Show Review - Goose 3/12/23 Port Chester, NY
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.
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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 off 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!
Thank you Goose and everyone at the Cap for an unforgettable week – see you out there soon!
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