Goose make a compelling case in their Santa Barbara Bowl debut why they’re one of the hottest (jam) bands to catch live right now

GooseBy Josh Herwitt //

Goose //
Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA
September 29th, 2023 //

What is it about jam bands that makes them so polarizing? Is it their penchant for improvisation, their long-running songs or their loyal, dedicated fans?

From the Grateful Dead and The Allman Brothers to Phish, Widespread Panic and many more, a lot of folks I come into contact with either love ’em or hate ’em. Regardless of where you stand on the matter though, the reality is that they have been part of the music ecosystem dating back to the early 60’s and continue to be more than six decades later.

With that in mind, there should be little debate to assert that Phish have stood squarely at the top of the jam-band mountain for the past 30-plus years. The Burlington foursome that formed in the early 80’s at the University of Vermont has taken the torch from the Dead and in their own way kept that fire burning bright, building a unique community of diehards often known for traveling far distances to see them rock out at least three hours each night.

But there’s a new kid on the block now, and even though they might call themselves an “American indie-groove band from Connecticut,” it’s no secret that Goose like to “jam” when they step onstage. Phish’s music, after all, has always been rooted in grooves, and in that regard, it feels like the five-piece named after an Anatidae waterfowl rather than an aquatic animal is certainly paying homage to Trey Anastasio, Jon Fishman, Mike Gordon and Page McConnell with that sort of description for their sonic creations.

For those following closely, the million-dollar question — figuratively and literally — in the jam scene of late has been if Goose are next in line to eventually succeed the almighty Phish. The two groups have already formed a friendly bond, with Anastasio sitting in with Goose last year for the second of two sold-out gigs at Radio City Music Hall that featured a more unexpected cameo appearance by Father John Misty, too.

Goose - Peter Anspach

Yet, it was less than six months after those shows in NYC that Rick Mitarotonda (guitar, vocals), Trevor Weeks (bass, poetry), Ben Atkind (drums), Peter Anspach (keyboards, guitar, vocals) and Jeff Arevalo (percussion, drums, vocals) were touring with Anastasio and his solo project on an eight-date run that offered them even more exposure to Phish’s fan (or should we say “phan”) base.

Every member of Goose, similar to Phish, is an excellent musician. Mitarotonda’s virtuosity and emotive solos are assuredly reminiscent of Anastasio’s at times, and you wouldn’t know that Anspach, a guitarist first and foremost, only started playing keyboards when he signed on as the fourth member of Goose in 2017. The formal training that Mitarotonda, Atkind and Arevalo each received while they were at Berklee College of Music in Boston is quite evident when you watch them perform, but for a band showcasing as much musicianship as Goose, their vocal capabilities are equally impressive. It’s something Mitarotonda has worked very hard at according to Anspach, whom he shares the role of lead vocalist with, and what could ultimately help separate Goose from the pack when you consider that singing hasn’t always been a priority for some musicians in the jam world.

Of course, Goose’s pursuit to not only be an outstanding outfit in the live space but also one that takes the album-making process just as seriously is another side to the quintet that’s refreshing and can’t be overlooked. After 2016’s Moon Cabin sans Anspach and subsequently 2021’s Shenanigans Nite Club, they made such clear when they hired an outside producer for the first time, and their decision to elect D. James Goodwin, who has worked with Bob Weir as well as established indie acts like Kevin Morby and Whitney, proved to be a good (no pun intended) choice for the release of Dripfield in 2022. Goose have made songwriting a priority early on in their ascent, but a smart marketing strategy that saw them gross more than $100,000 during the COVID-19 pandemic by livestreaming eight concerts from a barn in their home state has propelled them rather quickly into the mainstream. In fact, few jam bands have earned the opportunity to perform on late-night television like Goose have.

You could tell by the turnout Goose received at their Santa Barbara Bowl debut — a day before making an inaugural appearance at Ohana Fest and a day after headlining The Wiltern in LA for the first time — they have come a long way in less than a decade. Though the 4,562-seat amphitheater wasn’t sold out, it was mostly full from the GA floor up to the A, B and C sections, a promising sign for any young band on the rise, with chants of “Gooooose” ringing out as the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

Like any top-notch jam band, Goose craft a unique setlist every time they take the stage with an arsenal of covers at the ready and this outing would be no different. Much of the first set was carried by live cuts of material that has yet to be officially laid down in a recording studio, but Bruce Hornsby & the Range’s “The Way It Is” and Echo & the Bunnymen’s “The Killing Moon” that kicked off the evening’s second set provided everyone at the Bowl with a couple of familiar reference points. Nevertheless, the accessibility and hooks that Dripfield offers listeners are what sets Goose apart from other jam-oriented artists, and as its tracks — “Arrow” and “Hot Tea” plus “So Ready” (an alternate version of “Slow Ready” featuring some auto-tune from Mitarotonda) were what we were treated to in this case — take on their own size and shape under the bright lights, they’re destined to fill a room no matter how big or small it is. So with a European tour lined up next month and a couple of more arena performances before 2023 concludes, there’s no telling how high these guys will be flying by this time next year.

