Yesterday was the long anticipated Girl's Day Out with Kayla and Mrs. The Kayla (Suzanne), Jessica and myself enjoying a day of pampering, food and rock. The morning of absolute chaos (yesterday) turned into the evening of absolute fun. And I'm here to tell ya all about it.
Suzanne and Kay picked us up at about 2, we went and got pedicures (and the girls got manicures, but S and I don't go that route). My toes look fantastic, thank you very much. I sat in a massage chair and think that I suffered permanent neurological and skeleto-muscular damage to my back. Either that, or the damn thing just bruised me right in the middle of my back. Felt good at the time but last night it started to hurt pretty bad. Feh!
Anyway -- after toes it was down the highway where we feasted at Bertuccis. We got to the Bank of Whatever Bank is Giving Naming Rights Pavilion and relaxed by the harbor, enjoying the sunset, chatting and chilling, refusing to buy 8 dollar beer but having a good time nonetheless.
The crowd was very unlike the Drunk Matthews Band (heh) fans. There were tons of little kids there (in the back of my mind I'm really praying they don't do Manifest Destiny because of the massive F bomb in the second line, just for the wee one's sakes -- in case mom and dad haven't bought or heard the new album yet). It was fun to people watch, and we didn't want to head to our seats as the first opening act Rogue Wave performed their set.
They were okay. Not really my thing. I didn't enjoy them that much. But it was okay -- because I was psyched to just be at a concert and enjoying the company of the girls. And they didn't suck so badly that I wanted to vomit. It was backgroundy, kind of WB or UPN series tunage. Meh. Not what I expected after I visited their website. Their drummer was awesome though. He really kicked ass.
We headed to our seats and Jess and I were pleasantly surprised to have 10th row seats. God bless you, Guster presale tickets and God bless you too maa3120 (mary anna!) on the BNLboard for posting the presale info when you did so I could get tickets for the show. I was thrilled to see where we were sitting -- and had the camera ready for what I hoped would be some awesome shots.
Next up was Yonder Mountain String Band. Dude. Wow. These guys -- four men, four instruments -- blew the roof off the tent. Mandolin, Banjo, Guitar and upright base. Newgrass with a punk edge. They did a couple of very traditional bluegrassy sounding songs, but they had this filter on the bass that fuzzed it up and made it rock, and their guitarist electrified the acoustic and just ripped that thing to shreds. I loved their mandolin player -- he reminded me of Jon Svetkey on moonshine. Lots of hair, glasses and energy. Loved him. I'd see them again in two seconds flat, and I nerded up and added them to my friends on myspace. I'm such a fanwhore.
And then Guster came out to play. The lights go down, and "Born to be Wild" starts cranking out of the sound system. The crowd goes nuts. The guys come riding in on Segways with Members Only jackets and helmets on (the helmets had flashing lights on the back and they were hysterically funny). They ride the circuit around the arena, and take the stage.
Again, the lighting continued to be abysmal, only slightly better than the opening acts. Not at all what I'm used to seeing. Really needed some more up front lights. The stage seemed to be mostly back-lit. Lots of great colors and whatnot, but really nothing focusing on the band up front. Adam had this huge guitar solo at one point (I forget which song) and the spots were all on the keyboard player who was cranking away, but wasn't the focal point of that place in the song. Jess and I were both like "uh, hello? Spotlight on guitar rock god there please?"
Overall the performance was like a Greatest Hits night. Except for FaFa they played every song I wanted and expected to hear. They even pulled out (Nothing But) Flowers, the Talking Heads cover they used to play a bit more of. Geoff would have had a heart attack if he had been there because it is his favorite "Guster" song. They did the Airport Song, complete with a crazy vocal augmentation for Ryan's part on the second verse where it made him sound demonic and scary. We died laughing, and then the lights hit the disco ball. And the wild rumpus bongo fiesta raged on and on with extra super exciting power. It was so awesome. Beyond imagination. Loved it. My head just about exploded at that point. No lie. No hyperbolic exaggeration. I'm not sure what prevented my head from exploding, but somehow I was (and the people around me were) spared.
The setlist is on the side there, thanks goes out to whomever posted it to the Guster board. I didn't write everything down even though I was prepared to.
All told -- a fantastic night of rock.
While I was in the ladies' room, my cell phone rang and it was my buddy Aaron calling from Washington State. I told him where I was and there was a long pause.
"Guster?" he asks with total incredulity. "Well, that's a whole bunch of posers up on stage in one place now isn't it."
Dude has no taste. I have no idea why I'm friends with his sorry lame ass (heh).
Anyway -- my pictures came out horrible, my relatively wonderfully close seats were nothing to compensate for how the band was lit. Compared to the Dave Matthews band shots I got two weeks ago, when I sat in Cleveland while they performed in Hartford CT, these could have and should have been so much better. I'm not sure if it is the band or the venue... not sure who should prepare to feel my wrath in the form of an incendiary email, but man. That sucked. Big time. Like I said -- there's better lighting in my living room.
I was trying to get decent a picture of Adam playing the trumpet at the end of Ruby Falls.
Someone near me was using a flash, and hit the back of the guy in the Tufts shirt.
Kinda cool, considering their history and how no one else picked up the flash impact, just Mr. Tufts shirt. I like this shot, even though Adam looks like a blurry trumpet-weilding blob. If you'd like to see some much much much MUCH better Guster show photography, by all means click here and check out Germ's shots of the Friday night show. His came out as great as mine are sucky.
And remind me please to take a picture of the poster Jess bought at the show. It features the Gusters rescuing pets from a burning building and running for their lives. It is hysterically funny. And really shows what kind hearted boys they are. Sniff. Weep.
Guster Set List, 8/12/06
Barrel of a Gun
The Beginning of the End
Center of Attention
Come Downstairs & Say Hello
The New Underground
Keep It Together