Last night I went to Central Park to see a favorite band of mine play: Guster. Their last concert in January was awesome and despite the heat, I was looking for to seeing them. I hung back and enjoyed a beef brisket sandwich from Lonestar Empire while the opening act Kishi Bashi performed. He was interesting, to say the least.
I managed to get pretty close for not trying at all. I was pleased. They played favorites like Diane, Careful, Barrel of a Gun, Do You Love Me?, and This Could All Be Yours Someday., in addition to tracks from their newest album like Long Night, Doin’ It By Myself, Kid Dreams, and Simple Machine (which is probably my favorite track off the album).
As usual Ryan Miller went off on a million rants in between songs and made us all laugh. They had Kishi Bashi back onstage during their fake encore. As usual Ryan explained how the “B Side” of the setlist would work: “We’re going to do a couple more songs, a fake encore – so get excited – and then go offstage for about 4 minutes and then come back on to do another four songs. I always like to know what’s going on, so I think you do too!”
By the end of the two hour set, I was sweaty, my legs were sore, my voice was a tad hoarse, and I was a bit hard of hearing.
Last Tuesday one of my favorite bands, Guster, released their 7th album with an acoustic set, a CD signing, and a full concert after that. I didn’t think I’d be getting to meet the band so I was completely speechless when it set in that I was merely feet from them. The above photo is the result of my meeting them. Goofy/stupid/happy.
Their first set was 8 songs long and they performed it on a small platform in the middle of the floor space inside Rough Trade. It was really awesome. The setlist is here. They performed Window off of Parachute, so that was special.
After the signing and photos, there was a ways to wait and then Frozen’s “Love Is An Open Door” started playing over the speaker system, we all started singing along, and the guys came out. Apparently one of their kids loves Frozen so they thought, “why not!”
This was the smallest stage they ever performed on with the most instruments they have ever performed with so the stage was quite crammed. This show was their first with their new material and basically a big experiment to see if they could even perform these songs live at all. They had a new band member with them too, Dave, because they needed an extra person with them onstage to fully play the songs. Ryan said multiple times, “Wow! That wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be!” when they finished a song. He told lots of stories, followed by, “I don’t know why I’m telling you this now or why I’m still talking.”
Guster might be one of my favorite bands to see live because they give exactly zero fucks onstage. They just play their music and have a good time. (Full set list here.)
I was tired at work the next day but it was totally worth it. Even the trip to Brooklyn. 😉