Goose Debuts Moody Blues Cover In Brooklyn: Review, Setlist & Videos

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On December 26, 2017; Connecticut-based band Goose posted the following message on their Facebook page: “It gives us great pleasure to officially announce the addition of Peter Anspach to the flock full time! Welcome to the family! We love ya buddy!!” The announcement of Anspach joining the band received a grand total of 80 likes, six comments and a whopping one share. Despite the little acclaim the announcement received at the time, the decision to add Anspach — which truly marked the start of Goose as currently constructed — may go down as one of the most important in the next chapter of jam scene history.

Goose has blown up over the past six months as the lineup of guitarists Anspach (who unbelievably decided to add keyboards to his arsenal after joining the group, which might come as a surprise to those who have seen just how good he is on keys) and Rick Mitarotonda, bassist Trevor Weeks and drummer Ben Atkind gelled in the 18 months prior and developed a signature sound, merged songs from Anspach’s previous band (Great Blue) with their own ever-growing repertoire of originals and delivered inspired performances at the all the right places chock full of inventive cover selections. The latest display of Goose’s unprecedented rise came over the weekend when they played concerts in New York City at the Bowery Ballroom on Friday and at the Music Hall Of Williamsburg on Saturday — each of which sold out quickly after tickets went on sale. Saturday’s concert was a fine example of why the quartet is worthy of the hype and showed they are the real deal, not a marketing ploy. Because at the end it’s the music that matters, and Goose’s music is really good.

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The four-piece kicked off Saturday’s gig with “Yeti,” one of the tunes Peter brought over from Great Blue. Trevor’s thumping bass line and Ben’s in-the-pocket drumming gave the double guitar attack of Peter and Rick each a chance to shine. Next up was Anspach’s “Time To Flee,” an incredibly catchy song that displays the group’s knack for writing earwormy hooks. “Time To Flee” also contains a gorgeous double lead guitar melody reminiscent of “Blue Sky.” It was then Mitarontonda’s turn to step into the spotlight for something completely different: “Western Sun.” The best bands can move from mood and styles within one show or album and “Western Sun” was unlike any other song played on Saturday thanks to its Americana/roots feel. Goose rolled on with what longtime crew member Jon “Coach” Lombardi described as a “slow and melodic version” of “All I Need.” The band has multiple versions of some originals that have different feels and “All I Need” is one example. The throbbing “slow and melodic version” came in stark contrast to a more groovy rendition performed at other shows. The song ended with a monster jam featuring multiple peaks led by Rick. Mitarontonda is capable of going from 0 – 60 in mere seconds and strung together one powerful shredfest after another throughout the end of “All I Need.”

Goose worked one cover into their first set on Saturday and that came in the form of Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi.” The quartet added their own spin to the In Rainbow classic and jammed it out a bit. Yet it was Rick’s vocals that really made the cover a winner. Next, Peter took a moment to dedicate “Doc Brown” to his eight-year-old nephew, who was watching his uncle rock out from the Music Hall’s balcony. Original “Doc Brown” is based on a reggae groove and is another number likely to get stuck in listeners’ heads. Goose went on to end the set with the lively “So Ready” featuring use of auto-tune on Mitarotonda’s voice in a cool and unusual way.

The band began Saturday’s second set with one of their newest originals, “Arrow.” Debuted at Goosemas in December, “Arrow” is coming along as a jam vehicle and led into a debut cover of The Moody Blues’ “Nights In White Satin.” Rick sang the song from Days Of Future Passed with passion and authority. Goose nailed the cover so well, it was hard to believe it was their first time performing “Nights In White Satin,” which gave way to the funk-infused “Creatures.” It was tough to find anyone in the capacity crowd, unless they were limited by space, who wasn’t grooving hard as “Creatures” hit its stride. The quartet jammed “Creatures” into a rendition of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” which turned into a singalong with many in the audience providing the “lalalas.” The same situation came next when Goose delivered the fan favorite “Hot Tea” to the delight of the crowd. While it’s likely a large number of those in attendance were witnessing their first Goose show, the number of audience members singing along with an original was astounding as was the reaction to the spot-on drop into the song from the Kylie cover. Also of note was just how young the average attendee was. An unofficial estimate by this writer taps the average age of those in the house on Saturday at 23, a great sign for the future of the jam scene.

Goose wrapped up the closing stanza by pairing originals “Jive I” and “Jive Lee.” Both songs went heavy on the blues and ripping Rick solos. For the encore, Goose stuck with their own material by saying farewell with “Turned Clouds.” Anspach thanked fans for attending and showed his disbelief about the wild ride Goose has embarked on over the past six months after teasing a bigger show in New York City that will be confirmed soon.

While the news of Peter joining Goose back in December 2017 may have received little fanfare, so much has changed since the band’s lineup found its missing link. This June, Goose will make their Red Rocks debut and for comparison’s sake, that announcement was liked 849 times, received 147 comments and was shared by 73 people. Word has spread and this is only the beginning for a quartet who truly only has two years under their belts.

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Fan-Shot Videos

Second Set (Part One) Captured by roolin

Second Set (Part Two) Captured by roolin

Weird Fishes/Arpeggi Captured by Joe Pramer

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Setlist (via Jon “Coach” Lombardi)

Set One: Yeti, Time to Flee, A Western Sun, All I Need {1}, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi {2}, Doc Brown {3}, So Ready

Set Two: Arrow > Nights in White Satin {4} > Creatures > Can’t Get You Out Of My Head {5} > Hot Tea, Jive I > Jive Lee

Encore: Turned Clouds {6}

Coach’s Notes:

  • {1} Slow & melodic version of All I Need
  • {2} Radiohead
  • {3} Peter dedicated the song to his nephew
  • {4} Moody Blues, FTP
  • {5} Kylie Minogue
  • {6} Spuds & Handini wished Bonnie aka Mrs. Coach a very happy birthday before the tune

Tour Dates for Goose