Set 1
Earthling or Alien?
Mr. Action
Time to Flee (with “Honeybee” teases)
The Way It Is (Bruce Hornsby & the Range cover)
Seekers on the Ridge pt. I (>)
Seekers on the Ridge pt. II
So Ready

Set 2
The Killing Moon (Echo & the Bunnymen cover) (>)
Same Old Shenanigans
Everything Must Go

Hot Tea

Trey Anastasio Band create a beautiful blend of originals and covers at the Fox Theater Oakland

Trey Anastasio BandBy Kory Thibeault //

Trey Anastasio Band //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
November 6th-7th, 2015 //

It’s been a huge year for Trey Anastasio, the guitarist of Phish fame. Between a historic year for the Vermont quartet and Anastasio earning an invitation to play alongside the core four of the Grateful Dead this past summer, one might go as far to say the 51-year-old is back on top of his game.

Now that Phish’s summer tour has come to a close, Anastasio has set his focus on Paper Wheels, the latest album for his eponymous-named side project Trey Anastasio Band. While the project lacks the extended jams and darkness of Phish, it is responsible for composing some staples of Phish’s library like “First Tube” and a personal favorite “Sand”. Both tracks made an appearance during Trey Anastasio Band’s two-night run last weekend at the Fox Theater Oakland.

Trey Anastasio Band

Trey Anastasio Band, or TAB for short, allows the guitarist a different outlet in which to explore music. The horn section composed of Jennifer Hartswick, Natalie Cressman and James Casey is a huge draw for a fan like myself. The energy created onstage from these musicians was palpable and evident in the ear-to ear-grin plastered on Anastasio’s face throughout the shows.

The two-night run at the Fox was a beautiful blend of Anastasio originals and crowd-pleasing covers, including Gorillaz’s “Clint Eastwood” and Bob Marley’s “Soul Rebel”. But the most moving moment of the weekend was a tribute to longtime Phish booking agent Chip Hooper, who is currently battling cancer in Oakland. An emotional Anastasio honored Hooper for his years of service, attributing every show Phish and TAB have played to his efforts before the band launched into a gorgeous version of “Show of Life”. It was a great pleasure of mine to witness both nights. The energy level was high, and the music was solid.

Trey Anastasio Band

November 6th setlist

Set 1: Tuesday, Sand (Phish cover), Cayman Review, Sweet and Dandy (Toots & The Maytals cover), Magilla (Phish cover), Money, Love and Change, Greyhound Rising, Valentine, The Song, Dark and Down, Soul Rebel (Bob Marley cover), Gotta Jibboo (Phish cover)

Set 2: Alaska (Phish cover), Alive Again, Sometime After Sunset, Curlew’s Call, Spin, Invisible Knife, A Case of Ice and Snow, In Rounds, Shine, Clint Eastwood (Gorillaz cover) (with Chain of Fools quotes), Dazed and Confused (Jake Holmes cover)

Encore: Show of Life (dedicated to TAB and Phish booking agent Chip Hooper who was in a local hospital battling cancer), First Tube (Phish cover)

November 7th setlist

Set 1: Drifting, Acting the Devil (Chris Ardoin and Double Clutchin’ cover), Speak to Me, The Devil Went Down to Georgia (The Charlie Daniels Band cover), Last Tube, It Makes No Difference (The Band cover), Pigtail, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Let Me Lie, 49 Bye-Byes (Crosby, Stills & Nash cover), Night Speaks to a Woman

Set 2: Simple Twist Up Dave, Bounce, Ocelot (Phish cover), Liquid Time (Phish cover), Cartwheels, Wherever You Find It, Mr. Completely, Architect

Encore: Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think) (Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians cover), Small Axe (The Wailers cover), O-o-h Child (Five Stairsteps cover), MacArthur Park (Richard Harris cover)

Showbams Photography 2013: A year in review


Purity Ring // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13

The power and impact of a great photo is undeniable. Striking photos take you to another place, inserting you into a spectacular moment from the past.

The photographers in the Bam Fam have produced many memorable, inspiring live music photos in 2013. Feast your eyes on 50 of our best shots from the past year.

Click a band or artist name to view the original article.


