Though not known as a loud, complicated rock band, Guster decided to do a stripped down acoustic tour and recently stopped at The Kent Stage for a show. The band was joined by a cellist and a violinist, but otherwise they kept the songs pretty simple.
With a loud, energetic crowd cheering them on, Guster entertained with a long set full of songs from each of their albums. All smiles, the band kept the show moving with several surprises.
Leading up to the show the band had asked members of the crowd, through Twitter and Facebook, to bring Matchbox cars to the show. When all the cars were gathered at the front of the stage, Guster explained they would use to cars to decide where to take their set. At one point, the band called out someone who brought a particular car and asked that person to request a song. When the guy requested the song “Window” the band came off stage, sat in the man’s lap and played the song just for him. At another point they used tweets from the members of the audience to decide between two songs. Guster told the crowd they would try any cover song requested as long as the band picked that crowd member’s car. Throughout the night they made good on their word by attempting (usually with comically bad results) 4 or 5 tunes such as “Total Eclipse of the Heart”. This song was “sung” by the drummer, Brian, who thankfully sang very little else (although he rocked the hell out of this number).
Some of the songs sounded right at home stripped down, while others lost a little in the translation. Adding the cello and violin was also hit or miss. In some songs, the strings brought a unique layer to the songs, often doubling as the synths and keyboards the band uses. But other times the strings failed to add anything outside of a rhythm track. The crowd was treated to a few songs the band doesn’t normally play in their full sets like, “Rainy Day”. Highlights included “Satellite”, an upbeat rock track off Ganging Up On The Sun and “Rocketship”, a mellow-yet-anthemic tune off Goldfly.