Goose at The Greek: Jim Brock Reports
Goose, the Connecticut jam quintet of Rick Mitarotonda on guitar, Peter Anspach on keyboards & guitar, Trevor Weekz on bass, Ben Atkind on drums, and Jeff Arevalo on percussion, all Berklee alums, have been on quite the ascent these days, powering through the big lemon of the pandemic into making some mighty fine lemonade.
Their August 21 date at The Greek Theatre in Los Angeles was the third consecutive night of a Rockies west run that began with a Red Rocks sellout in Morrison, Colorado, and continues with shows through the end of the year (a year ago they were in mid-size clubs).
I’m relatively new to the guys, but my ears went from Goose curious to Goose serious after opening my ears from all the dang buzz. I’m of a vintage that dates me back to the closing of Winterland with the Grateful Dead (and many shows before and after), and I take my deeper musical excursions seriously. There is an abundance of “jam” bands around, both Dead and post-Dead inspired, and despite leaning that direction, only a handful get my attention (JRAD, anybody?), but Goose broke through for me. To say they deliver under-appreciates just how good the band is. These are extended journeys that are inevitably worth taking, a climb to a view and a chance to take it in.
The vibe in the house was heartfelt, and the age a healthy mix of greybeards and millenials. I’ve acquainted myself enough with their material to anticipate my favorites, but previous listening is not required to dig in. It was a joyfully jammy night from the gorgeous take on Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” (with an assist from Holly Laessig and Jesse Wolfe of Lucious) in the first set to the “Hungersite > Dripfield” Set 2 centerpiece and just about everything on either side of all that. When the lights went up, the dude in front of us who had been wanting us to get it the whole night, whose first Phish show was 30 years ago and the Dead before that, said “I haven’t felt anything like this since the Jerry days”. Yes, I can relate.
Goose closes the Dreamfield Stage tomorrow night at the inaugural Sacred Rose Festival in Bridgeview, Illinois, and will join the Trey Anastasio Band for a November swing through the Northeast. If you are new to the band, this video from Trey sitting in with Goose at Radio City Music Hall in June is an excellent entry point.