Guster rocks Rochester with career-spanning set

Guster delivered a high-energy performance at Water Street Music Hall in Rochester on Saturday April 18. Multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi opened for the band. He played a combination of electronic and indie music with the violin and keyboard, even incorporating looping and some beat boxing into his songs. Even if you don’t know the name Guster, you’ve probably heard “Satellite” and “Homecoming King” on the radio. Guster has been around since 1991, so a wide variety of fans of the alternative-rock group—ranging from younger teens to middle-aged adults—attended the show. The band has produced seven albums, with its most recent release Evermotion coming out in January 2015.

Fans jumped around in excitement when Guster came onstage. The band opened with the popular “Long Night” from its newest album. Blue and red lights streamed across the venue, providing a visual complement to the music. Guster performed over 20 songs from a mix of its albums, satisfying both old and new fans.

The four-person band plays the electric guitar, percussion, trumpet, trombone and even xylophone. The percussionist plays a combination of bongos, congas and cymbals rather than using a traditional drum set. Instead of using drumsticks, he just used his hands during this concert—something quite impressive to watch.

One of my favorite parts of the concert was when Kishi Bashi joined Guster to accompany a few songs. Kishi Bashi played the electric violin during “Kid Dreams” and “Satellite.” I never would have thought an electric violin would fit Guster’s more organic music, but the different sounds blended uniquely together. The audience also seemed to love this part, as fans cheered enthusiastically.

After Guster’s planned set list, the band members performed four more songs for an encore. Toward the end, the band members casually stripped down to their colorful boxers and proceeded to play the last couple songs. Guster’s quirky humor definitely enhanced the whole experience of seeing the band live.

“Ruby Falls” was the last song the band played. The drummer belted out an impressive trombone solo, highlighting the band’s talent with various instruments.

Although I’m a newer fan, I still loved watching the band live––every song was filled with the same intensity. It was obvious they were having a ton of fun onstage and seemed genuinely happy to be in Rochester. Thanks to their talent and humor, I’m a bigger fan now than I was before the concert.