Okay, our tour is now over and I’m sitting in our hotel room watching as the 11 o’clock news is being re-aired (3am) and they just teased us to stick around because when they come back from commercial they’ll be showing highlights of The Barenaked Ladies at the Orpheum. We’ll see if they mention the opening band. I’ll give you the play by play.
So while BNL is more popular than God, I need to mention just how inspiring and admirable it is that everytime we play with them they take the time to chat with us, they remember our names (!) and they prove themselves to be genuine down to earth people. It’s nice to see good guys win.
Our set tonight was hardly 40 minutes long. No surprises — Happier, I Spy, Airport, Either Way, What You WIsh For, Fa Fa, Demons, Barrel of a Gun, Bury Me… we played to a crowd that had pretty much no clue who we were. They were nice to us, and I destroyed my hands during the set, playing wicked hard because I knew I had five weeks to recover.
I know Pasty is planning on writing another journal entry, and Angela is going to contribute something about tour highlights, so the road journal will have some activity between now and the new year.
And be sure to watch us on Conan O’Brien Dec 30th because the Channel 7 news sure didn’t mention us during their report on the Orpheum show tonight.
Without being too mushy, I’d like to say thanks to everyone in our crew for helping make this tour so much fun. Thanks to everyone that showed their support in the clubs, and everyone that followed my stupid road journal. And thank you to Mookie Wilson for being the greatest damn baseball player this millenium ever saw.
Last night at Villanova we attempted a few tricks. Being the last headlining show of the tour, and quite possibly our last headlining show ever (assuming some apocalyptic, Deep Impactesque sort of event goes down on New Year’s), we thought we would appease some raging fan2fanners and toss in some old stuff.
So, we threw a lick from Love For Me into the outro to Airport Song. I don’t think anyone even noticed. We closed Window with the guitar melody from Happy Frappy. This didn’t quite evoke the response we thought it would. And we brought two oldies out of retirement for the show — Like a Prayer and Scars and Stitches. Those tunes were feeling like Sugar Ray Leonard or George Foreman. Happily retired, yet cocky and feeling invincible and itching to get back in the ring like most boxers are… and so we gave them one last hurrah and it felt like being punched in the face repeatedly. The nostalgia of it all might have struck a chord with someone, like seeing Foreman bounce around in those red trunks one last time, but we sure sucked at those songs.
I think we played one of the best Rocketships and one of the best Airports of the tour though.
We encored with Pasty playing Silent Night on mandolin in front of his alma mater (and an all-Jew back-up band). Then we closed with an acoustic Mona Lisa. Someone kept yelling FREE BIRD through the first verse so Ryan stopped the song and smashed his guitar into little bits on stage. Of course, it was a $70 guitar we bought that day and it was our friend Brett heckling us from the front row the way he was supposed to. Is anything not staged in this band? We learned it from watching you, BNL, we learned it from watching you.
I was going up the elevator to our hotel room in Rochester NY today when a guy struck up a conversation with me.
“Did you just get off the bus with the trailer?”
“How’d you guess?” I said, wondering if it was the phlegm on my lips, the nappy crust in my eyes, or just my general band aroma, having woken up up minutes earlier at 1pm.
“What band are you in?” he asked.
Clearly he had no idea who we were, and was perplexed as to how we could have a bus and still be unknown to him. And I asked him what band he was in…. the buzzed, bleached-blond hair gave it away for me.
I pretended I had never heard of them, when really we are going to try to go see them tonight.
Columbus was wicked.
I swear this just happened. I visited our website to see that the conan link and hammerstein photos were up and found out we had a link to a guster chat room on the front page of our site. Being that it’s four in the morning, I logged on to the chat room under the name “Thundergod.” Afterall, I am the Thundergod. There were only a few other people in the room. One of them, Ally, was from Colby College. I wrote to her:
“Wow, that’s in Maine… cold”
and later added:
“DAMN cold” or something like that and then all of a sudden my screen flashed and I was booted off the chat line because I had used a bad word. What the fuck!? I’m in the BAND. I tried to post again but it wouldn’t let me. I am banished from my own chat line. At least I can cuss in my road journal.
