A five night stand in the music world is a rarity. Five contiguous nights is almost unheard of in this day and age of short attention spans. This did not phase Goose, the self described indie jam rock band, from attempting this infrequent feat at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, which is within striking distance of their hometown, Norwalk, CT. In fact, these shows sold out instantly, especially given the close proximity to the fan base that has supported them for years. As a result, the number of ticket less fans was uncanny compared to any other prior show, and perhaps on par with the high ticket demand for jam rock bands like Phish and Widespread Panic in the NYC region.
As the band took the stage for night one of this glorious run on March 8, 2023, multi-instrumentalist Peter Anspach acknowledged the fact that this band has never played more than two nights in a row on the same stage. This run was clearly paving new, deeply significant trails for this band, and that feeling reverberated throughout "the Cap" as they descended into their ever expanding catalog.
Rather than starting off with a fresh tune, this quintet decided to finish off "Electric Avenue," which was cut short based on time constraints during their prior show at the Okeechobee Music & Arts Festival on March 3, 2023. A dark, trance like jam led into this rarely played cover, and perhaps threw even the most seasoned fan for a loop. Upon the transition back into "Electric Avenue," the fans knew it was time to buckle up, and enjoy this soon to be legendary ride.
The jam went deep early with a slow but euphonious, twenty minute plus "All I Need." Guitarist Rick Mitarotonda was delightfully in the pocket. A back and forth ensued between Anspach, drummer Ben Atkind, and percussionist Jeff Arevalo during the transition into "Dr. Darkness." The first of three tunes from Anspach's band Great Blue hopped into the lineup next, starting with "Butterflies." This song debuted on June 10, 2022 at Legend Valley, and has been a set list staple ever since.
The funky jams rolled on as the band dove into "Jive II." Anspach layered in the clavinet, while bassist Trevor Weekz unleashed his signature bass thumps. If there is anything that Goose has taught us during this journey, it's that "a little bit goes a long, long way." This vibe carried over into a groove laden "Earthling or Alien?" The set ended on a high note during "So Ready", which was coupled with plenty of tension and release care of Mitarotonda.
The second set was brimming with classics from the Goose catalog, starting with a mind numbing "Wysteria Lane." Weekz lead the charge during this spacey, disco jam, as Arevalo soulfully hit those complementary percussive notes. A mellow transition unfurled the sweet reggae sounds of the "Doobie Song," and gave the crowd a much needed chill moment to "feel ok" after the "Wysteria" heat.
The slowness was fleeting, as the band immediately dove into a raging "Drive," complete with Anspach on the guitar and Arevalo on the gong. The dual guitars continued into a high energy "Yeti," which marked the second of three Great Blue songs. Anspach showed his rock star capabilities as the roof started to lift off the Capitol Theater. Mitarotonda channeled his famous Star Trek Piccard shirt to engage the crowd for one final tune: the melodic "Your Ocean."
The band returned for one final tune, but before doing so, gave a shout out to Atkind, and announced that Arevalo would be featured on hand claps. The familiar sound of "Pancakes" emerged, which also completed the Great Blue hat trick. The show capped off with vigor, and set the bar high for the four remaining nights. Stay tuned to Grateful Web for more coverage from this exciting run.
Check out more photos from the show!
Set One: Jam > Electric Avenue1, All I Need > Dr. Darkness, Butterflies2, Jive II, Earthling or Alien?3, So Ready
Set Two: Wysteria Lane > Doobie Song, Drive, Yeti2, Your Ocean
Notes: 1 - Eddy Grant, 2 - Great Blue Cover, 3 - with Jive II teases by Trevor Weekz