Thursday, March 1, 2007

Mason Jennings, Guster (02.28.07)

the Band: Mason Jennings, Guster
the Date: Wednesday February 28, 2007
the Venue: 9:30 Club (DC)

(Photo credit to Jane Fulmer and her Flickr page:

Mason Jennings opened. We only caught the last few songs. It sounded nice though. Oh well.

Guster was the main performance. Guster now includes Nashville-based multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia as a full-time member alongside original members Ryan Miller (vocals/guitar), Adam Gardner (vocals/bass), and Brian Rosenworcel (percussion). This was the first of two scheduled performances at the 9:30 Club. Unfortunately, we only got tickets for the first night. They played a range of songs from four of their five albums, making every Guster fan in the club happy, myself included.

The band opened somewhat quietly with Ramona, a sweet song off of 2003’s Keep It Together. They moved seamlessly between the old and new records, playing songs like Satellite, The New Underground, One Man Wrecking Machine, and The Captain from their latest album Ganging Up on the Sun.

We loved every song, but the fan favorites seemed to be the older hits like Barrel of a Gun, Red Oyster Cult, Careful, Demons and Amsterdam. The show reached its peak with a dramatic rendition of Airport Song. Another highlight was X-Ray Eyes, when Ryan got the disco ball turning around because the song “reminds him of the prom.” Adam showed off some of his trumpet skills on a few songs. And, of course, Brian banged away on the bongos the entire night … taped fingers be damned!

Guster ended strongly with an encore that included the bitter yet intense Happier, during which everyone relished the chance to scream out the lyric “son of a bitch.” They closed as they opened, quietly, with an acoustic version of Jesus on the Radio from Ganging Up on the Sun. This was one of the best moments of the night, because the entire club became totally silent for the entire song, and then erupted in applause the second it was over. Awesome!

Full setlist: Ramona / Satellite / Barrel of a Gun / Brazil / One Man Wrecking Machine / Red Oyster Cult / Demons / Captain / X-Ray Eyes / Come Downstairs and Say Hello / What You Wish For / Careful / Ruby Falls / Amsterdam / Manifest Destiny / Airport Song / ENCORE / Two Points for Honesty (sung by the crowd only until the first chorus and then Guster came out to finish) / Keep It Together / New Underground / Happier / Jesus On the Radio (unplugged)

Say goodbye, lose your friends, make them go, don't need them around