I'd recommend seeing both of these acts if you can, and they were a real treat together. *G* I got to see them at the Purdue Elliot Hall of Music last night.
Guster was the opening band, and I was NOT disappointed, and neither was the crowd, which appeared to be all Guster fans (unusual situation for an opening band). The crowd stood up at the first song and never sat down. *S* Just four guys, very punchy music with great guitar and amazing percussion, with two excellent voices, singing alone, one after another, in harmony, or - best of all - in counterpoint, with complementary lyrics/melodies. HC, remember what you said about the drums being played "manually"? *G* Half the time the drummer played a combination bongos/conga/drum kit with cymbals - all with his hands. He looked just like Animal! *L*! The other half of the time he played a traditional drum kit with sticks. The guys were relaxed, funny, having a good time, and obviously enjoying the fact that the crowd was so into them. In fact, the crowd knew all the words and sang along!
John Mayer - well, I wasn't expecting much from him. I was afraid he'd come across as too sappy, too eager, too puppy-like... and he wasn't. *G* He's an accomplished performer who manages to also be disarmingly vulnerable at the same time - not an easy thing to accomplish. Jules - I'm afraid you would have been very jealous; I definitely hope he comes to England soon so you can see him. I was also afraid that I'd get tired of his voice, but instead... it grew on me even more. It's a very... hmm.... appealing? voice. His guitar work was phenomenal; he mostly played rhythm guitar (playing all up and down the neck), but "showed off" a couple of times, where you could see just how good he is. *G* And he had a solid band behind him, including horns. He tended to alternate a lot between a couple of songs with the band, a couple of just him on acoustic guitar, and so on, which was great. But it's his singing that really shines; he just has a great way of phrasing, and the timbre of his voice is warm and fluid at the same time. *ggl* But it was funny being on the other side of the fangirl divide... you would NOT believe how many fangirls this guy has!!! And, again, a lot of singing along - which I usually am not fond of, but this wasn't bad. It just sounded like a nice harmony on top of his voice and didn't get in the way. *G*
So... see these guys if you can! I know Guster's coming back to Butler University here in Indy in a couple of weeks, and you KNOW I'm going to get tix. *G*