Guster Doesn't Suck
by Timm Carney


Guster doesnít suck, but they donít rock either. The band originally from Boston plays skillful and unchallenging music.

Lupoís Heartbreak Hotel in Providence is a venue of 1,925 and it sold out. The audience was 98% white and very polite. They matched the music.  Dressed in their finest Abercrombie and Fitch they swayed and bobbed along to the janglely tunes. There was no edge, nothing to make the band, the audience or the whole show stand out.  It was a glass of tepid milk.

The most impressive, no the only impressive thing about the band was the drummer. He played well and without the use of drumsticks, he used his hands.  Drumming can make or break a band and Guster luckily has a very good drummer.

Matt Pond PA opened for Guster.  They were a good choice for an opening act; they didnít over shadow the headlining act as they were even more lackluster and dull than Guster.  Milquetoast is the term that best describes them.  The lead singer, whom I assume is Matt Pond but who really cares, sounds like a mix between Neil Young and Adam Duritz.

Is this rock and roll? Have rock shows become homogenized and watered down?  Guster had lights, smoke and projections but no verve.  WBRU the once cutting edge radio station owned by Brown University sponsored the show.  ĎBRU was an exciting and challenging radio station in the 1970ís and 80ís.  During the 1990ís WBRU went the way of most American radio and apparently rock and roll too becoming safe predictable and corporately generic.  It seems fitting they were promoting Guster a band that could be the poster child for safe rock.  This is the music you can bring your grandmother and 8-year-old niece to hear but be prepared they too could get bored.


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