Words by The Randy Bee – Photo by Kassie Schelling
The first really warm day in too long brought with it a stellar double bill of music to Lancaster’s Chameleon Club. Guster, in a short warmup tour prior to their big summer shows with Ben Folds and Barenaked Ladies, rolled into town with their friends, Jukebox The Ghost. “It’s our first ever show in Lancaster”, said Jukebox keyboardist Ben Thornewill, and by the reaction of the crowd it will not be their last. Playing songs from their three excellent studio releases including my personal fave “Somebody” off the 2012’s “Safe Travels” their set was uber-tight and showcased the band’s excellent musicianship and songwriting skills. I was particularly impressed by their pitch perfect rendition of Queen’s, “Somebody To Love”. Thornewill’s performance would have made Freddie Mercury proud and guitarist Tommy Seigel had Brian May’s solo down to a tee. It was an awesome crowd-pleasing set.
Speaking of crowd pleasing, it is said up in Boston in the local vernacular that Guster fans are “wicked loyal”. Certainly the loyal and the faithful were out in full force on Wednesday night. The band, which formed in 1991, might have grown up a bit, but so has their fan base. The post college, happily partying crowd sounded as if they had studied Guster lyrics as part of their curriculum. How else could they have known all the songs word-for-word? It always amazes me when I ask someone about Guster and they tell me they have never heard of them! “You mean you have never heard “Satellite” or “Amsterdam”? Guster is one of those bands that you don’t think you know but you have heard their songs for years. Since 1991 they have carried the indie torch with great playing and writing. The band was in fine fun-loving form switching instruments at will, singing great harmonies, and playing well-known tunes such as “Do You Love Me”, and “One Man Wrecking Crew”; as well as the aforementioned hits. They even did an aborted version of “Sunshine Of Your Love”, as well as an impromptu accapella ode thanking “Jukebox The Ghost” for opening up for them. The band features original members: Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel, and Luke Reynolds- they clearly were having a wonderful time. They were not so quick to have the evening end and played three encores. Their massive “Last Summer On Earth Tour” with Ben Folds and Barenaked Ladies should be a simply awesome affair. If tonight was a precursor to more great music to come…BRING IT ON!