Winter 2022: Leg Two Recap

Hot on the heels of their first headlining west coast tour and their incredible arena debut for Goosemas VIII, Goose embarked on a ten-date tour that would turn out to be possibly their best ever – full of risks, jamming developments, and shifting song arrangements and placements. And yes, I do have some attendance bias for this recap.

Kicking off the month with a two-night stand at Washington, DC’s 9:30 Club, the quintet showed their relaxation at being back in a smaller venue after Goosemas with an absolute barn-burner of a show. March 1st began with a laid-back take on “Liza Jane,” ahead of an absolutely massive “Drive.” A single-jam version stretching just past the 20-minute mark, Goose already showed signs of expanding on their newly-developed dark jamming we had seen on the first leg of tour. Descending into a swirling jam, Peter took a short break from guitar to add some low Vintage Vibe textures to the groove before Rick locked in on a vicious descending lick that brought the jam to a rolling boil - before concluding the song and immediately establishing itself as the best single-jam “Drive” to date. Continuing the first set with a run through “Travelers,” “Doc Brown” and “The Old Man’s Boat,” Goose then debuted the laid-back and bluesy “California Magic,” a crowd-favorite. While the band certainly could have ended the set there, they opted to throw down a monstrous “Madhuvan” instead. With Rick aggressively modulating in and out of the song’s natural key, the second dual-guitar extended jam of the night really got the capacity crowd amped for the second set.

To open the second set, Goose offered a quick run through “Into the Myst” and the first public cover of Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish” since 12/7/19. As Rick strummed the familiar opening chords to “Wysteria Lane,” only the second of the year, anticipation was high. Meeting (and perhaps surpassing) expectations, this incredible 24-minute Wysteria dove deep into dark grooves akin to “Dripfield” and seemed to stretch on for an eternity. Spuds and Jeff were on full display for the first half of the jam, locking in on a propulsive groove while Rick drove forward with dissonant arpeggios and Peter layered on deep textures. Plunging quickly back into the darkness after a nice peak, the band switched into a pounding half-time groove dominated by Rick’s classic octave-up chirp shredding. A perfectly placed “Your Ocean” acted as the lone breather tune of the show before Peter egged the crowd on in the clap intro to “Pancakes.” Yet another fantastic piece of improv, this tops my personal “stack” with an upbeat and funky groove that more than delivered for National Pancake Day. A laid-back “Doobie Song” encore put the cap on an incredible tour opener that would only pave the way for the nine remaining shows.

For the second night in Washington DC, Goose blasted the venue with a first set that lacked outside-the-box improvisation, but more than made up for it with an absolute flamethrower of energy. Jumping through hot renditions of “Jive I” (extended intro jam!) and “Indian River” (Delta-ish jam on the back half is super laid-back and LONG), the eventual groove of the latter collapsed smoothly into the dissonant delay-drenched intro to “Dr. Darkness.” Rounding out the set came a beacon of joyous peak jamming in “S.O.S.” and the second-ever performance of Great Blue funk vehicle

“Jeff Engborg.”

3/2’s second set kicked off with a solid “Bob Don” > “Flodown” pairing ahead of the night’s first deep improv kick in a concise 15-minute “Time to Flee.” A quick breather in “Nights in White Satin” gave way to a centerpiece of “All I Need” -> “Arrow.” Infusing the normally upbeat AIN first jam with a significant dose of darkness, this unique rendition of the song gave way to a second jam that featured Peter taking a rare lead role on organ – a trend that we would see more of as the tour progressed. Rick gently led the band into the opening riff of “Arrow,” where they would jam for just over two minutes, showing a patience to the segue that would have been unheard of before 2022. “Arrow” would be its normal dancey self, stretching to a great length in a fantastic set-closing fashion. A quick “Turn on Your Love Light” encore (with Spuds vocals!) sent the DC crowd into the night with one last burst of energy.

In between two-night stands in DC and Nashville, Goose stopped in Charlotte, NC for a high-quality affair in the hot and tightly packed Fillmore. Opening the night up with a relaxed “Honeybee,” the band wasted no time and jumped right into a 23-minute “Creatures.” Standing as the third-best version of the song to date (5/4/21 and 10/2/20 above it), Peter really shines early on in this jam, first on Vintage Vibe and then on clav. With the recent addition of a delay pedal to his clav effects, Peter has moved from just straight shredding to more textural and atmospheric work. This has added a new and exciting sonic layer to many jams – he very nicely blends into the groove on this “Creatures.” The first set continued smoothly with a short cover of “Pumped Up Kicks,” a filthy funk rendition of “Elizabeth,” and werewolf ballad “Silver Rising,” before a big “Tumble” closed out the frame with a jam akin to the ending of “Arrow.”

