In The Show Of Life: Trey Anastasio Band & Goose Close TABoose Tour In Reading
Anastasio and the TAB horns came out with Goose before Rick, Peter, Jeff, Trevor and Ben sat-in with Trey’s band to close the eight-show run.
Is it over already? The eighth and final show of the Trey Anastasio Band / Goose tour wrapped up on Saturday night in front of a raucous crowd in Reading, Pennsylvania. Santander Arena was an ideal place for the tour to end, back in TAB and Goose’s home region. Despite all the torch memes, this tour was clearly a collaboration among musicians who respect and admire each other — and a huge step forward for both Goose and TAB.
There was a celebratory feel in the air to close this eight-show tour. We decided to harness the celebration by taking a 25-person party bus from Philadelphia to Reading. There were plenty of hugs and high-fives in the building. Throughout the past 10 days, we’ve been treated to what felt like once-in-a-lifetime performances and collaborations, on both the Goose and TAB sides. Will we ever see this lineup and this music again? Just in case, let’s seep up all the light.
Goose opened up their set with a 10-minute version of “Flodown” that featured a little space before the song started. Then we got a “Pancakes,” the second of the tour. This version had an upbeat, driving jam that led to a nice rock peak. One observation for the three shows that I saw on this tour is that Goose has full command of these arena-sized crowds. Even with a slower song, the sound and playing kept everyone engaged. With this mentorship from Trey Anastasio, and exposure to new fans and large crowds, this band is primed for more explosive growth in 2023 and beyond.
A bluesy “Turned Clouds” followed, and then “Dripfield” came next, the title track of Goose’s latest album. This is the second version of this tour, and one of my favorite songs to hear live. The percussive, driving rhythm is so primal and infectious, driven by the playing of multi-instrumentalist Jeff Arevalo.
We got a three-song sit-in with Trey Anastasio in Reading, and for the last show, appropriately the longest sit-in of the tour. I had been waiting for a “Rockdale,” and this one delivered with Trey and Rick Mitarotonda ending up in an Allmans-style guitar collaboration. The interplay between the two guitarists has become more comfortable over the course of the tour, but also more intricate. They both approach the collaborations with levels of humility and respect that allows for the jams to develop slowly over the course of the songs. And “Rockdale” speaks to what I think is most unique about Goose — songs that blend an indie-pop sensibility with a catchy hook and an infectious groove as well as great vocal harmonies between Peter Anspach and Rick to hold it all down.
A surprise “Elmeg the Wise” came next (12th time played, first version in 28 shows), with more melodic space in the jam that built slowly to a peak. Finally, we got the “Hot Tea” with horns that fans had been waiting for. It was the second version with Trey, but TAB “sibs” Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet), Natalie Cressman (trombone) and James Casey (saxophone) added another layer of sound in both the song and the jam.
The TAB set started with a fun version of “Push On ‘Til the Day,” and the band ran through 10 songs with an exclamation point on the final song before the collaboration, a ripping version of “Dark and Down.” Of course, this tour has been primarily focused on the sit-ins, but the TAB sets have all been so high energy, and so much fun — and Trey’s approach has clearly been enhanced by the collaborations with Goose.
Another shout out goes to James Casey, who has been in and out of the tour due to health issues, but who always plays with an unbelievable amount of energy and heart. Last night, his soloing on “No Men in No Man’s Land” was particularly notable.
Rick and Peter joined TAB for “Ghost,” with a brief altered voice intro from percussionist Cyro Baptista. At the end of the song, there was a guitar issue, for which a break was needed while the rig was restored. A sweet moment ensued where Peter, to fill the awkward silence, said that at one of his first Phish shows (SPAC 2010), Trey asked if there were any “youngsters out there who want to play music.” It exemplified a connection between the generations, and then led to Trey asking to play a solo for the youngsters on “Hey Stranger.”
They continued with “Everything’s Right” and the rest of Goose came out for “First Tube” to close out the set, with an encore that started with “Llama” and a real surprise “Show of Life.” There was a lot of celebrating for that one in our section. And finally, Cyro led the band off stage with percussion instruments for “Party Time.” For all of the sit-ins on the tour, it’s been fascinating to me to watch Trey and Rick interact during the jams. Trey, mostly looking directly into Rick’s eyes, seeing how he displays emotion and makes decisions, and Rick clearly pushing himself forward and learning on the fly from one of the greatest guitarists to ever play.
Last night’s show was the perfect way to end a collaborative tour that not only provided fans with music that we’ll be revisiting for years to come, but also solidified a monumental period for the jamband world. It’s clear that both Goose and TAB grew through this experience, learning from each other and exploring more musical directions, while having a great time in the process. I can’t wait to see what’s next for both bands.
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Trey Anastasio Band (via Phish.net)
Set: Push On ‘Til the Day, Love Is What We Are, Mozambique, Cayman Review, Camel Walk, Twist, No Men In No Man’s Land, A Life Beyond The Dream, …And Flew Away, Dark and Down, Ghost , Hey Stranger , Everything’s Right, First Tube 
Encore: Llama , Show of Life , Party Time 
-  Rick Mitarotonda on guitar and Peter Anspach on keys.
-  Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys, Trevor Weekz on bass, and Jeff Arevalo and Ben Atkind on percussion.
-  Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys, and Jeff Arevalo, Ben Atkind, and Trevor Weekz on percussion; performed in an alternate arrangement. Final lyric changed to “Taboose.”
-  Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys, and Jeff Arevalo, Ben Atkind, and Trevor Weekz on percussion.
-  Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keys and vocals, and Jeff Arevalo, Ben Atkind, and Trevor Weekz on percussion. Ended with the horns and everyone else on percussion playing as everyone walked off stage.
Goose (via ElGoose.net)
Set: Flodown, Pancakes, Turned Clouds, Dripfield, Rockdale, Elmeg The Wise, Hot Tea
-  Flopener.
-  With Trey Anastasio on guitar.
-  With Trey Anastasio on guitar, James Casey on saxophone, Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet, and Natalie Cressman on trombone.