Goose kicked the 2021 touring season off in style, delivering a show that highlighted the band’s energy and fluidity. Opening with a brief jam akin to the Bingo Tour’s “Free Space”, they jumped into a laid-back Lead the Way (the night’s first audible call) to get the crowd warmed up. Doc Brown was up next and saw Peter showing off his new pink custom Suhr guitar.
The Anspach highlights continued as his new Leslie speaker was on full display during Jive II, which featured a new arrangement with a sped-up first jam. The Time to Flee that followed felt a little bit faster than normal, a theme for the night as the band’s excitement to be performing again was palpable. After a short piano solo from Peter, Rich ripped out hot lick after hot lick to raise the jam to a dissonant and tension-filled peak. Gun Street Girl served as the first real breather of the set, and it really highlighted Spuds and Jeff’s great tom and bongo interplay. Turned Clouds contained another standout solo from Peter on organ, complete with Hot Teases.
The main event of the night, All I Need -> Jive Lee, closed the set with a power half-hour of jammy goodness. After the first jam in AIN briefly dipped its toes into minor-key Type II jamming, the second jam lifted off with a speedy and percussive groove, again showing off Spuds and Jeff’s fantastic combination. Rick danced around the congas with quick auto-wah stabs before leading the jam into more of a straightforward rocking mode. The jam then briefly turned melodic before Peter hit the clav and the band dove headfirst into a crunchy Mind Left Body-esque funk groove reminiscent of the 1/25/20 Hot Tea. A Rich-led modulation into G found the band morphing oh-so-smoothly into Jive Lee, which proceeded to rip the faces off of all in attendance to close the set – complete with a Peter/Rich breakdown and a really cool double-time jam led by Spuds.
While the second set didn’t have a big jam to rival All I Need, the band flowed from one song to the next with purpose and tons of energy, giving new fans a great look into their catalogue. Wysteria Lane opened the set with an ethereal jam – Rick’s grimy tone from the Vox amp he backlined for the show is on full display here. After a peak, the jam took a spacey turn before segueing into Inside Out. Flodown was another high-energy rendition before the band audibled Arcadia, a song where every version feels like it could be the best ever. This version followed a similar jam to the one from Goosemas VII, a filthy tension-based jam that built and built up to a screaming peak.
Rosewood and Mais Que Nada kept the dance party going before Slow Ready gave the audience their first taste of “sexy Goose”. Unfortunately, this version went jamless due to time constraints, and the show was closed with a fiery Empress of Organos. This recently-revived Vasudo tune was especially apropos – it had started raining at Suwannee just before the song started. After a high-energy jam that briefly moved outside the song’s structure for some tension-building that the quintet has displayed such prowess at, the show closed with a bang.
While Goose’s first show of 2021 may lack a little bit in the massive jams department, they showcased a band that is ready to blaze its way through the year and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for us on the first leg of the tour in May.