The second set in Charlotte, while slightly truncated due to an early curfew, featured an incredibly compelling section of music in “Slow Ready” -> “Hot Tea.” Extending the arpeggiator outro for only the third time to date, the quintet moved into a spacey and psychedelic groove propelled by strong tom work from Spuds and a rock-solid bass line from Trevor. Showcasing their newfound segue patience yet again, Rick seamlessly worked the opening riff to “Hot Tea” into the jam. The ensuing song featured a unique arpeggiator-based jam, “Europa” teasing, and a typical hot ending peak. Goose closed the show with “A Western Sun,” a blazing “White Lights,” and a short “Dancing in the Moonlight” cover before heading off to Nashville.

The first night of Nashville threw down an incredible first set. “Atlas Dogs” -> “Butter Rum” (which is a jam vehicle now!) opened the frame before a tender “It Burns Within.” “The Whales” and the rarely played “Switchin’” kept the energy going before a stack-topping “Pancakes” closed out the set. Moving through a dark jam, the band turned up the heat on the griddle for a blazing ending peak, rocketing to the top of the “Pancakes” stack to date and very near the top of my 2022 Jam of the Year list. The second set began with the continuously reworked “Borne,” this rendition featuring a laid-back piano jam instead of the synth build and an absence of the second, funkier jam. Moving into the first truly jammed-out “Rockdale” ever, this 25-minute adventure had Peter explore his vibraphone sound at a greatly increased tempo before returning home explosively. After “Seekers on the Ridge,” Trevor took a turn in the spotlight mid-”Yeti” to read poetry ahead of “Magic Carpet Ride” and “Turned Clouds” to close out the show.

Nashville’s second night opened with a classic “Jive II” > “Jive Lee” pairing, the latter hitting on more dark and tension-filled themes. Rounding out the first set were strong versions of “Lead the Way,” “Earthling or Alien?,” and “California Magic.” Possibly the finest frame of music performed by Goose to date, this five-song second set from Nashville featured some absolutely awe-inspiring musicality and jamming. Beginning with the up-tempo “Echo of a Rose,” Rick took the lead over its 20 minutes before a smooth fade into “Rosewood Heart.” Finishing Echo on the other side, “Arcadia” delivered the next big jam with a distinct “Wolfman’s Brother” vibe led by Trevor. Peter standout “Red Bird” contained a funky jam with more vibraphone before a great cover of Jim James’ “State of the Art” closed the set. A cherry on top of the already-legendary show, “Dripfield” was called for its second-ever live performance and delivered a primal and drum-heavy jam.

Sandwiched in between a five-show run and a four-show run,
Knoxville’s Monday night outing was poised to be a sleeper show of the tour. Diving straight in and beginning a run of 20+ minute show openers that would last the balance of the tour, “Time to Flee” offered a patient and upbeat jam, complete with a phenomenal peak. Moving through “Travelers” and “Doc Brown,” the next big jam of the night came in “Wysteria Lane”’s third performance of the year (spoiler: it continues its 100% success run). Getting dark and funky, this jam moved at a slow and thick pace that gradually built up the atmospheric sludge before a well-executed fade into “Dr. Darkness” spooky space intro. “Look Out Cleveland” closed the set with another dose of high-energy jamming. A hot “Empress of Organos” opened the second frame ahead of “Silver Rising” and “Flodown” before the recently reworked “Spirit of the Dark Horse” saw Peter toggling between keyboard and guitar textures for a spooky and delay-drenched groove. “Mais Que Nada” and “So Ready” closed the show on a high note as the band moved north.