Fiona Apple & Blake Mills // Sam Heller
Zellerbach Hall at UC Berkeley //10.8.13


Killer Mike // James Nagel
The Independent // 7.31.13


Crystal Castles // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 4.27.13


Phantogram // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Warpaint // Marc Fong
The Independent // 9.17.13


Cut Copy // James Nagel
Fox Theater Oakland // 11.2.13


Geographer // Sterling Munksgard
Bimbo’s 365 Club // 11.23.13


Thee Oh Sees // Pedro Paredes
Great American Music Hall // 12.18.13


Grouplove // James Nagel
The Independent // 9.14.13


James Blake // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.20.13


Matthew Dear // Mike Frash
Mezzanine // 5.22.13


Palma Violets // James Nagel
The Independent // 4.23.13


Polyphonic Spree // Marc Fong
The Chapel // 8.19.13


Zedd // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 10.9.13


Robert Randolph // Steve Kennedy
Notes For Notes Benefit // 12.6.13


Savages // James Nagel
The Independent // 9.27.13


Steve Aoki // Sterling Munksgard
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // 11.16.13


The Flaming Lips // James Nagel
Bill Graham Civic Auditorium // 10.31.13


The xx // Marc Fong
The Greek Theatre // 6.1.13


Atoms For Peace // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Thundercat // James Nagel
The Independent // 11.13.13


Trey Anastasio Band // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 4.20.13


Alabama Shakes // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oakland // 3.5.13


AlunaGeorge // Marc Fong
The Independent // 9.11.13


Autre Ne Veut // Mike Frash
The Independent // 3.11.13


!!! // James Nagel
Great American Music Hall // 2.28.13


CSS // James Nagel
The Independent // 6.16.13


Danny Brown // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


Father John Misty // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.24.13


Haim // Marc Fong
Treasure Island Music Festival // 10.19.13


How To Dress Well // Sam Heller
The Independent // 8.26.13


Jagwar Ma // James Nagel
The Independent // 12.11.13


Jamie Lidell // Sam Heller
The Independent // 3.29.13


Primus // Sam Heller
High Sierra Music Festival // 7.5.13


Run The Jewels (El-P & Killer Mike) // James Nagel
The Independent // 7.31.13


Toro Y Moi // James Nagel
Fox Theater Oakland // 11.15.13


Wild Belle // Eldon Christenson
The Independent // 9.26.13


Alt-J // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 8.29.13


Andrew Bird // Sam Heller
Congregation Sherith Israel // 12.16.13


Andrew W.K. // Marc Fong
The Independent // 10.12.13


Anna Calvi // Marc Fong
The Independent // 11.17.13


Big Boi // Mike Frash
Mezzanine // 5.17.13


Deerhunter // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13


MS MR // James Nagel
The Independent // 6.16.13


Phoenix // Chaya Frash
The Independent // 4.1.13


Rogue Wave // Marc Fong
The Independent // 7.12.13


Sigur Rós // Marc Fong
Fox Theater Oaklnad // 4.16.13


STS9 // Sam Heller
Fox Theater Oakland // 3.1.13


Washed Out // Marc Fong
First City Festival // 8.25.13

Traveler Trey Anastasio comes alive at Fox Theater Oakland

Trey-Anastasio-BandWritten by Kevin Quandt ~ Photos by Sam Heller

After releasing Traveler in October to mixed reviews, fans wondered when the subsequent tour would take place. For the West Coast, that happened to fall in mid-April at theaters up and down the western seaboard. Oakland, and the Bay Area, were thrilled that the circus would be a two night affair at the Fox revolving around the unofficial April 20th holiday that fans know, love and observe thoroughly.

It was the usual cast of characters accompanying Trey onstage, but the bulk of Friday’s night material was largely fresh to the sold out crowd. The first set was a veritable grab-bag of different eras in Trey’s career with a few obscure covers peppered in for good measure. “Mozambique” featured a guest appearance by former TAB horn section trombonist Jeff Cressman, who is the father of current trombonist, Natalie Cressman. The always energetic “Push On Till the Day” punctuated the end to the first set with Anastasio spinning in circles with a devilish grin wiped all over his face, and it’s clear to see he really enjoys these non-Phish outings.

The second set opened with Phish favorite “Sand” before launching into a set heavy with new tracks off Traveler. “Valentine” is a introspective ballad that has been played for years, a song which seemingly speaks to Anastasio’s post-addiction life and it’s possibilities for greatness, while maintaining sobriety. “Alaska” was the last Phish song of the night, and this solid rendition was highlighted by the multi-part horn section, adding an enjoyable funk element. Shine track “Tuesday” was featured as the encore, and the first of two nights came to a wrap.

Second night would feature popular covers like “Black Dog” and “Clint Eastwood”, but the Friday show was more about Trey opening up and taking chances, which is something he has been increasingly fond of on his solo tours.

Set One: Drifting, Cayman Review, Alive Again, O-o-h Child (Five Stairsteps cover), Magilla, Money Love and Change, Wherever You Find It, Greyhound Rising, Scabbard, Mozambique*, Dark and Down, Push On Till the Day

Set Two: Sand, Valentine, Night Speaks to a Woman, Architect, Gone, Pigtail, Alaska, Traveler

Encore: Tuesday

*with Jeff Cressman(trombone)