Hitting The Green: Goose Performs In Front Of Biggest Colorado Crowds To Date

Ryan Storm recaps the band’s first time playing Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre.

By Ryan Storm Jun 10, 2024 9:49 am PDT

Never miss a Colorado Goose show.

For their biggest shows in the Centennial State yet, the indie-groove quintet from Connecticut took to Fiddler’s Green Amphitheatre, a huge step up in size from their two nights at Red Rocks last October.

Coming as the second stop on their first tour with drummer Cotter Ellis behind the kit, the band had played two excellent shows in St. Louis early in the week to set the tone, so expectations were high for the pair of outdoor shows.

Advertisement

While the shows weren’t sold-out – fans could get in the door for as little as $5 on the secondary market – Friday night’s show felt extremely well-attended, attendees even packing to the top of the steep lawn.

With many people seeing Ellis perform with Goose for the first time, the excitement was palpable as the band took the stage with “Hot Love & The Lazy Poet.” Performed by Goose for just the third time, this catchy track has settled into a show-opening role nicely, as it gives the band members each a chance to stretch on a quick solo during the high-energy offering.


00:02:55
00:09:01
nugsnet (See 625 videos)
Goose (See 291 videos)

Keyboardist/guitarist Peter Anspach fronted the group on an exuberant “The Whales” next, marking the first rendition of the song since last November’s European tour. Next up, Goose debuted their incendiary take on Ilsey Juber’s “No California,” a song first played by acoustic offshoot Orebolo this past February that had immediately become a fan favorite. The momentum of the set kept building through the ensuing “Jive I,” which gave way to a monstrous “Jive Lee.”

A song with no composition or lyrics beyond the opening riff, “Lee” comfortably sits in a space between seven and 13 minutes most of the time, getting in some solid improv within the tight groove. Friday’s rendition is the longest in Goose history and the first to cross the 20-minute mark as the quintet committed to some deep exploration.

Beginning in an airy space, guitarist Rick Mitarotonda hung back and let Anspach lay down some textures on his Sequential OB-6 synthesizer and delayed organ. With the help of a new synthesizer guitar effect, Goose has utilized a new late-night disco jamming style a few times on this tour, locking in with the rhythm section at the forefront to craft a highly danceable vibe.

As a band that is often known for their high-octane peak jamming, this “Jive Lee” was an amazing departure from the norm as they committed to patience and a long-form build. Bassist Trevor Weekz, who has shown newfound improvisational leadership so far this year, stayed tight with Ellis and percussionist Jeff Arevalo, creating the foundation for Mitarotonda and Anspach to get weird over.

Finally building into the screaming ending of “Lee,” the payoff was that much sweeter after the amazing exploration that had come before, and let the band work in a beautiful cool-down by way of “Seekers On The Ridge,” Mitarotonda absolutely lighting up the second part with a volcanic guitar solo. “Animal” got bodies moving to close out the first frame, hitting several strong Type I peaks to send us into set break.


00:00:00
Goose (See 149 videos)
Goose (See 291 videos)

As the sun set, the band returned almost exactly 30 minutes later and lit into “Wysteria Lane.” The jam vehicle was predicted by many to make its first appearance of the tour in Colorado, and it did not disappoint. With Anspach on guitar for the duration of the song, Mitarotonda quickly led a modulation into a gorgeous major-key space, continuing the tone of Friday’s jams – patient exploration of a single idea.

Weekz continued to excel as he played off of Mitarotonda’s reverb-drenched leads, popping into a melodic territory and pushing through the mix loud and clear. As the final towering peak was reached, Anspach layered some synth washes underneath his guitar work, the latter of which reached into territory akin to how The Edge plays. Each member of the band was in perfect sync during this “Wysteria,” and we got an amazing look at the double-drum attack of Ellis and Arevalo at work.

Returning to keyboards, Anspach tapped his funky dance number “Feel It Now” to keep the momentum of the set going as Fiddler’s Green turned into a single bouncing organism. Lighting director Andrew Goedde sent spotlights into the night air and across the audience throughout the song (along with heavy doses of fog machine) before the band wrapped up and began “Hungersite.”

Mitarotonda took a little bit of extra time on his guitar solo before sliding neatly into the jam, settling into another long-form build. About midway through the song, the big screens on either side of the stage cut to a grinning Arevalo, who bopped back and forth while adding great percussion accents – it’s always a treat to see members of the band having just as much fun (if not more) as the audience during a show.

The second set’s cool-down came in the form of a gorgeous “Peggy-O,” featuring emotive guitar solos from Anspach and Mitarotonda before Goose closed the frame with “Dripfield.”

As we were leaving after the show, a friend of mine remarked that the bigger the venue, the better “Drip” sounds – and that is 100% right. What might be Goose’s best song hit incredibly hard as the set closer on Friday night, once again transforming into a beautiful bliss motif after its usual turn of primal drum-led stomping.

