By Marc Komito

March 18, 2020

The future of live music is now, its hand forced impossibly early and against all odds by COVID-19 and the Coronavirus. Couch tour is now the only tour and, wherever possible, let’s do our level best to support musicians and those whose incomes are derived wholly from touring and live performances -- lighting directors, tour managers, promoters, booking agents, media managers, crew, roadies, venue personnel, sound technicians, bartenders, security, photographers, and the list goes on, interminably and depressingly. Many will feel the crunch, in a way that many can’t yet even fathom or are willing to face. Personally, there will be a big void in my life. For others, there will be far worse than an emotional hole. Thankfully, technology is in place to partially fill that void in more ways than one.

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As first reported by Scott Bernstein at JamBase:

Entertainment company 11E1even Group partnered with to launch the Live From Out There live stream series. The series will bring digital content into homes across the world to comfort live music fans during the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. Partial proceeds will benefit Sweet Relief’s COVID-19 Fund to help musicians struggling to make ends meet during the pandemic. The Live From Out There project seeks to provide the healing power of live music in response to widespread concert and music festival cancelations and postponements due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Sweet Relief COVID-19 Fund.


Originally scheduled as an opening set for Pigeons Playing Ping Pong on Saturday March 14th, Goose’s set was delayed until Sunday at 8:00 pm due to technical difficulties. First off, big props for early and on-time sets - woot! Alas, this time it wasn’t the band who kept me waiting but me who showed up when I damn well pleased as I finally tuned in at 9:07. Although I missed seven songs, did I really? Let’s backtrack. Couch tour is different. It happens on my time. Tune in when you’re ready. Start at the beginning or pick up live and rewind - whatever your pleasure! My grandpa Abe used to watch baseball all day long. I asked him to go to a game with me, “Nah, best seats in the house right here,” he’d reply. Well, nothing like the transfer of energy at a live show, but he was onto something for sure.

So here I sit, no other option and, tbqh, thankful for the one in front of me with one of my favorite bands ripping it up on a 65-inch plasma screen from the comfort of a brand new couch, Onkyo pumping so many watts through the in-ceiling Speakercraft speakers that my eight year old, whose room is above the den, had to come downstairs and request “normal volume, please.” Bonus points for good parenting since he said please??? So I plugged in a pair of Grado Reference Series headphones and got back to business, maybe even better than before since I was actually trying (unsuccessfully) to be polite earlier. Thankful for the respite from the craziness of the world outside the walls of my house, and grateful to Goose and a long list of others for trying to provide a sense of normalcy while helping others in the meanwhile, this show meant a lot to a lot of people.

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While the living room set opened with “Madhuvan”, my stream opened with the last three songs of the set, “Honeybee” > “Jive Lee” >”Mustang Sally” because, in the new world order, you can tune in when you want, rewind when you need to, and rewatch when you feel like it. You can go to the bathroom without missing a note, grab a snack or a drink, put your kid to bed, then wake him up with in-ceiling speakers, and switch to headphones and snowcones half-way through - whatever your pleasure. The joy coming from this living room was contagious. For the first time in days, I was feeling really good about seeing live music and supporting this heady effort to raise funds and awareness. It was a combination of just what the doctor ordered and a bittersweet dose of the reality of the pandemic facing our nation.

On stage, it’s so hard not to focus on Rick Mitaronda and Peter Anspach, up front with their lead vocals and flashy instruments and winning smiles, but last night the camera showed its love equally to everyone, driving home the realization that the rhythm section of Trevor Weeks and Ben Atkind are Goose’s lifeblood. Ben’s ability to be simultaneously subtle and ferocious in equal measure along withTrevor’s mastery of his 5-string bass are both the driving force that encourage, and the complementary rhythm that allow space for, their axe-slinging teammates.

Kudos to the editor who was calling the camera shots, as well, as we were privy to some really unique angles, ranging from outside the living room window, to the kitchen pass through while the post meal show was being prepped, and the conversation and laughter around the dining room table after the show which really gave the home audience a glimpse into the dynamic and love that these humans share with each other. Since I watched out of order, I then rewound (well, not really cuz it’s not 1985) and watched the camera walk in the front door for the beginning of the set and the “Madhuvan” > “Bob Don” > “All I Need” opener.

And just like that, I flipped the show on its head, watching the last 3 songs first, with the opener in the middle and the middle at the end, like a pandemic and modern version of choose your own live music adventure. The “slow and melodic” version of “All I Need” was the perfect lead-in to an acoustic “Indian River” which was an even better buildup to another acoustic song, this one a chill-inducing cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” sung by Rick Mitaronda. It’s such a treat to see Rick and Peter with acoustic guitars, their sound so pure and clean and, well, badass in its simplicity.

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“Jive II” continued the acoustic theme, until switching electric at the midpoint, and it was balls out the rest of the way as Trevor ran the funk up and down his five-string while Ben dictated the tempo and Rick and Peter did their best, well, Rick and Peter impersonations. “Into the Myst” > “Honeybee” was my personal set closer, effectively creating an eleventh song out of a ten-song set as “Honeybee” both opened and closed for yours truly -- and it was definitely good enough to watch twice. Trevor. Bass. ‘Nuff said.

It feels really awesome to be sitting here and writing about live music - thank you Goose for making this possible and leading the way. I got your back.

WE got your back, and we're gonna get through this together, albeit from an appropriate social distance. I can’t fucking wait to hug you all. Much love!

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This is what social distancing looks like!


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Asbury Park Vibes

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