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August 4, 2000 @ FleetBoston Pavilion

Coming ashore in true Guster style, the three zany boys from Medford got down to business quickly for the biggest show of their careers — a sell-out at the (former) crown jewel of Boston’s waterfront, Harborli- uh, the FleetBoston pavilion. “Thundergod” Brian Rosenworcel laid down the tribal law as his hands danced through the floating vocal dualities of “I Spy” which snuck scratchily into an accelerated and crumbly “Great Escape.” The suggested overtones of “What You Wish For” belied the relatively spare arrangements and six-handed set-up of the band (which was often supported by lyric-perfect audience serenades) and as Ryan Miller watched his high notes float away in songs like “Either Way,” Adam Gardner kept things on the down-low with his down-tuned six-string and huskier vocals. Were few smokers in the crowd, the pre-warned power ballad was met with glow sticks, bike lights and glowing cell phones instead of the typical lighters and when guest Dan Myers joined the trio with his brass and electronic ivories, the Guster faithful took out their Guster kazoos and hummed along. And they were rewarded with a rare jump back to Parachute with a key-drenched “Scars and Stitches.” Though the band is known for their “folk rock” and “jam” sides, “Two of Us” was easily dance mix-able and the appropriately watery “Airport Song” simply rocked, with Brian throwing his hands down like a hirsute Gabrielle Reese. After a mumbly “X-Ray Eyes” developed into a slow can-can, the regimental rolls of “Happier” led into a mandolin-y “Two Points for Honesty” and a thunderous “Bury Me” which put the set to bed until the scrappy songwriters returned with members of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe to close with a cover of “Celebration” which was very Kool indeed.

- Matthew S. Robinson
© 2000 M. S. Robinson, ARR

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