In Royal Oak, the band threw down an extended “Borne” opener with the return of the second funk jam. Moving through a blazing “S.O.S.” and a rendition of “Life on the Shelf,” the quintet embarked on their longest jam to date in “Rosewood Heart.” Staying in typical jam spaces for much of the early part, they locked in on what seemed to be the beginning of “Echo of a Rose” around the 24-minute mark. Opting to continue the jam instead, they built the last 15 minutes into a screaming groove and peak. The set then closed with a clav-dominated “Jeff Engborg.” Making the unique call to open the second set with “726,” Goose introduced a second jam to the song not unlike what we hear commonly in “This Old Sea” – a major-mode and pleasant excursion. Flipping the tables for the “Madhuvan” that came next, the jam began in a haunting space complete with Peter peppering in dissonant reverb-drenched organ ahead of a stop/start tension jam akin to the one played on 6/19/21 at Legend Valley. Royal Oak’s second set closed out with a nice cover of “Doctor My Eyes” and an incredible groove-based “Yeti” before a jammy “Butter Rum” encore.

Yet ANOTHER massive jam opened Cleveland’s show on March 10th, a 29-minute “Tumble” that showcased the band’s patience. Calmly circling each other’s guitar playing, Rick and Peter drove the groove with some extensive “Creatures” teasing from the latter before a fantastic and smooth segue into Father John Misty’s “I’m Writing a Novel.” The set continued with “Turned Clouds” and a slow “Bob Don” before a monstrous “Rockdale” closed the frame. Easing into a gorgeous mode, the jam faded into a frenetic groove dominated by Peter’s insistent vibraphone work ahead of an explosive return to the song. Cleveland’s second set came complete with numerous fantastic segues. Starting off with a smooth “Echo of a Rose” -> “Into the Myst”, we were treated to a full dance party jam in the latter before “The Old Man’s Boat” got funky and transitioned into the first publicly performed “Use Me” since 7/15/17 – before Peter joined the band! An expansive “Dripfield” closed the set with a bonus “Shama Lama Ding Dong”-like rocking major-key jam. Faking out a Billy Strings sit-in, Goose brought Coach up to add rainstick to a quick “Whip It” > “Jive Lee” encore.

The tour-closing stand at the Fillmore Philadelphia began with the first “Drive” ever with only the second jam. Moving at a relaxed pace, the band took their time past the 20-minute mark before fading into “Earthling or Alien?.” A smooth segue via pounding drums into a jamless “Indian River” came next before another blissed-out “Time to Flee.” “Jive I” and a cover of Nina Simone’s “Sinnerman” brought forth another fantastic jam out of “Pancakes” to close the first set. The second consecutive “Slow Ready” to open a second set lead beautifully into “Moby” by way of arpeggiator. A fun “Ghostbusters Rap” led to the ballad “Arise” ahead of a set-closing “Hot Tea” that got grimy and was dominated by super overdriven clav work from Peter. Encoring with a standard “Creatures” -> “Shama Lama Ding Dong,” Goose set up the second night in Philly to be the show of tour, and more than delivered on expectations.

“All I Need” opened the show and immediately delivered one of its best performances ever. An absolutely relentless first jam that seamlessly modulated between major and minor play gave way to an organ-led and gentle second jam that faded nicely into “California Magic.” “Dr. Darkness” filled the next slot ahead of a raging “Red Bird” to close the set.

The second set began with the second-ever performance of Dripfield single “Hungersite,” leading to yet another deep jam ahead of a high-energy “Please Forgive Me.” The set continued with “Arcadia” and “Fish in the Sea,” both sporting solid yet standard jams, before “This Old Sea” got SPOOKY. Splintering out of the major-key jam into a demonic space, all band members added to the ghostly vibe with various delays, loops, and overall madness. Peter shriek-laughed hauntingly into the mic as the jam wound down into the familiar guitar intro to “Factory Fiction.” The best version played since 2020’s Bingo Tour, this patient build stretched for nearly 25 minutes and brought the extended second set to a fantastic close. Not settling for a standard encore, Goose smashed Philly with yet another 20-minute jam in “Arrow,” coming complete with some really fantastic playing by Rick.

To quote the great Marc Komito: “Every show is the best show since the
last show until the next show.”

Sometimes that statement carries more truth than other times, but in March 2022, Goose seemed to begin every show with the mission and desire to one-up themselves and deliver ground-breaking music on a nightly basis. A tour that we will no doubt look back on fondly decades into the future, this ten-show run on the heels of their arena debut featured not only ten incredible concerts, but an incredible expansion of the depth of their jamming, risk-taking setlist calls, and an overall departure from comfort and expectation that has been slowly coming to fruition over the last year. I expect and believe that 2022 will only continue on its upward trajectory from here. Summer tour LOOMS!

Author’s Note: Many apologies for the very obvious attendance bias for 3/1 – there’s only so much I can do when seeing a night of music that incredible ;)

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