Spring 2023 Leg 2 Recap
with Ryan Storm
The 15-date second leg of Goose’s 2023 spring tour saw the band journey from the Midwest to the west coast, introducing many new fans to their music and the power of their current sound. With lots of smaller venues than have been played further east as of late, the quintet had the opportunity to experiment in a more intimate environment that allowed the music to take new shapes and directions.
Beginning in Madison on April 13, a statement about the forthcoming tour was immediately made with massive versions of “Borne,” “Wysteria Lane,” and “Indian River.” Most notably the latter song, whose “Welcome to Delta” jam has rarely ventured outside of standard territory. Peter especially shone in this show with unique synth and organ work within the big jams.
The Year of Big T seriously continued to assert itself through the ensuing two nights at the Salt Shed in Chicago, now immortalized in the form of a live album (including an exclusive 30-minute soundcheck jam!). With newer songs like “Everything Must Go” and “Thatch” featured prominently in the setlist of the first night, Goose confidently delivered what many have dubbed the jam of the year so far – a 30+ minute “Hungersite.” Trevor Bass himself is the leader throughout this jam which features multiple distinct sections and the beginning of the many appearances of the “Crosseyed and Painless” intro jam. This two-chord bliss motif, usually with Peter on Vintage Vibe, became a staple of the band’s improvisational toolkit this spring. 4/15’s first set was highlighted by an incredible “Echo of a Rose” -> “Inside Out” pairing, thirty minutes of high-quality Goose jamming. In the second set, true pandemonium was unleashed during what quickly became known as the “Saltcakes,” a “Pancakes” of epic proportions that saw the whole band pouring every ounce of energy into the breakneck-speed jam that refused to stop peaking. Completing the previous night’s unfinished “Madhuvan” in the encore, Goose continued west…
In St. Paul, the band once again blended the vibey “Tumblé” with the song’s original composed section and jam. While the two previous versions performed in this way had a sort of uncertainty to them, Goose was ready and pulled off the transition from slow to fast perfectly. Embarking on a long and exploratory jam, the band wound up in the first full performance of “Loose Ends” with lyrics of the year, tying a neat bow on the repeated teases that had shown up throughout the spring.
With a day off, the quintet ventured into the mountains with a two-night stand in Bozeman, Montana. Night one was all about a rock ‘n roll vibe, made clear during the first set’s 19-minute “Elizabeth” where Rick let loose flamethrowers upon flamethrowers of guitar (and WELCOME BACK “Doc Brown”!). The real star of the show, however, was the “Rosewood Heart” deep in the second set. With Spuds really attacking the drums and a super punchy groove developing, Peter would eventually pick up his guitar (an atypical shift) to lend a dark and crunchy tone to the jam. Goedde really went for it during this fast-paced improv as he turned off most of the overhead stage lights, using the tall panels behind the stage to add a spooky tone to the synth-drenched music. A smooth segue into the first “Weird Fishes” cover since 11/16/21 and a smooth “Red Bird” -> “Butter Rum” put a nice exclamation point on the first night. The second night in Bozeman saw another surprise bustout – “Cantaloupe Island” was played for the first time since 12/5/19 and was a complete in-the-moment audible by the band. Later in the show, “Everything Must Go” got the second-set jam vehicle treatment its previous versions had been hinting at, Rick and Peter absolutely locking in on a hot minor-key groove in the middle. The year’s first “No Rain” (did Peter tease Dark Star?) continued a strong set ahead of “Hungersite” and an incredibly efficient “Madhuvan” closer, marking this two-night stand as Goose’s first-ever run in Montana without a play of “Escape.”
In Boise, they came out swinging with a “Factory Fiction”-infused “All I Need” in the first set, while an outer-space “Wysteria Lane” took centre stage for the second frame. Peter shone on Vibe while the rhythm section created a tom-heavy base. Goedde utilized his special light curtain that is part of the pared-down small venue light rig to paint the band in a plaid pattern as the jam went into the deep reaches of outer space. Culminating with a build into “Get The Funk Out Ma Face,” Goose delivered on the rest of the show with an extended “Jeff Engborg” set closer and the return of “Lead the Way” after the longest gap in its history.
