Goose emphatically closed a career year with a New Years Eve performance in three sets, completing a back-to-back to The Riviera Theater in Chicago, IL in front of 2,500 lucky fans while offering a free live stream that has satisfied at least 51,000+ others at the time of writing. At this point, this is the first time I’ve written one of these reviews from the other side of the camera, and it’s worth noting up front that Goose’s ability to pump an A + product through my Realtime screen absolutely cannot be underestimated as a major reason for both the group’s rapid growth and their intimate connection with fans.
Taking the show through carefully selected camera angles that alternately focused on the high-energy crowd and each member of the group in turn, not only did the affair translate seamlessly onto the big screen, but it was so easy to appreciate the individuality of each member’s contributions. and personality which so naturally add to a whole which is far greater than the sum of its parts.
Rich (k) Mitarotonda, with guitar hits that tickle my central nervous system and an ethereal voice to match, has a positively undeniable “it” factor that was as evident on television as it was in the flesh. Trevor Weekz, the very image of cool with its signature undertones, flowing locks and economy of movement, likewise unaffected by the camera gaze, was able to dominate my hips with its seductive and patient bass. The inimitable Pierre Anspach, seasonally dressed in a turtleneck and wool tartan pants, understands much of the band’s personality on stage as they are always smiling and grooving while exploring the limits of the five-way keyboard layout. pieces he calls home on the left of the stage and the pink Fender-strat slipped on the back. Rounding out Wilton’s indie-jam quintet, CT is the hard-hitting duo of Ben Atkind and Jeffrey Arevalo, the play-by-play and color guys who narrated Goose’s nationwide broadcast from their respective drum machines at the back of the stage.
“Arrow” kicked off the evening’s festivities, over twenty straight but fiery minutes that set the tone for the evening’s intensity before an exploratory segment that eventually found its way to “Rosewood Heart”. A distinctly energetic and festive “White Lights” preceded the new “The Old Man’s Boat”, a song that quickly gained ground in Goose’s catalog. Sometimes with the rhythm, less is more, and a particularly passionate reading of Santo & Johnny“Sleep Walk” has forcefully demonstrated this point (LTP 10/19/19, by Fantastic visit), somehow celebrating and crying 2021 simultaneously in one fell swoop as the calendar hopefully turned to a new year and the band neared hiatus.
Related: 2021 Will You Think Of Me? Goose: Year in Review
Obviously to appear somewhere in the evening’s setlist, an almost perfectly timed “2021” – a reworked 20:21 minute version of Vampire weekendthe 1:43 track of Father of the bride– kicked off the second set appropriately at the end of the year before the always loud and fan-favorite ‘Flodown’ kicked the town’s rowdiest shindig back into high gear. A smarter setlist would ensue as the band returned to “One More Saturday Night” with a remarkable two-year-plus elimination from the band. Grateful deathis classic. The “Arcadia” goose cannon ended the compact center frame, with Peter announcing that the group would be back for a third set, a move previously unannounced but somewhat unsurprising.
New Years Eve is a big deal, especially in the jam scene, and with the stroke of midnight less than a quarter of an hour away, questions still remained as to how Goose would approach his debut performance on the New Years Eve since 2017, Goose’s creativity only increases the fans. ‘the wait. “Wysteria Lane” would take us there most of the time, the group seemingly unfazed by the passage of time and the hour rapidly approaching. The NYE shenanigans were most certainly underway when Jon “Coach” Lombardi joined the group with a rain stick in hand, standing on the edge of the stage with the ten foot monster held up in the air, altogether. Rafiki’s image on Pride Rock as a fallen band in an ultra rare ‘Circle Of Life’ reading, the Lion King classic composed by Elton john with words from Tim Rice.
Unique and sexy, this is exactly what I expect from Goose in the big moments as the band shunned tradition (read: “Auld Lang Syne”) and put their own signature on a special moment with a message of hope and love deeply moving. Performed as the very first cover on Goose’s debut show on September 27, 2014, “Circle Of Life” is Goose’s definitive success story, having followed the band from birth to this defining moment in their career.
It’s the circle of life
And it moves us all
Through despair and hope
By faith and love
Until we find our place
On the way that unfolds
In the circle
Circle of life
As the song drew to a close, close friends of the band and other important people made it to the stage in time, ten-to-one cardboard countdown signs reminding audiences of the moment until now. May white balloons and confetti rain in force, twenty-five hundred strong celebrating the New Year as one.
Jubilation abounds and now, on the January 1 side at midnight, as the confetti has settled in, Peter has finally let go of his turtleneck and revealed a love for the Velor floor while a room full of balloons continued to bounce for the duration of “Empress Of Organos”, lyrically connecting the evening’s message of love and hope with the vital help of the resilience needed to navigate through time. current …you say it’s raining today but we say oh what a day to live. Understood. “Creatures” reminded us all that timing is the only thing you know before “Your Ocean” and “Seekers On The Ridge Pt 1 & 2” closed out the third set, its poignantly haunting lyrics as the second hour of the third image welcomed the new year. in the Mountains time zone.
Fittingly, we would learn just before the recall that the aforementioned countdown cards were in fact on the back of foil posters that would be sold with all proceeds going to help victims of the Boulder, CO wildfires. a grim reminder that things could always be worse as we pray for our brethren in the west. After thanking some key members of the band’s touring team, a callback of ‘So Ready’, an audible callback in favor of ‘Turned Clouds’, kept the crowd in a good groove and still hopeful as the legendary evening was drawing to a close.
Resilience peaked in essential life skills early in this decade and is needed on both sides of the stage as well, with Omicron hitting many New Years Eve performances on the musical calendar literally until the hour of the day. show. Tangentially linked, my last New Years Eve show in vivo was at YEMSG in 2019 and guess who I saw there the night before? Peter Anspach and John “Coach” Lombardi. I will always remember that moment just as I will always remember what I said to them, “Live it here and now because there’s no way it’s not your last New Years on the side.” stage audience. Check and mate.
With its forty-third and fourth shows of the year, congratulations to Goose and their extended team on a banner year. With nearly 30 shows already scheduled from coast to coast starting January 26, you can find your next best show by heading here for the full tour schedule.
Goose – The Riviera Theater – Chicago, IL – 12/31/21
Setlist: Goose | The Riviera Theater | Chicago, Illinois | 12/31/21
Set one: Arrow> Rosewood heart, white lights, the old man’s boat, sleep walk 
Second set: 2021 , Flodown, One more Saturday night  > Arcadia
Set Three: Wysteria Lane> Circle of Life   > The Empress of the Organos  creatures  > Your ocean, researchers on the ridge pt 1 & pt 2
Again: So ready
 Santo & Johnny
 Vampire weekend
 The Grateful Dead
 LTP Goosemas 4, played only for the 3rd time, this song was played during the band’s first concert on 09/27/14. At the end of the song, the countdown to 2022 has begun. At the end of the tune, the band rang in the New Year.
 JonL played a 10ft rain stick
 JonL played fish and chimes on Jeffs’ kit
 Axel F teases