LIVE REVIEW: Guster @ The Neptune, Seattle 3/12/12
Despite being a band longer than I have been alive, Guster most definitely still kicks ass. At The Neptune Theatre in Seattle chairs were set out in front of the stage and a potted tree sat amongst the equipment creating an intimate, laidback environment.
LA indie-pop duo The Submarines kicked off the show, warming up the crowd with an upbeat set. Lead singer Blake Hazard crooned with an effortlessly, effervescent voice, while her partner John Dragonetti grounded their sound with some good ol’ indie roots. The openers ended their set with their popular song, “Xavier,” and Hazard described the upcoming performance of Guster as a “sonic massage of awesomeness.”
Guster, an alternative rock band from Boston, is known for their humor during live performances and on this tour, they’re taking it to a whole new level. Beginning with “Backyard” off of their 2003 album Keep It Together, the band rolled right into it, sitting on stage like a bunch of friends hanging out. Fans sang along and quite a few from the older crowd banged their heads as if they were at a rager. The band also included two women on violin and cello, which added fervor to the performance.
After playing a few songs, lead singer Ryan Miller and Adam Gardner reminded the audience that this was their first ever acoustic tour and that they had a lot less assistance than usual, “We’re lik
e old people who don’t know what’s going on. During the first song, my guitar wasn’t plugged in!” he exclaimed.
Throughout the show, the band had their fair share of mishaps, which only added to the unique intimacy of the set. Halfway through, the band asked for the house lights to be turned on so they could see the crowd. Before the show, Guster tweeted “Hey. First 10 people that bring weird table lamps to our Seattle show tonight can meet the band if they want. #ilovelamp” and two fans brought up tacky lamps which the newest (and youngest) member Luke Reynolds set up on the piano. During the song “Rainy Day” Miller asked the crowd if someone could Google the lyrics because he had forgotten them; he read from a fan's iPhone as he sang.
Keeping with tradition, fans threw ping pong balls on stage after “Airport Song” in reference to the game of table tennis that can be heard in the background of the studio recording. They ended with their hit “Amsterdam” with drummer Brian Rosenworcel passionately singing loud and out of key.
Despite winging it through the show (which was only the 2nd of the tour), the vocals and instrumentation were impeccable, proving that these guys have a reason to be carelessly confident. If you’re a fan of Guster, grab tickets to this tour. It may be the next best thing to hanging out with them in the recording studio.
To see more photos of the evening, click here.