by Andrew Crisp
On Jan. 12, we wrote a short snippet on Boston-based Guster in anticipation of their Jan. 16 concert at the Knitting Factory.
Last night, Guster returned to Boise for the second time, but not without relating a story of beers and beauties while floating the river. Apparently, as frontman Ryan Miller told the crowd, the guys were provided "Idaho hospitality."
Philadelphia trio Good Old War opened the night. The band, whose frontman looks like Russell Brand, offered acoustic guitar-based indie jams and boasted great vocals from all three members. Their laid-back style shone through in "That's Some Dream," with "I'm gonna live, I'm alright / I'm gonna die, it's alright / I'm okay," and a sound reminiscent of Blitzen Trapper but with a vocal quality all their own.
After taking the stage, Guster played for almost two hours. From their large library, they performed some of the songs from 2010's Easy Wonderful but avoided their biggest hits "Amsterdam" and "One Man Wrecking Machine." Guster's sound utilizes a number of different instruments: bongos, drums, guitars, ukuleles and, at one point, a keytar. For their "disco song," lead singer Ryan Miller donned a sparkling cap that made him look like a disco ball, and plugged away at a keytar during a solo.
The show, like their final encore of the night — an acoustic, a cappella rendition of "Keep Calm and Carry On" — was, in one word, awesome.