LIVE: Guster @ Northern Lights, 5/4/11
Guster blew into Northern Lights in Clifton Park last Wednesday evening with opener Good Old War in tow for a double roots-meets-jam band offering.
Guster’s frontman Ryan Miller took multi-tasking to higher level by singing and swapping instrumental duties between acoustic guitar and keyboards. His band mates – co-founding members Adam Gardner and Brian Rosenworcel, as well as sort-of newbie Luke Reynolds – followed suit by playing musical chairs themselves.
Like most jam bands of the Phish-moe.-Dave Mathews ilk, there had to be at least two percussionists going strong for most of the songs.
Rocking out and jamming their way around the country, Guster has been busy promoting their latest album, “Easy Wonderful.” The fans came out in droves and knew every song the Boston-based band had to offer. From the opening number, “What You Wish For,” straight through to the whopping four-song encore, both fans and the band were on the same page.
As the opening act, Philly trio Good Old War had at least one foot planted in the 1960s pop-folk idiom, sounding a bit like an updated version of Crosby, Stills and Nash. The primary difference between that legendary trio and Good Old War was their choice of instruments. Electric keyboards, percussion and guitar laid down the musical foundation for the group’s intertwining three-part vocal harmonies.
Review and photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk
Randy Rose’s review at The Knickerbocker Ledger
Excerpt from Brian McElhiney’s review at The Daily Gazette: “The Boston-based group revealed that they have fully transitioned from a scrappy acoustic trio into a full-fledged pop rock band. Sure, percussionist Brian Rosenworcel still rips a mean bongo solo, but more often than not he was supplemented by a full drum kit (if not playing said drum kit himself). And longtime guitarists Adam Gardner and Ryan Miller brought some surprisingly heavy riffage to even the group’s older, acoustic-based material. But thankfully, this hasn’t negatively affected the group’s energetic live show nor its quirky sense of humor.”