LIVE REVIEW: Guster @ House of Blues, SD 1/23/2011
Somehow in all of my musical obsessions, I overlooked Guster’s awesomeness. I’d been hearing them for years, and the familiar songs were like guilty little pleasures, but that was it. These guys are amazing live and I’m Â wondering where I’ve been.
First off, I really admire the tenacity in which they play their set. They are seamless, like a well oiled machine. Many of us could take a lesson from this kind of organization. Like an orchestrated dance, the band mates traded instruments and places, barely pausing for a breath between songs.
The lead singer, Ryan Miller, rotates between guitar, ukulele, keyboards, keytar and also harmonica. Adam Gardner, who takes the lead vocals on some songs, plays guitar, keyboards and trumpet. Luke Reynolds, who’s been recently touring with the band, plays keyboards and jumps on guitar, bass and mandolin. The main drummer, Brian Rosenworcel, very expressive and fun to watch, goes between the standard drum kit and bongos with an additional drummer adding even more to the beat. Working together organically, their passion for the music is palpable.
They played a nice blend of songs from various albums, energizing the audience with the newer “This Could All Be Yours” and the sublime “On the Ocean.” A particular stand out was “Come Downstairs and Say Hello” off their album Keep it Together. This tune has such a nice build and by minute three the venue filled with the most blissful sounds, while the whimsical bongos danced alongside the emotions of the keys.
I do not exaggerate. This was good stuff. Check Guster out.