“Who is this?” I asked, as “Amsterdam” was heard overhead. It was 2006, and I was crammed in the back of a five-seater with nine other college freshmen.
“This is Guster – how do you not know that?” My friend answered me from the front of the car. She was sitting on someone’s lap, ducking unsuccessfully, as police cars passed the overloaded Jetta. I made a mental note as our designated driver shuttled us from fraternity row to whichever bar was being taken over by SMU students that night.
Guster’s 2003 album Keep It Together continued to play as we followed I-75 to our destination. That night was a particular kind of epic. The kind where the soundtrack is interwoven with each memory. The kind of night that would lead to reminiscing with friends over a 6-pack of Miller Lite in the years to come.
This past Friday night was primed for a recollection of memories that loosely hang in different corners of my mind, plastered together by a mixture of trashcan punch and SKOL vodka. These fragmented memories flooded back as Guster took the stage at House of Blues Dallas, and a familiar peaceful sound tugged at my Harvard Red and Yale Blue-colored heartstrings with the first chords of song “Satellite.”
The beauty of Guster is their ease of listening. Together since the early 90’s, any one of the band’s multitude of albums is the perfect compliment to a placid night drive. “Top 5 – that song is Top 5,” said an audience member at the close of “Barrel Of A Gun,” a decidedly contemporary classic.
Percussionist (too talented to classify as “drummer”) Brian Rosenworcel’s barehanded live performance was stellar. The audience loved watching him beat the tom-toms with open palms during “Jonah.” Guster’s sound is a very island-in-the-sun, lay on the beach until 6PM, slather yourself in aloe vera, hide your sunglasses tan line with cover-up kind of feel: perfect as the calendar draws nearer to summertime.
It’s patio weather in Dallas. Reserve a table outdoors, grab your friends, and kick off the warmer months with Guster as your soundtrack.
Photography by Emili Carmichael