My husband and I went to see Guster at the newly re-opened State Theatre in Portland, Maine on Wednesday evening. I think it was our 7th or 8th time seeing Guster live. (I’ve actually lost count.)
The funny thing is that every time we see Guster, we seem to act like teenagers. (We are in our 30s.) We get all excited for the show, talk about what songs we hope they’ll sing, what crazy antics we can expect from band members and compare notes on our favorite moments from past concerts.
After the show, which we decided was probably the best we’ve seen thus far even when compared to the marathon concert they did at the State while filming their only live DVD, I started to think about why I love Guster so much. And for so long.
Here are my top ten reasons for loving Guster (in no particular order):
- Live show. Guster is a band that you can’t truly appreciate until you see them live. Period.
- Talent. They’ve got it. Each one of them. Band members seem to switch instruments for every song and are constantly moving around the stage throughout a concert, sometimes playing instruments I can’t quite identify. Adam and Ryan’s voices sound stellar together or apart. Their lyrics are often fun, confusing, deep and entertaining.
- Songs with the word Jesus in the title. Despite being Jewish, Guster continues to write and sing songs that involve Jesus. Perplexing, but fun. (Note: My favorite is “Jesus on the Radio,” especially when it’s done live and without any microphones.)
- Infant calmer. When G was an infant, he wasn’t the best napper. He never wanted to miss anything, which was not the most convenient thing for this mom. One day, when he was overtired and still fighting a nap, I walked into our living room to turn down the Guster CD that was blasting. He immediately calmed down. After a few minutes of dancing around the room with him to “Barrel of a Gun,” he fell fast asleep. Maybe it has something to do with the album Guster on Ice playing in the hospital room when he was born. But, it was always Guster he wanted to hear.
- Airport Song. Found on the Goldfly album from 1997, this song never gets old. They always play it live, and it always sounds different. Brian goes nuts with the hand percussion. Ping pong balls fly. From disco to demonic, “Airport Song” keeps us warm and safe.
- Brian Rosenworcel. Percussionist extraordinaire. I can only imagine what this man’s hands look like up close. He beats cymbals, bongos and other drum-related instruments with his bare hands and tapes them (his hands, that is) in between songs. Watching Brian is a show in and of itself. And, if you’re lucky, you might get to hear him sing a song or two (e.g., He sang an impromptu 50 state song on Wednesday).
- Happy Frappy. Listening to Guster makes me happy and content. It also makes me sing loudly.
- Simplicity. Guster is 3 guys (plus Luke = 4) playing instruments and singing songs. All of their albums sound different, yet still sound like Guster. Their shows don’t have smoke or extravagant light shows. They don’t tell me what to do at live shows. I like this.
- Longevity. They, and their songs, have it. I have more than five hours of Guster music on my iPod and can listen to it all without getting sick of them. I’m not sure how, but their songs never seem to get old. Nor do they sound the same.
- Maine love. Guster hearts Maine and Maine hearts Guster. They always make Portland a stop on their tours while other bands completely ignore the pine tree state. They shot their only live DVD at the State (which my husband and I make a very brief cameo in). Adam lives in Portland. Home sweet home.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, find out now.