Winter 2022: Leg One Recap
So I’m DEFINITELY never complaining about a second set American Woman again.
Goose started their 2022 touring season with a 14-date tour, spanning from Arizona to Pennsylvania, that included a musical palette just as wide-ranging. Beginning in Tempe on January 26th, the quintet delivered a solid show dominated by the Elizabeth > Tumble pairing in the second set. Elizabeth’s return to jam vehicle status after a tame 2021 came with a gorgeous jam with hints of Phish’s Slave to the Traffic Light before Tumble brought forth the first hints at the (Dr.) darkness-tinged jam styles that would emerge throughout the rest of the tour – disintegrating completely into a malicious space highlighted by Peter’s bent delay guitar and boasting an impressive 24-minute run-time full of perfectly-synced guitar.
Goose kicked off the California leg of the tour in San Diego, debuting the fantastic Great Blue tune Pancakes in a spectacular fashion, showcasing the song’s jam potential and catchy lyrics. Other highlights from the show included an expansive take on Madhuvan and the first of many Rosewood Hearts to cross the 20-minute mark this tour. In Los Angeles, the highly-anticipated live debut of recent single Borne offered an ethereal synth/guitar build - along with the first Atlas Dogs appearance, a slick Arrow sandwich, and an energetic Loose Ends before the band headed up the coast to San Francisco. A high-energy first set boasting the first fantastic Dragonfly of the tour, as well as an incredibly psychedelic Yeti -> Tomorrow Never Knows -> Yeti gave way to a second set with the debut of singalong Red Bird (shout-out to those #StraightBirdn), the ever-expanding Fifth of Beethoven, and a sprawling Empress complete with Jive II and Don’t Do It teases. The second night of San Francisco may have contained a cool “technical difficulties jam” from The Labyrinth into Writing A Novel and a HUGE Elmeg the Wise, but the real defining moment came in the first set’s Wysteria Lane. The lone version played on this leg of the tour, the San Francisco Wysteria dove deep into an evil jam space only barely hinted at previously. Spurred on by Spuds’ heavy tom work, Rick and Peter kicked on some grimy effects and headed straight for the deepest and darkest jam played by Goose to date before dissolving into dissonant noise in a similar fashion to the Tempe Tumble. It’s a really inspiring jam that demonstrates the band’s continued commitment to taking risks and developing their jamming further.
Groundhog Day in Bend, Oregon came complete with the second-ever (and third, and kind of a fourth) rendition of instrumental cover Tribute to Gold in a show absolutely dominated by the Madhuvan > No Rain segment in the first set. While Madhuvan showcased an incredibly patient build that stayed within the song’s boundaries and No Rain ventured on a spacier excursion, both demonstrated the impeccable connection that dual-guitar Goose has. Peter’s rhythm work has been especially notable this tour, driving jams in a way that he hasn’t done in the past.
Talking about Portland really means talking about the Echo of a Rose. Split across most of 2/3’s first set, this combined 30-minute jam wastes no time during its second half and heads straight for a blistering peak before dissolving into a dissonant space. Keeping it dark, Trevor stepped up into a lead role and brought forth a deep and rumbling groove as Rick trilled and Peter activated his siren-synth loop. After adding filthy and dark jam to the pantheon, the band turned up the heat for the second set, delivering a fantastic 20-minute Rosewood Heart and the debut of Indian River’s new pairing with the Welcome to Delta jam (last seen 5/9/21). February 4th’s show featured a reverse of Tempe’s SOS > Slow Ready pairing in the first set before a churning Earthling or Alien? (this song just keeps getting jammier!) and the first extended jam treatment of the recent debut, Atlas Dogs. I would also be remiss if I didn’t call attention to the big Arrow in the second set, yet another version stretching past 20 minutes with Peter really riding his wah pedal (and don’t miss the Flodown with its cool Bob Don-esque jam!). The final West Coast show of the tour took place in Seattle on February 5th and opened with an atypical first-set pairing of Your Ocean and Hot Tea after a standard Butter Rum opener. Wasting no more time, the band jumped into the second outing of Borne and crafted a groove akin to Deodato’s Also Sprach Zarathustra, highlighting Peter’s smooth Vintage Vibe work. Another scorching second set followed with a standout pairing of The Old Man’s Boat and Great Blue debut Jeff Engborg (complete with the first Mini Mall Rap since Bingo Tour) before a blistering Empress closed out the set and the always-reliable Don’t Do It served as the encore.
