Finding a band that is capable of unearthing decades of nostalgia, summer soaked memories and holding the hourglass of time while winter storm Jonas howled outside the walls of 9:30 Club is rare.
After our interview before their winter tour across the U.S., I met up with Guster again on January 20 under the threat of hazardous roads and plummeting temperatures. The sold out show was a testament to the cliché thought that music can surpass time itself.
As a 19-year-old year old, I haven’t gone to a concert of a band that I’ve listened for over a decade. I have yet to listen to a band that is profoundly rooted to my life. As “Walking on a Dream” by Empire of the Sun floated around the venue, I realized that I was experiencing something spellbinding—the tangling of millions of memories, five men from Boston their keepers since 1991.
The fountain of youth was embodied through the seven albums of material that Guster drew from. The lyrics “we declared a national holiday” from their 2003 track “Keep It Together” were relevant since January 15 was announced as “Guster Day” by Boston’s mayor Marty Walsh.
Tracks from their recent album Evermotion, such as “Doin’ It By Myself,” showcased the diversity of Guster’s sound—featuring only one acoustic song. The veteran band’s inspirational spirit and lighthearted humor continued to thrive as people moved closer together and formed a community.
That feeling was planted by opening act and “Mexo-Americana” band David Wax Museum, whom stepped onto the stage with a sense of returning to their stomping grounds.
Multi-talented and invoking the heart of Mexican folk music and Americana, they surprised the audience with their flexibility and authenticity, such as Suz Slezak’s familiarity with playing quijada, the jaw of a donkey.
Formed in 2008, the group’s five albums have all been self-released. Watching core members David Wax and Slevak dance around each other was a beautiful thing to behold. Further, seeing them with their daughter, Slevak’s vivid flower-print corset marking her in the crowd, put all the pieces together. They are a unit.
The brotherhood that Guster shares was impossible to miss—each of them in awe of the other, especially when lead singer Ryan Miller performed his dialogues about babysitter dynasties or his experiences with airbnb.
During the middle of the concert, someone yelled “Guster,” Miller grinned and replied with a sassy, “Goob job, you’re at the right concert.” Laughter following his remark.
I have never seen a group whose members have equal parts, a hydra whose talents leave their worshippers even more entranced, such as Adam Gardner’s guitar solo in “The Beginning of the End” or when percussionist Brian Rosenworcel performed a bongo solo or when he failed at playing the trombone.
The famous track “Satellite” caused some to hang onto each other, the celestial imagery creating a whirlpool, a bridge of stars that guided the audience to the labyrinth of Guster’s mind.
In an era where regurgitated songs gorge the radio and the top charts, Guster has been successful in creating something timeless, able to drown the presence of a blizzard simply with their music.
Featured Photo Credit: Adam Gardner, lead vocals, guitar, and trumpet, for the alternative rock band Guster performing at 9:30 club. (Cassie Osvatics/Bloc Reporter)
Karla Casique is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.