Fall 2021 Recap
Fall tour is a special time for any band, and Goose is no different. The 18-date tour stretching from NYC to Denver had some of the band’s best improvisation to date and continued 2021’s trend of new song arrangements and feels.
The first two shows of the tour at Terminal 5 in New York on October 8th and 9th saw the debut of Peter’s new Hammond C3 organ, further expanding his keyboard rig’s sound. Right off the bat, the band was on fire, delivering a standout Look Out Cleveland in 10/8’s first set, a song that featured the first “Arcadia jam” of the fall tour – a space reached often that is reminiscent of Arcadia’s Type I ending jam. Other notable moments in the show were All I Need, beginning the trend of strong single-jam versions, Rick’s incredible soloing on Rosewood, the debut of the new Indian River arrangement and original song The Old Man’s Boat, and the long-awaited live debut of Vampire Weekend’s 2021. 10/9, featuring an unannounced third set, was a distinctly high-energy affair with more debuts – Peter’s Life on the Shelf, the Ted Tapes track Dragonfly coming out of an unfinished Hot Tea, and a really cool jam on the Jive I intro theme. This show also featured Trevor’s first use of his microphone in 2021 when he read poetry over the Madhuvan jam.
After taking a couple weeks off, the rest of the tour kicked off at The State Theatre in Portland on 10/28 for the first night of the Halloween run. An incredible Drive dominated the second set, complete with Peter bouncing around the stage on his new wireless guitar setup. The Empress of Organos made its first appearance of the tour to close this second set with a massive 20-minute version – this song makes a strong case for MVP of the tour. Goose did not come to play around on the second night of Portland, delivering another blistering first set, but the second set really stands out with one of the longest Arcadias to date, teasing the ethereal modes the song would reach later in the tour, and a DARK Lead the Way jam. Four shows in and the band was showing a penchant for darkness that had not been seen previously.
10/30 at The Palladium in Worcester featured the debut of Vasudo classic Rockdale, a tease of Phish’s David Bowie in the midst of Ghostbusters Rap (shoutout to Jebediah’s percussion solo), and a tease of the next night’s Halloween theme in the encore. A cover-filled affair, Goose’s Halloween show followed a theme of Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me and had the band dress up as different characters. Highlights include the jammed-out cover debuts of My Generation and I’m A Believer, Earthling or Alien’s move from an antics-filled groove to jam vehicle, Seekers on the Ridge’s first split of the two parts, and the first fast All I Need since 12/5/19.
Playing Atlanta for the first time at The Eastern, Goose absolutely burned the building to the ground over two nights. Slow Ready got its second extended-jam treatment and is now 2/2 on absolutely butter segues (7/2’s into Drive and 11/6’s into Arcadia) and another 20-minute Empress jam was delivered. The real highlight of the show was the impeccable Rosewood Heart in the middle of set two. The band developed a funky groove for the back half of the jam highlighted by Peter laying down a warm bed of electric piano and Spuds’ typically strong four-on-the-floor groove. The second night in Atlanta saw the debut of yet another new arrangement of Jive II – going back to the original version without the sped-up Peter solo but with the very welcome addition of some clav work. The Old Man’s Boat revealed itself as a top-tier jam vehicle in this show as well, with an incredible Vintage Vibe groove jam stretching to nearly 20 minutes. A typically strong Madhuvan closed the run as the encore before Goose moved on to New Orleans.
The first show of a five-day run along the Gulf coast and into Texas, Republic in NOLA, was a show that would have been right at home in Goose’s 2019. A party show with tons of energy and a lack of deep improv (outside of some moments in The Way It Is and This Old Sea), this Tuesday night rager was pure fun from front to back. Hitting the House Of Blues in Houston next, the band made up for lost improv time with two 20+ minute versions of Time to Flee and Wysteria Lane, the latter hitting a vibe akin to more chilled-out cousin of the Bingo Tour version.
Another new arrangement debuted on 11/11 at the Scoot Inn in Austin, the “fast” Echo of a Rose. This show also had yet another flamethrower of a 20-minute Madhuvan, a chunky All I Need with a second jam for the first time since 7/23 at FloydFest, and only the fourth appearance of long-form composition The Labyrinth. The momentum began to pick up again with 11/12, where the band opened with a gorgeous and ethereal Drive that led into the first slow Tumble since 6/16 in Perry, an arrangement I had been long awaiting the return of. One of the best Empress of Organos to date closed the first set, featuring an extended intro jam with some incredible call-and-response from Rich and Peter, the latter hitting every side of his rig before the lyrics. A more energy-oriented second set followed with a blistering White Lights that tested each member of the band’s speed. It's at this moment that I’d like to give Jeff a shoutout – his percussion work this tour really stood out and you can really hear how hard he’s been working at developing his skills. His singing on a few choice covers like My Generation and American Woman fits the tunes really well too!
