Headliner: Guster 02.09.16

It’s rare for a band to play a 24 song concert set these days.  Alt-rock darlings the Neighbourhood, for instance, played 14 songs during its set at the Marquee a week ago.  But when a band has been recording and performing for 20+ years like Guster has, it has a lot of songs that fans really, really (really) want to hear.  And Guster delivered a fun, raucous 2 dozen song set at the Marquee Theatre in Tempe, AZ on February 9, 2016.

Usually at this point in a review, it’s obligatory to list the band members and the instruments they play.  Listing the band members in Guster is a simple task – Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel and Luke Reynolds.  Listing their respective roles in the band, however, is not quite as simple.  The only constant seemed to be Brian Rosenworcel on drums and percussion.  The other three band members, however, switched off between guitar, bass and keyboard/piano, with a little banjo, ukulele and trumpet thrown in for good measure.  Even Rosenworcel got in on the instrument switcheroo and played trombone for a brief bit.  It was dizzying to try to keep track of who was playing what at any given time, but it speaks highly of the talent, musicianship and versatility of the band members (except for maybe Rosenworcel’s stint on the trombone). (review continued below photos)

Photos © Greg Cohen 2016

Guster’s fans are a devoted bunch.  There are clearly some inside jokes between the band and their longtime fans, such as ping pong balls during the song Airport and other little call and repeat moments.  The fans clearly had a good time as well.  In fact, I can’t remember seeing fans have so much fun at a concert.  Yes, almost fans always enjoy seeing their favorite bands.  But this seemed to transcend that and be something more.  Whether it was a couple simply slow-dancing together like they were all alone or groups of friends jumping around together, the concert brought out a joyfulness and playfulness among the fans that you don’t often see at shows.  I’m not sure if it was the band and its music, the band’s super-high energy  or just the nature of the fans that they attract, but it was obvious and enjoyable.

Guster clearlyF41A0816 - Guster 020916-s appreciates its fans as well.  Between the end of its set and its encore, the band left the stage.  Instead of going back stage like most bands, however, band members came down to the front of the stage, ran along the security barricade high-fiving the audience and then right back up on stage to continue its pre-announced encore.

It has been6 years since Guster’s last show in the valley – hopefully they won’t go 6 more years before performing here again.

Photos and review by Greg Cohen

Set List:

  1. What You Wish For
  2. Satellite
  3. Hercules
  4. Doin’ It By Myself
  5. Amsterdam
  6. All the Way Up to Heaven
  7. Homecoming King
  8. Chariots of Fire
  9. Arizona interrupted our ski vacation
  10. Long Way Down
  11. Bad Bad World
  12. Come Downstairs and Say Hello
  13. Do You Love Me
  14. Lazy Love
  15. Airport Song
  16. Ruby Falls
  17. Ramona
  18. Simple Machine
  19. Never Coming Down
  20. Barrel of a Gun
  21. This Could All Be Yours


  1. Long Night
  2. One Man Wrecking Machine
  3. Happier

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