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Monday, May 16, 2011

Getting All Gustered Up
or another terrific night of music with a quintessential pop band

Adam and Ryan

Okay, so there's a new music venue on the North Shore of town nestled between the home of the Steelers and the summer residence of the Pirates. It's called Stage AE (AE standing for American Eagle) and they are packing in some amazing acts. So far I've lined up the Avett Brothers with Nicole Atkins, Michael Franti, Death Cab For Cutie with one of our favorites Frightened Rabbits as openers and My Morning Jacket with Neko Case starting the night off.

Wow, right?

This place is one of those convertible venues. In the winter months, bands perform inside to several hundred patrons, but once summer hits, the garage door at the back of the stage opens up and we all get to party on the patio, Dude! The Avett's concert will be my first outdoor experience there. It looks like it'll be very festive. Listening to live music and shaking my groove thang under the stars with a full bar of cheap drinks...SIGN ME UP!! The perfect place for my musical loves, Old 97's to bust loose. Hint Hint  management who hasn't booked the band here yet.

I don't think anyone's listening :-(

Moving on...

The best part is they aren't playing in a cavernous pit that's impossible to drive out of at the end of the night. In fact you can park for free at the Casino and walk the short distance to the club. Win and Win, especially if you hit on the slots on your way out which I need to start doing because these TicketBastard prices are making a major dent.

This brings me back to Guster.

Geo and I saw them for free last summer at the Arts Festival. We waited out a huge storm and stood for 90 minutes to be immersed in their pure pop joyfulness. Geo passed this time, but my friend Sue tagged along for the ride despite having never heard of them. God love her. She trusts my judgement. She also became a fan that night. WooHoo!

The thing I love about Guster is they all seem to be having as much fun on stage as their adoring audience on the floor. Leads Ryan and Adam have a wonderful rapport which spills out into the banter with each other as well as their fan faithful. Their catalog is buoyant, bubbly and busting out with happy vibes, inciting the crowd to sing along over and over again. If you can't have a good time at their shows, then you're fucking hopeless and should crawl into a cave because no one needs to be around your miserable ass.

Seriously. How could you not be caught up in the wave of positive energy? This COULD all be yours one day...

Even when they're singing about a broken heart it's light...and glittery.

It's so enjoyable when the crowd takes over.

Besides all the peace, love and good vibrations, the members of Guster are very eco-friendly. They sell (and use on stage) reusable water bottles, encourage car pooling to their shows and walk or bike around each of the towns in which they perform. Apparently Ryan also has a penchant for catching ping pong balls in his mouth during one particular song. Of course, the lights were down for the actual catch, but he did it. I pinkie swear.

And of course, as has become tradition with every band we see, the inevitable cover. This time a mash up of Billy Joel vs Guster.

After 20 years together, they're going strong. Their latest album is perhaps their best effort to date. We bought it directly from the band's website and it was delivered with this message.

Just another reason to love on the boys of Guster.

You can buy their latest here.
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Watch their episode on Live at Daryl's (Hall) House here.

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