The best show of the tour (so far) would come in Bozeman, Montana, on a Monday night when no stream was available for those of us at home. Watching the setlist roll in with no reference to music, I was excited at the prospect of what I saw. Delivering a fantastic combination of The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show and Silver Rising in the first set ahead of a 26-minute All I Need, that almost felt like a throwback to the 2019 behemoths. An unrelenting set with a 30-minute Crosseyed and Painless > Dragonfly was closed by another dive into the evil murk with the unlikeliest of vehicles, the gorgeous ballad This Old Sea. Taking a turn away from the gorgeous Type I jam around the 12-minute mark, the groove got thicker and dirtier as Peter’s staccato Vintage Vibe hits were soon joined by the siren-synth loop. Spuds, Jeff, and Trevor locked in on a funk groove as Peter drove the darkness forward with electric piano and then heavy sustained organ. The jam rose to a rolling boil before slotting nicely back into a major-key segment to end the set. While it may not be as purposeful and unrelenting as the 1/30 Wysteria, the Bozeman This Old Sea will come to define a different style of evil jam as Goose continues to evolve.
The band closed out the first leg of the winter tour with a four-night run through the Midwest. Beginning in Minneapolis with a huge Drive opener, the band moved through a cover of Tom Waits’ Gun Street Girl (instead of the obvious Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis play) in the first set and debuted a new, more up-tempo arrangement to Spirit of the Dark Horse, breaking its long gap (last played 10/16/21) with a huge jam. Eschewing the peak-driven jams of the older arrangement, this Dark Horse dove into a long and spacey exploration, highlighted by Trevor’s incredible bass playing. The band then closed out the show with high-energy readings of Mississippi Half Step, Time to Flee, and White Lights. In Madison, WI, Goose dropped the hammer with the two longest jams of the tour in Rosewood Heart and Arrow, each stretching to over 27 minutes. While neither strayed too far from the song’s foundation, both have some great examples of full-band interplay – and don’t miss the second-set closing Arcadia, complete with a filthy Trevor bass solo and several fantastic tension-release builds.
Goose’s long-awaited return to Kentucky for their first headlining gig in the state since 12/13/19 was greeted with an incredible show and the finest of the tour (in my opinion). Blasting out of the gate with a fierce Jive II, the band moved through Indian River (complete with Delta jam) before a broken guitar string led to the second “technical difficulties” jam of tour. Hitting a spooky and haunting tone, Peter’s staccato piano and the sparse playing from the rhythm section encouraged Rick to play with his reverse tape delay settings for a couple of minutes before appropriately starting up Dr. Darkness. In the second set, they laid down another gorgeous jam before blasting through a fantastic Creatures and Flodown. The latter, unfinished, melted nicely into a heartfelt Peggy-O before a MASSIVE Factory Fiction closed the set. Instead of the typical balls-to-the-walls screaming jams the song normally gets to, the Louisville FF remained in an incredibly patient jam with hypnotic guitar from Rick before smoothly returning to the song proper and explosively closing the set. The Kentucky crowd was sent home in style with Jive Lee and the end of Flodown as the band headed on to the final stop of the leg in Pittsburgh.
Announcing a free webcast less than half an hour before showtime was more than welcome to those of us at home and Goose delivered a fantastic and energetic show for both those in attendance and watching at home. A gentle Silver Rising kicked things off before a laid-back and extended take on Butter Rum (with Spuds vocals!) bled into Turned Clouds. Extended jamming dominated the second half of the first set with Red Bird crossing the 20-minute mark for the first time with a delightful and energetic jam. Tumble melted faces with a molten lava jam as it tends to do and the band went off into setbreak. Returning for the second frame, Goose casually started into Rockdale, giving this Vasudo-penned song its usual dose of gnarly funk and big peak before Seekers on the Ridge kept the energy going. After taking a second to shout out my “request”, Jeff led the band through a blistering cover of American Woman. Empress and Slow Ready closed the set out, the former containing a sweet jam on Tumblé and the latter introducing a new short spacey jam before the synth loops kicked off the dance-y typical Slow Ready jam. Encoring with Praise You (what a fantastic cover for them!), Peter took a few minutes to shout out the band’s amazing crew before wrapping up the show and leg on a high note.
Goose’s next concert will be their largest to date and their first-ever in an arena before the second leg of the winter tour. The band continues to deliver their tried-and-true impressive groove-based and peak-based jams on a nightly basis while also frequently experimenting with new arrangements and darker jams. As huge as 2021 was for Goose, 2022 is going to be even bigger and I count myself incredibly lucky to be along for the ride with the band and most importantly, all of you. I’m also pretty excited to finally see them live, so this might be the last review with no attendance bias in it ;)
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