,” the band jumped into a concise “Flodown” next where multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach threw in Prophet synth sounds as guitarist Rick Mitarotonda toyed with his delay pedals. Upbeat rocker “Everything Must Go” and Anspach tune “The Whales” continued the set before the energy really got taken up a few notches with “Turbulence & The Night Rays.”

The rocking Vasudo-penned song seems to reach new heights each time it gets played, and Mitarotonda’s emphatic solo had the packed Cap eager for more. Anspach took a second to introduce the next song, debut “Lead Up.” Displaying a rocking vibe similar to the Red Hot Chili Peppers at times, “Lead Up” retained that distinctive Goose song as well as showing off the band’s dual-guitar sound – the last two Goose original debuts with Anspach on guitar were “Butterflies” in June 2022 and “The Whales” in June 2020!

The momentum and energy of the first set came to a peak with crowd and band favourite “Thatch,” which featured its first extended improv and some mind-blowing work from drummer Ben Atkind and percussionist Jeff Arevalo, the latter of whom seemed to be at risk of breaking his cymbals from the sheer force of his hits.

Photo by Cory Schwartz

Returning from a lengthy setbreak, Anspach took a stroll into the crowd during the intro to “Creatures.” The dance party song morphed into a gorgeous bliss jam distinctly reminiscent of its counterpart from Legend Valley in 2022. Bassist Trevor Weekz really stepped out in this segment, while Atkind spun a beat that made the jam feel like the beginning of an “Empress of Organos” jam. Slowly returning to earth, Anspach led the band into “Red Bird” as lighting director Andrew Goedde bathed the stage in that colour for the duration of the song.

The bird took flight with a rocking jam led once again by the rhythm section – Atkind’s pounding toms and Weekz’s bursting envelope filter playing propelled the quintet to a series of big peaks ahead of a transition into Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes.” Offering up the finest improvisation of the night, the classic cover tune quickly opened up into a thrashing groove as Mitarotonda took the reins with some serious fretboard fireworks. Building into some darker themes, Goose exploded into an amazing major-key section with strong “SOS” vibes before landing in tender ballad “Arise.”

Most known for its acoustic performances with offshoot group Orebolo, this gorgeous and heartfelt song translated exceptionally well to an electric setting for just the fifth time ever. Arevalo made an inside reference to a well-known acoustic performance with a reminder for the crowd to “zip it” before the song began (note: his instruction was followed by some, but not all). A blazing “Hot Tea” complete with filthy wah guitar from Mitarotonda, crunchy clav from Anspach, and a bass solo from Trevor closed out the set.

Goose welcomed comedian Jimmy Fallon to the stage for an encore of “Mustang Sally” last night that had the crowd eating up every moment of the fun shtick.

Goose – Friday, March 10

Set 1: Animal, Flodown, Everything Must Go, The Whales, Turbulence & The Night Rays, Lead Up[1], Thatch
Set 2: Creatures, Red Bird, In Your Eyes[2], Arise, Hot Tea
Encore: Mustang Sally[3]

[1] FTP
[2] Peter Gabriel
[3] Wilson Pickett. With Jimmy Fallon on vocals

Thursday, March 9

Goose threw down another heater on Thursday night at The Capitol Theatre for the second of five shows at the historic venue. While nothing quite reached the improvisational heights of Wednesday’s show, the band but together two well-flowing and complete sets with fantastic moments throughout.

Beginning the night with a hot “Jive I”, guitarist Rick Mitarotonda and multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach took their usual spotlights on the song with energetic solos as the crowd got warmed up. A jamless “Atlas Dogs” followed before the quintet fired up Anspach tune “Elizabeth.” The first extended jamming of the night, while just barely cracking the 10-minute mark, saw the band get into some nice churning themes.

The slinky vibe of “California Magic” fit the vibe of the first set perfectly before a new double-time arrangement of “Borne” was tapped next. Part of this new take on the song is a much cleaner slide into the jam which the band took full advantage of, developing a spacey theme with reverb-drenched piano at the forefront. Bassist Trevor Weekz led a slow build as the band worked together in a very democratic fashion. Drummer Ben Atkind pounded away at his toms as the jam build to a solid peak.

Anspach stepped out again on the Vintage Vibe outro to “The Old Man’s Boat” before Mitarotonda led Goose into “Rockdale.” Getting into the grime immediately, Anspach’s low clavinet colouring and Weekz’ deep bass accentuated Mitarotonda’s tension-building guitar as the band built to several phenomenal and explosive peaks to close out the first set.

The second set began in fine fashion with a long “Tumble.” The jam began with its classic dual-guitar churn groove as Mitarotonda got the energy of the crowd up. After hitting a first peak, the band took the vibe down and Anspach hit the keyboards. Displaying his impressive interplay with Mitarotonda that we’ve been seeing this week, Goose dove deep into a quieter section within “Tumble” that gave percussionist Jeff Arevalo an opportunity to really step to the sonic forefront of the jam.

Reaching a progression reminiscent of “Love is a Battlefield,” Mitarotonda took back the reins of the improv and built back to a final peak and return to the song. The guitarist then fronted the quintet on the debut of original “Not Alone,” a tender ballad that was received extremely well by the crowd – it acted as the perfect breather between two big second-set jams.

“Rosewood Heart” was tapped next and saw Anspach dialing up percussive loops on his Prophet synthesizer as Goose took a very different route in the jam. Eschewing the normal Type I section, they opted for a funky and percussive groove that had the venue getting down for its duration. A powerful rendition of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” came next before Goose ripped out “Madhuvan” to close the set.

Few songs elicit a crowd reaction on the level of this massive jam vehicle, and last night was no different. Beginning in a space not unlike its counterpart from Glens Falls this past November, Anspach laid down low tones on the Vintage Vibe while simultaneously creating feedback from his guitar, lending to the immediate dark and eerie tone of the jam. Patiently exploring every inch of this motif, Weekz dropped massive bombs as synthesizer loops and guitar arpeggios dominated the space. Gradually picking up steam, the improv took on a lighter tone as the band hit on their second “Loose Ends” tease of the week. Continuing the huge build, Mitarotonda led his bandmates into the ending of “Madhuvan” at full tilt, bringing an excellent set and show to a close. A brief encore of “Turned Clouds” sent the crowd home happy.

Goose – Thursday, March 9

Set 1: Jive I, Atlas Dogs, Elizabeth, California Magic, Borne[1], The Old Man’s Boat, Rockdale
Set 2: Tumble[2], Not Alone[3], Rosewood, Heart > Sinnerman[4], Madhuvan[5]
Encore: Turned Clouds

[1] Double time feel
[2] With Pick Up The Pieces tease from Ric
[3] FTP
[4] Nina Simone
[5] With Loose Ends teases

Wednesday, March 8

For the first night of Goose’s Capitol Theatre five night run, starting the run with what they ended Okeechobee Music and Arts Festival with, Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue.” Check out video and more photos from Cory Schwartz below.

Set 1: Jam -> Electric Avenue[1], All I Need[2] > Dr. Darkness, Butterflies, Jive II, Earthling or Alien?[3], So Ready
Set 2: Wysteria Lane > Doobie Song, Drive[4], Yeti, Your Ocean
Encore: Pancakes

[1] Eddy Grant. Ending only, finishing the version from 3/3/23 Okeechobee
[2] Slow, melodic version
[3] With Jive II teases from Trevor
[4] With Loose Ends teases

Photos by Cory Schwartz

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