State In The Real – Penn State Music Scene

Show Review of Guster at the State Theatre

By Ryan Kappy

“You’re My Satellite.”

At a time when the music scene at Penn State has been flourishing with different concerts coming into the State College area, The State Theatre had brought an act that has been a staple in the music industry for two decades, in light-hearted alternative band Guster.  Band members include Ryan Miller, Adam Gardner, Brian Rosenworcel and Luke Reynolds who all have a kid.  The quad from Boston, Massachusetts, had come for the reason of becoming one with the crowd and interacting in a more informal way than the usual concert setting.  Their almost two hour set had a unique twist to their performance in that it had an intimate acoustic setting with string arrangements that put a twist on their usual performance.  I personally have never heard any of Guster’s overall material before, so I was in for a concert that would be my first of this type of setting.

With the show starting at 8 P.M. and The LION 90.7fm representative Matt Steiner introducing the show to a sold out audience, Sam Cohen from Yellowbirds did a solo act with his electric guitar and went through soothing numbers to the audience’s delight.  He was later joined by Luke of Guster who helped him out on acoustic guitar playing out the rest of his set with Cohen giving a nice farewell to the intrigued audience.

With a mini intermission between, Guster hailed to the stage to a loud applause and began their set with lots of energy for an acoustic show.  Their stage setup had them all sitting down on chairs with acoustic guitars, bass, drum and bongo sets, string arrangements, and a grand piano.  The members are true multi-instrumentalists with irregular uses of the banjo, ukulele, and trumpet and switched between instruments and vocals on what felt like every other song. In between songs, the band would go on to talk about anything from their personal lives, making fun of each other, and interacting with the crowd.    They also had a space for fan requests and birthday requests to make it their special night with the band.  Then again, Miller stated during the show, “It’s your show, State College.” Their catalog included hits like “Satellite,” “Amsterdam,” “One Man Wrecking Machine,” to songs they have not played in over a decade even though they were able to pull it off.  Overall, Guster has a way of playing tunes that can have an indie yet pop sound and they pulled it off perfectly in an intimate setting.  After this experience, I can honestly say that it was a top ten concert for myself I have been to and thoroughly enjoyed it.  For the next couple of days, I for sure will have their full discography on shuffle just in time for finals.  You should too.

Guster performing “Amsterdam”

Guster performing “Two Points for Honesty”

via @ANastySurprise

Guster performing “Love Hamster”

Guster performing “Backyard”

Guster perfroming “Come Downstairs and Say Hello”

Guster performing “Rainy Day”