11/13 in Dallas (at the Hifi) opened with the long-awaited bustout of The Who’s Eminence Front and was the second-ever performance of the full Jive suite (or Slick Rick’s Jive Triptych, however you want to call it) and the first to read Jive I > Jive II > Jive Lee.
After taking a few days off, the band blazed into the Tower Theatre in Oklahoma City with a 30-minute Time to Flee opener, a bright and airy jam that segued smoothly into the first Caution since 10/2/20 with Dave Grippo. Another massive jam appeared in the set, the second standout A Western Sun of the year. While not quite reaching the heights of the monstrous 6/15 version, this stays in the realm of gorgeous and ethereal before ramping up around the 18-minute mark and blasting into the Flee ending perfectly. Yet another blazing 20-minute Madhuvan dominated the second set along with Spirit of the Dark Horse’s fantastic pairing with Dragonfly.
The next night at The Truman in Kansas City, Goose brought forth another jam-heavy Earthling or Alien, a more drawn-out SOS (incredible organ work from Peter), and an awesome All I Need > Bob Don > All I Need sandwich. Bob Don featured a first-time extended jam treatment with a mellow section over the chorus chord progression appearing after the standard conclusion with Peter on keys that gradually grew in intensity before exploding into the final chorus of All I Need to close the set. Arcadia delivered, as always, an incredible jam – this unfinished version, like 12/13/19, finding a pretty major-key space to segue into a cover, this time Crosseyed and Painless. A hauntingly beautiful 726 came later, with a great variation on the synth intro that continues to evolve with each play.
The tour closed with three shows in Goose stronghold Colorado. After making the jump from small clubs in 2019 to Sculpture Park this summer, the band decided to host an intimate at Aspen’s 500-capacity Belly Up. A tiny room with a blazing show, the first set contained the best Butter Rum played to date, replete with a Tequila jam and glowing Vintage Vibe work before returning to close the song. The second set was highlighted by the 28-minute Hot Tea that descended into a dark jam where the band touched on a repeating riff, slowed it right down and jammed it into the clouds on the back of Spuds’ half-time beat. Leaving the song unfinished, the band would go on to finish the Seekers sandwich started at the beginning of set two before heading off to Denver on the backs of a strong Empress jam.
Two sold-out nights at the Mission Ballroom in Denver to close the tour was a big statement for the band. Some of their biggest shows to date, they went BIG from the first moment to the last. A typically strong All I Need jam highlighted 11/21 set 1 along with an explosive Rockdale that reached a jam not unlike the 10/8 Look Out Cleveland. Set two had another slow Tumble that departed its typically mellow jam for a sped-up and raging peak. A stand-alone Jive Lee sandwiched inside Magic Carpet Ride closed the penultimate show of the tour.
“Never miss a Shmonday show”, reads a tweet from Goose in the afternoon of 11/22, mere hours before they torched Denver to the ground. Opening with a massive 24-minute Arrow, the band delivered a nearly filler-free show packed full of incredible jams. My personal favorite being the Arcadia – this version eclipsing the 6/11 Swanzey jam for the best-ever spot. Drifting on a gentle bed of piano into a gorgeous jam space, all five members took their time to let the music breathe, finding an incredible and emotional progression that saw Trevor stepping up with an impeccable bass line as the jam reached soaring peak after soaring peak. Sticking the landing perfectly, Rich tore into the Arcadia ending jam with ferocity. Standing out amid the flow of the second set, This Old Sea went to a distinctly rocking vibe out of its jam, leading to a brief Drive second jam that had been missing from the version played earlier in the set. For the encore, Goose chose rarity Factory Fiction for its third play at a monumental show this year. Rivaling the Bingo Tour version’s hold for best-ever, this rager was the perfect capstone to the show, run, and tour.
Goose in 2021 has been an incredible development – from the 5/3 Arrow and 5/4 Creatures to the 11/19 Hot Tea and 11/22 Arcadia, the band has gone in a bevy of new jamming directions while still maintaining a high standard of energy and excellence in each show. I can’t wait to see how they continue develop at the end of this year and moving into 2022!
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