We have a guest journal entry from our new best friends Judy and Erin from Brown University who brought us the little singing tree we had on display at the URI show… they said we could have it on the condition that they got to write in our cyberdiary. Free tree!
Dear fellow Guster fans,
We’re writing this tour journal entry because tonight at the URI show, we lost a friend. But we’re content now because we know that Doug–Douglas Fir, to be exact–is in a better place now: the Guster bus.
Doug was our pet Christmas tree/Hanukkah bush. He sings Christmas Carols, and if you have the right cables, he will sing along to your CDs and just about anything else. His mouth opens and closes, and his eyes light up and blink to the tune of the music.
Guster was of course intrigued by the idea (who wouldn’t be?), and so they took him up on stage tonight for his world premiere performace. They matched him to Ryan’s vocals, and he performed his part splendidly. His interpretations of Demons, All The Way Up To Heaven and Fa-Fa were particularly moving.
While Doug will be sorely missed in our dorm room here at Brown, we have had to acknowledge that he can only reach his full potential by studying under your favorite band and ours, Guster. It would be wrong to hold him and his powerful artistic message back.
As Doug himself likes to say when he isn’t plugged into another signal, “Have a tree-mendous holiday!”
Judy and Erin
last night everyone but me went out to an italian restaurant in easton pennsylvania for dinner. and everyone (band and crew) shat themselves ridiculously before we went on stage after dinner at lafayette. (am i allowed to volunteer that information about everyone?) — anyway, knowing that seven people shared this experience i still decided to eat my spaghetti and meatball supper (which they brought me — take-out — from the same restaurant) after the show.
so i woke up incredibly sick and spent the whole day feeling miserable and thinking i was going to puke on stage at unh tonight. but i didn’t. as soon as the show started i felt fine and as soon as it ended i felt shitty again. no more meatballs before bed. anyway, ryan told a story at the university of new hampshire fieldhouse tonight that needs clarifying…
we played the very same fieldhouse about three years ago, opening for “the verve pipe” while “the freshman” was the number one song in the country. we agreed to do the show permitted we would get an equal set length blah blah blah. so we arrived at the show and it wasn’t what we expected. no soundcheck, thirty minute set right when doors opened, etc… we were pissed off, so when they insisted we raise our t-shirt prices from ten bucks to match theirs at twenty, we put our foot down. our tour manager, ari weinsten, god love him, absolutely refused to budge, pushing the verve pipe to the point where they said we weren’t allowed to play the show unless we gave in and matched their prices.
we acquiesced, sort of. after our third song, ryan said “you might notice that our shirt prices are 20 bucks instead of the usual 10… that’s because another band on the bill tonight forced us to do it…. if you want a shirt for the regular price of ten bucks, find one of us after the show and we’ll hook you up.” the crowd went nuts. i was really glad we did it at the time. over the course of the next year we felt the repercussions of that statement — the verve pipe blacklisted us and told everyone in the music industry how obnoxious we were. there were publishing companies, record labels, etc that wouldn’t deal with us based on their loyalties to TVP (?) …. i think we were reminded of the incident tonight, returning to finally headline the same fieldhouse at unh.
i think the verve pipe recently released another album or something. check it out, while it’s still in print!
talking too much shit,
last night i went online for the first time in a while with no specific purpose and ended up visiting other bands’ websites and i was shocked to see that some other bands keep road journals as well. i didn’t have the attention span to read them though.
we’re putting lots of new pictures up on the web soon i think.
the albany crowd was surprisingly full of life tonight. i was impressed. we all napped before we played because we had to drive like 2 hours each way to get to weqx in manchester vermont to play “barrel” and “i spy” live on the air this afternoon.
maybe i was the only one who napped.
anyway after a strange theater performance last night in providence with tori amos, it was good to get back into a club where you could feel the energy of the crowd. a bra ended up on stage early in the show and i wore it during bury me tonight. it felt good against my skin.
ps… we just found out we’re playing conan o’brien december 30th…