Article by Miles Hurley
Photographs by Josh Smith and Miles Hurley
Connecticut-based groove-rock band Goose are currently in the middle of a busy touring season, and this past weekend they made a tear through the northeast, performing a run of shows in Brooklyn, Boston, and Bridgeport. This third and last date, at Bridgeport’s The Acoustic, managed to sell out in advance, surely a testament to this four-piece group’s inspiring and energetic live performances. Most often, Goose shows are so musically unique that setlists, much in the style of bands like Dopapod and Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, come with ‘Coach’s Notes,’ which detail the peculiarities of a performance, and these are listed with each recap below. At the bottom of this article, you can also stream a recently released, pro-shot video from the band showcasing a cover from their winter run in Colorado.
Night one saw a rare New York City appearance from Goose, with a late-night, single set performance at Mercury Lounge. The band blew open the weekend with a cover of The Who’s “Eminence Front,” and the Manhattan crowd was in a collective, solidified energy right on song one. They also showcased up front a number of their newer songs, starting this first night with the recently debuted “Tumble.” This song since its inception has seen live improvisational treatment every time played, and this one in NY included full-band teases on the theme from Beverly Hills Cop.
But maybe even more enticing than that was an extended version of another original, “Time to Flee,” which the band fleshed out into a hard-driving space rock groove. On one of their older originals, the favorited “Arcadia,” Goose invited close friend Greg Knight for a freestyle rap performance which fit inside the music from the band without a hitch.
This night at Mercury Lounge also acted as a video release party for Brooklyn-based band Peak. The four-member act opened the night with an improv-heavy rock set of their own, starting with a jazz and funk-filled jam on their original “Wronged Man.” ‘Funk and Tonic” was another original stretched out to cool musical ends with solos, space, and more.
The song whose brand new video the set was celebrating, “Falling Backwards Through Time,” has yet to make a live appearance, and The Poke Around looks forward to its debut. Check out the song’s cool new video here. Peak has also released full-show audio from this evening’s set, which you can listen to here.
Goose • 4.18.19 • Manhattan, NY • Mercury Lounge
Set: Eminence Front** > Butter Rum, Time To Flee, Tumble^, Turned Clouds, So Ready > Echo of a Rose > So Ready, Green River+, Creatures, Arcadia# , Electric Avenue%
* The Who – FTP (First Time Played)
^ Beverly Hill’s Cop Theme teases
+ Creedence Clearwater Revival
# Greg Knight freestyle (LTP Goosemas 3, FTP w/ Peter)
% Eddie Grant
On Friday night, Goose took to Boston area brewery Down The Road Beer Co., and they were joined by local artist Sean Cronin. Some of Goose’s most feel-good originals kicked off this second night, including great versions of breezy songs “Elizabeth” and “Indian River.” Again, in a way that they’ve seem to be perfecting, covers were weaved in and around originals with a specialized flow of momentum.
In a weekend dotted throughout with Grateful-Dead famous tunes, this first Boston set featured a danceable version of “Me and My Uncle,” before a cover of Sergio Mendes’ “Mais Que Nada” flowed right out of Goose original “Wsyteria Lane.” Sometimes cover selections even go so far as zany, such as this night’s “Ghostbuster Rap, or the “Escape,” far better known as The Pina Colada Song, which was played this night with special guest Sean Cronin. Cronin joined the band on this one and also the rocking version of “All I Need” to end the evening, which sandwiched within itself a jam on Otis Day’s “Shama Lama Ding Dong.”
Goose • 4.19.19 • Boston, MA • Down The Road Beer Co.
Set 1: Eliza Jane, Elizabeth, Indian River, Me & My Uncle@, Wysteria > Mais Que Nada$, Hot Tea^
Set 2: Yeti, Flodown, Ghostbusters Rap+, Into The Myst > Can’t Get You Outta My Head#, Mississippi Half Step Uptown Toodeloo%, Escape=^ All I Need^ > Shama Lama Ding Dong!^ ,All I Need^
Coaches Notes: @ John Phillips
$ Sérgio Mendes
^ w/s/g Sean Cronin
+ Run DMC, Kurt put on shades.
# Kylie Minogue
% Grateful Dead
= Rupert Holmes
! Otis Day & The Knights
For their third and final northeast appearance of the weekend, Goose performed at close-to-home musical hotspot The Acoustic in Black Rock, CT, and the band sold this one out, much to the delight of their hometown fanbase.
Popular Black Rock-area musician Matt McNulty was tapped as The Acoustic opener, and did so with his often performing lineup billed as Matt McNulty and Friends. A horn section, rhythm section, and multiple back-up singers made them a powerful opening act, which was obvious from note one of their version of Trey Anastasio’s “Cayman Review.” Other choice selections from the group included “Higher and Higher,” Sly Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” and The Meters’ “Fire On The Bayou.”
Perhaps because it was a sell out, Goose offered up maybe the most tantalizing setlist of the weekend here, including some real rarities for their fan base. The first set, for starters, included the band’s second ever cover of Ah Ha’s “Take On Me,” while the second set opened with the band’s second ever performance of their own jam, “Drive.” Other staples were just as special. The band’s original “Madhuvian” was performed in a new, slower style, and was dubbed in writing as “MadhuFunk.”
Matt McNulty joined the stage to help Goose rock out a super fun version of Fatboy Slim’s “Praise You.” The pair then ended the huge weekend altogether in cool style, with another prime take on “Eminence Front,” essentially making the weekend one giant musical sandwich.
Goose • 4.20.19 • Bridgeport, CT • The Acoustic
Set 1: One More Saturday Night^, Jive I > Hot Night$ > Take On Me=, Doc Brown, MadhuFunk*, Slow Ready, Jive II
Set 2: Drive? > Disco Inferno%, White Lights, Rosewood Heart > Doobie Song, Praise You, Eminence Front+
^ Grateful Dead, FTP as show opener since 10.10.15 at Creatures of the Night Music Festival in Adams, Tennessee.
$ Laura Branigan
= A-ha, LTP 11.23.16, Norwalk, CT- FTP w/ Peter
*Funk version of Madhuavn – FTP 👍🔥🔥👍
? LTP 8.3.18, Wilmington, NC – This was the second time ‘Drive’ was ever performed live.
% The Trammps
! Fat Boy Slim, w/s/g Matt Mcnulty
+ The Who, w/s/g Matt Mcnulty
Coming up, Goose’s next dates include a short run of shows with prog-jam favorites Tauk, playing in Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. In addition to stand alone shows, Goose is scheduled for a number of highly anticipated sets at big time music events, like Summer Camp Music Festival, Domefest, Peach Music Festival, and more. To check those out, head to https://www.goosetheband.com.
If you’re not hip to Goose yet, get a feel of their highly improvisational, groove-rock style by checking out this pro-shot video of Paul Simon’s “Me and Julio Down By The School Yard,” performed earlier this year at Boulder, CO’s The Lazy Dog.