PA issues plagued the first set of April 22nd in Seattle, where the shortened first set contained multiple attempts at “Lead Up” and a push-up competition between Jebb and Naveed as the issues were fixed. Returning for a massive second set and a fixed sound system, Goose uncorked their longest jam to date in a 45-minute “Echo of a Rose.” Musically going all over the map, this behemoth holds your attention from the first note to the last, and was a statement that the band was not going to let some silly tech issues get in the way of an incredible concert. “Sleepwalk” made an appearance for the first time since 12/31/21 later in the set, while Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights” found a perfect home within “Arrow” for the second time in recent memory. For the second night in Seattle, a party vibe permeated throughout the show with an absolutely phenomenal “In Your Eyes” RHYTHMIC CLINIC in the first set and an extended “Hot Tea” to open the second. Trevor fronted the band on the first-ever “Achy Breaky Heart” played in front of a live audience – its only other performance was during 2020’s Bingo Tour.
Heading down the coast to Eugene, perhaps the best show of the tour – musically speaking – happened at the intimate 800-seat McDonald Theatre. Once again utilizing the smaller light rig, Goedde shone along with the wild improv journey in the first set’s “Borne” as Rick threw up wave after wave of delay loops as Peter leaned heavily into textures in tandem. An incredible soundscape took shape that has to be heard to be believed. Some are calling it the JOTY… While an “Empress of Organos” second set opener is usually a sign of a relatively standard piece of improv to kick off on a high note, Eugene’s took a plunge deep into the dark and evil thanks once again to Peter’s Vibe and synth work. Rick ripped apart minor key arpeggios that brought AC/DC to mind as the music accelerated into a boiling motif. By the time the song was over, Eugene already had two high-ranking jams in the books. “Rosewood Heart” was up next and was 20 minutes of charging, focused Goose jamming. All four band members locked in for the entire thing and put the pedal to the floor, leaving the mostly-unfamiliar Oregon crowd with jaws on the floor. An emotional “Peggy-O” and the always-incendiary “Arcadia” set the band off to the legendary Warfield Theatre in style.
Celebrating tour manager Sam King’s birthday on the first night in San Francisco, Goose busted out Ted Tapes cut “Dragonfly” for the first time since 6/10/22 during a spontaneously spacey “Into the Myst” jam. Drums were king in the rest of the show throughout the beast-mode “Pancakes” and exceptional “Red Bird.” Jebb especially has really grown into his playing over the past couple of months, contributing more and more to the band’s sound with each passing show. Night two was an all-original affair whose highlights began early in the first set with “Elizabeth.” The usual choogle, led by Rick’s brand-new DeLuis guitar, transformed into a majestic and beautiful bliss motif in the second half that soared into a perfect “Not Alone” landing pad. Set 2 opened with an absolutely incendiary “Thatch” (what version isn’t incendiary?), stretching past the 20-minute mark for the first time. Groovy Peter tune “Feel It Now” kept the vibe going, but the real improvisational meat wouldn’t come back until the encore’s “Madhuvan.” Beginning with a tidal wave of effects and sounds, Rick brought the band back above water with a dark and eerie space that gradually and smoothly transformed into a rocking major-key peak reminiscent of a familiar song to many in the crowd.
The final show of tour proper and the only outdoor date took place in San Diego – while on the shorter side, the band still offered an energetic two sets for the SoCal crowd. A surprise short-gap appearance for “Loose Ends” within “Rockdale” and a blissed-out “Arcadia” shone in the first set while a fiery-turned-dreamy “Hungersite” dominated the second frame.
Two nights in New Orleans at the Daze Between festival for the true conclusion to the tour were excellent affairs – high-quality festival sets with standout versions of “All I Need,” “Tumble” (with an incredible jam in the middle that sounded almost pre-composed…shoutout Aardvark), “Thatch,” and “Hungersite.” The real star, however was the “Hot Tea” featuring Neal Francis on keys and The Horn Section. Played in the slower and horn-centric album arrangement, vibes were high as Peter and Neal shared the rig and traded solos. The horns took a strong turn with it while all on stage sported massive smiles. Go listen to this ASAP if you haven’t already!
Another spring tour wrapped, another lengthy excursion with Goose once again proving that they are a warm change-of-season band. As we head into an early summer tour filled with festival dates and another long headlining run not happening until September, we will no doubt be listening to the contents of these spring shows time and time again. So, until next time…GOOOOOOOOOSE!
Read more of Ryan’s show reviews and more at ryanstorm.substack.com.
Note: We are not affiliated, associated with or in any way officially connected to Goose.
We just love the band and community that much.