Running close to the 11:15 p.m. curfew, the quintet’s planned encore of “Same Old Shenanigans” was truncated to just its “(dawn)” segment, giving us one more opportunity to rage hard before heading home.

Returning to Fiddler’s on Saturday, the week-long threat of thunderstorms and hail close to showtime suddenly disappeared, leaving us with a breezy temperature and a relaxed atmosphere, free of the worry of possible delays or cancellation due to inclement weather. The venue was also decidedly more packed for the second night, with nary an empty space to be seen – though cheap tickets were still to be had in nearly every section.

“Madhuvan” was the prediction on the tip of everyone’s tongue, not having been played yet on this tour or in Colorado since August 17, 2022. Goose delivered on that prediction and more, performing two +30-minute jams in the same show for the first time ever and delivering one of the strongest performances of their career.

The night began innocently enough with a relaxed “Turned Clouds,” the first of two songs to reference the weather ahead of The Band’s “Look Out Cleveland,” which allowed the band to stretch their improvisational legs out on a concise and funky jam. An energetic “Lead Up” and a bouncy “California Magic” finished out the relatively mellow opening to the show as the energy took off with “Drive.”


00:02:18
nugsnet (See 625 videos)
Goose (See 291 videos)

Blowing past the 30-minute mark for the second time this year (after the must-hear Capitol Theatre version from April), Goose began playing with a sense of purpose not present in the relaxed vibe of the earlier songs of the first set. Taking the song at a brisk pace, Mitarotonda lit up the audience with a blistering solo before Ellis led the charge into the jam. Anspach and Mitarotonda took their time on dual-guitar funk within the bounds of “Drive” proper for several minutes before the jam reached a natural conclusion around the 15-minute mark.

Not to be deterred, Goose slid into another beautiful major-key space, building on a riff akin to the ending of “Time To Flee” as Anspach switched to piano. Luxuriating in the uplifting mode much like Friday’s “Wysteria” and “Dripfield,” Mitarotonda soared through several peaks before piano took the lead in a faster-paced section that riffed around part of “Factory Fiction” for a few minutes at a high intensity before fading away smoothly into a mellow wind-down.

As the crowd processed the massive jam that just took place, Mitarotonda strummed the opening chords to “Give It Time,” a newer song that fans have already predicted to be the song of the summer. FOH sound engineer Eric Loomis had the sound dialed in perfectly, giving us a clear reading of the song with all five members’ vocals audible. With each performance, more and more people will learn the words to this incredible song, and we’ll have full audiences singing every word by the end of this tour – it’s truly uplifting and joyous.

With the beginning of “Madhuvan” ringing out across the amphitheater to begin the second set, the crowd proceeded to lock in with the band for the next 32 minutes as Goose played one of the finest jams of their career, demonstrating their newfound skill at full-band interplay and commitment to finding new spaces throughout.

As the song fragmented into space, several minutes of open exploration occurred with Anspach working both his OB-6 and guitar pedalboard to create weird and dissonant sounds as Weekz shook the very foundations of the venue. Mitarotonda led into an off-kilter groove with Ellis, as Anspach continued to churn up clouds of noise with his guitar pedals. The music came together into something more coherent as Anspach continued to tap away at his fretboard, Mitarotonda leading a modulation into a major key out of the murk.

What came next was the fourth significant bliss jam of the weekend but easily the best. Slow, patient, and layered, the five band members each contributed beautifully to the music, from Weekz’s upper-register melodies to Anspach’s floaty synthesizer and Vintage Vibe electric piano. Arevalo’s consistent drum pocket allowed Ellis to focus on more fills as the two drummers worked in perfect tandem.

Mitarotonda then began a shift into a minor key which seemed for a second like it could be building back into “Madhuvan” proper, but instead fell into a gnarled and twisted jam. Some of the heaviest playing of Goose’s career ensued as Goedde painted the stage in minimalist and sinister patterns, contributing on-beat bursts of the fog machine.

Hearkening back to the Legend Valley “All I Need” from June 10, 2022, Mitarotonda was able to focus on dirty leads as Anspach began to throw bursts of effected organ along with his phaser-heavy Vibe.

Advertisement

Anspach began to add the OB-6 back in as the intensity grew, this time with some envelope-filtered low-end that continued to take the jam further into the depths of space. At the back of the stage, Arevalo began to viciously head-bang while playing percussion.

As the darkness reached its apex, Mitarotonda turned around to cue Ellis into a faster pace, but the drummer seemed to read the guitarist’s mind and was already moving into that space. Anspach began to take the lead with some synthesizer arpeggios, which then switched to long textural sweeps. Weekz’s low notes became reminiscent of the vicious Les Claypool bass tone at times, supporting the jam and then at once bursting forward to bring them into a new progression.

