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.”

Good Old War
Good Old War
  1. Andy M. says

    Love your photos, Andrezej, however…. Guster’s latest release is actually entitled “Easy Wonderful”. And BTW neither Phish nor Dave Matthews Band has ever had an auxiliary percussionist as a band member. That’s just slightly insulting to Jon Fishman and Carter Beauford, respectively.

  2. Greg says

    Thanks, Andy. The album title correction has been made…

  3. Randy says

    Andrzej – good article but there are 2 issues: Guster’s “frontman” is Ryan Miller, not Adam Gardner (Adam is the lead guitarist); and the opening track was not called “Wish,” but was the song “What You Wish For,” the opening track off their 1999 album, Lost and Gone Forever.

  4. Greg says

    Randy – Thanks for the catch. Corrections have been made…

  5. Andrzej "Andre" Pilarczyk says

    Hey Randy, Adam is all over their web-site, as what seems like the main man in the band and the man in the middle doing the vocals- so you can see why I thought he was the main man of the group. I have to admit, I liked Guster’s music before I went, but I wasn’t a die-hard fan, now after seeing the show, I am a huge fan! Thanks for putting some things in the proper perspective. Be well,


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