Goose Kicks Off 5-Night Capitol Theatre Run By Taking ‘Drive’ For 29-Minute Ride

The band made their headlining debut at the storied venue in Port Chester, New York.

By Ryan Storm Mar 9, 2023 11:48 am PST

Goose kicked off their long-awaited five-night run at the legendary Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, New York last night. The band’s first true headlining show of 2023 pointed firmly toward them picking up right where 2022’s improvisational journey left off.

Taking the stage just short of half an hour after ticket time, keyboardist/guitarist Peter Anspach started up an unfamiliar and gritty synth arpeggio that the band took hold of and jammed for a few minutes. It became clear only at the end what song they were playing – the ending of “Electric Avenue,” the song having been left unfinished at last week’s performance at Florida’s Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival.

The lone cover song of the night out of the way, Goose ripped into “All I Need” with lots of energy, quickly deconstructing the jam into a dark and eerie space not unlike the March 4, 2022 “Pancakes.” Bassist Trevor Weekz stood out with deep slap-bombs during this segment, the beginning of his much more assertive playing style that we would see more of as the show went on.

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Guitarist Rick Mitarotonda was eager to jam last night and led the band from the darkness into a rocking jam that eventually turned bluesy and saw him trading licks with Anspach on organ as the crowd went wild. A final long build and explosive return to the song had the energy in the venue through the roof a mere two songs in.

Drummer Ben Atkind briefly teased the coveted “second jam” within “All I Need,” but it was quickly abandoned for the evil intro to “Dr. Darkness.” Anspach’s original “Butterflies” continued the high-energy set as the two guitarists whipped up a frenzy of delay loops during the song’s outro.

Tapping “Jive II” next, the popular Goose original broke its longest gap since early 2018, not having been played in 21 shows. Anspach attacked his clavinet and organ with gusto, his huge grin evident even when facing away from the audience. Instead of moving right into Mitarotonda’s solo in the second half of the song, Weekz was given the spotlight for an impressive bass solo.

The second big jam of the night came in the ensuing “Earthling or Alien?” The funky groove dug in thanks to Mitarotonda’s dirty wah rhythm playing as Weekz once again stepped out with his newer assertive style. Anspach began peppering in loops on his Prophet synthesizer as the improv took on a more ominous tone.

The remainder of the “Earthling” jam was spent in a deep space where Mitarotonda’s creepy octave-up riffing and Weekz’ bass bombs slunk overtop the sparse tom groove created by Atkind and percussionist Jeff Arevalo. Emerging from the darkness, Goose closed the set with an emphatic and explosive “So Ready.”

If the first set was all about darkness and deep exploration, the second set was its polar opposite – its jams took place in much lighter terrain with seeming intent from Mitarotonda. The opening “Wysteria Lane” featured a massive peak within the song proper before landing in a piano-led bliss groove. After the tension of the first set’s dark jams, this major-key exploration felt amazing in the room, and the crowd remained dialed into every note that the band played.

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A rare mid-set “Doobie Song” led to the biggest jam of the night in “Drive.” Spanning a whopping 29 minutes, Goose showed no signs of slowing down as the short solo within the song was extended as Mitarotonda shredded to higher and higher peaks. Anspach stuck to guitar throughout the majority of the “Drive” jam, helping lead the band into yet another gorgeous bliss section – this one more contemplative to the exuberance of the “Wysteria.”

The song could have wrapped up there, but Mitarotonda gently steered his bandmates back to “Drive” proper and fired up the propulsive second jam. Atkind and Arevalo attacked this segment with fierce energy, leaving the space wide open for the melodic instruments to play. Anspach made the switch to keyboards and the quintet eventually found their way back to a major-key space. Not finished or ready to let the jam go once again, the band dove into another eerie segment that seemed to rest on the cusp of major and minor. Goose would finish up the near-half-hour song in this space via a brief foray into “Loose Ends” territory.

An explosive “Yeti” and emotional “Your Ocean” closed out the set, the latter highlighting the fullness of Anspach’s Vintage Vibe electric piano as its warm vibrato filled every corner of the venue.

For the encore, Anspach addressed the crowd to shout out Atkind’s exemplary drumming throughout the show before noting that the night’s final song would highlight Arevalo. Goose proceeded to tear the roof of The Cap with an emphatic and explosive “Pancakes,” featuring some insane fretboard fireworks from Mitarotonda.

With four nights to go, the bar has been set high and Goose has many more tricks up their sleeve for the rest of the run. The band’s start to 2023 is incredibly promising, to say the least…

Audio Taped By Al W.

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Selist (via El Gö

Set One: Jam -> Electric Avenue[1], All I Need[2] > Dr. Darkness, Butterflies, Jive II[3], Earthling or Alien?[4], So Ready

Set Two: Wysteria Lane > Doobie Song, Drive[5], Yeti, Your Ocean

Encore: Pancakes

Coach’s Notes:

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