Not enough can be said about Anspach’s electric piano tone – thick and full like a Rhodes with a phaser, it washed out over the crowd through this ferocious peak as the speed and intensity continued to pick up.

Mitarotonda found a riff similar to The Prince of Egypt theme “River Lullaby” as Anspach hit the organ along with some gliding synth sirens, all anchored by the impeccable rhythm section work of Ellis, Arevalo, and Weekz.

Some frenetic and dissonant builds came next as tension built and built and built, Mitarotonda finally smashing back into “Madhuvan” proper, shredding through the ending solo with serious purpose and a shit-eating grin on his face, basking in the glow and accomplishment of such a pantheon-level jam as he and Anspach hit some descending licks to build into the charging end riff.

The finale of “Madhuvan” was met with raucous cheers of “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSE!” from the crowd as the 33-minute behemoth was processed by the audience. “Silver Rising” offered a few minutes of cool-down before Mitarotonda once again blew the metaphorical roof off the open-air venue with a blazing hot solo.

“Arrow” kept the energy and vibes up before they skyrocketed along with the segue into “Hollywood Nights.” The Bob Seger tune has been paired with “Arrow” on two previous occasions and fits perfectly out of the jam. This set-closing moment had the audience shouting the lyrics to the hit song and dancing hard, wrapping up an impeccable hour of music.

With a shortened set and just under 30 minutes until curfew, Goose opted to perform the Autumn Crossing EP pairing of “Travelers” and “Elmeg the Wise,” two songs with an intertwined story whose studio recording was released last September. Fans had been clamoring for a full performance ever since, and it was truly special to be in attendance for the magical moment. The “Elmeg” outro jam even had an infusion of the ascending lick from the first set’s monster “Drive,” wrapping up the narrative of the show and weekend neatly.

The indie-groove sensation from Connecticut is on a tear right now, breaking new ground every night and leveling up their playing and jams as they play more shows with Ellis. Do not skip a show if you have the ability to attend!

Goose tour continues tonight with their first-ever performance in Omaha, Nebraska before heading east later this week. Watch a free livestream of this evening’s concert and the rest of Goose’s June dates with a nugs.net subscription.

Advertisement

Loading tour dates

Setlists (via El Goose.net)

Friday, June 7

Set One: Hot Love & The Lazy Poet > The Whales > No California[1], Jive I > Jive Lee, Seekers on the Ridge pt I > Seekers on the Ridge pt II, Animal

Set Two: Wysteria Lane > Feel It Now, Hungersite, Peggy-O, Dripfield

Encore: (dawn)

Soundcheck: Seekers on the Ridge pt I > Seekers on the Ridge pt II, Jive I

Notes:

  • [1] Ilsey Juber. FTP as Goose.

Saturday, June 8

Set One: Turned Clouds, Look Out Cleveland, Lead Up, California Magic, Drive > Give It Time

Set Two: Madhuvan, Silver Rising, Arrow[1] -> Hollywood Nights

Encore: Travelers > Elmeg The Wise

Notes:

  • [1] Unfinished.
  • Travelers was played for the first time since June 30, 2023 (53 shows).
  • Elmeg the Wise was performed for the first time since March 12, 2023 (88 shows).
  • This was the first performance of the Autumn Crossing suite since August 22, 2021 and the first since the EP’s release.

More Goose News

  • Goose Drummer Cotter Ellis Reveals Sign From Universe Received Ahead Of Summer Tour

    Goose Drummer Cotter Ellis Reveals Sign From Universe Received Ahead Of Summer Tour 

  • Goose To Livestream All June Concerts For 2024 Summer Tour

    Goose To Livestream All June Concerts For 2024 Summer Tour 

  • Goose Kicks Off 1st Tour With New Drummer Cotter Ellis In St. Louis

    Goose Kicks Off 1st Tour With New Drummer Cotter Ellis In St. Louis 

  • Back To The Nest: Goose Rocks Hometown High School In Connecticut With Surprise Concert

    Back To The Nest: Goose Rocks Hometown High School In Connecticut With Surprise Concert 

  • Watch Goose & Vampire Weekend Team Up For 30-Minute 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa'

    Watch Goose & Vampire Weekend Team Up For 30-Minute 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' 

  • Goose Shines Bright With Complete ‘Moon Cabin’ Performance At Capitol Theatre

    Goose Shines Bright With Complete ‘Moon Cabin’ Performance At Capitol Theatre 

  • Dawn Of A New Era: Goose Plays 1st Concert With Drummer Cotter Ellis

    Dawn Of A New Era: Goose Plays 1st Concert With Drummer Cotter Ellis 

JamBase Collections