08.04.00 – Boston, Massachusetts

Usually before a big show I’ll tape up my fingers, try to stay loose, hydrate, focus on the set list, etc etc… somehow on Friday night the routine changed and 20 minutes before we hit the stage I was in the back of a yellow rubber dinghy in the Boston Harbor, wearing a life jacket, insisting that we were going to drift out to sea if Ryan and Adam didn’t paddle harder on their side of the boat. Also on my mind was the fact that the inflatable boat package said Maximum Weight Capacity: 530 pounds — and the collective Gusterweight is estimated at an even 500. Throw in some paddles and a life jacket and there was a good chance we were going to take the stage soaking wet.

We couldn’t see it happen, but there was a guy with a camera filming us as we rowed to the dock by the back of the venue, and when it popped up on the big screen I’m told it looked like we’d been at sea for days. I’m not the best “swimmer.” We managed to get out of the boat without sinking and we even timed it so we hit the stage just as Foreplay faded out and Long Time kicked in. The (somewhat odd) decision to enter the show via flimsy raft was made 2 hours before our set. Thanks to Dalton for masterminding the plan and thanks to Jess and Kate for buying the dingy at the last minute.

As for the actual gig I felt like we’ve never received more energy from an audience. And we fed off it, like nursing home bingo players feed off the free space in the middle of their card. Karl Denson joined us on flute for Fa Fa and Andy and Eric from his band came out for an encore of Celebration by Kool & The Gang. Having real musicians on hand for the event made our “funky” version of Scars and Stitches all the more shameful. To Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe: Please accept our most sincere apologies for trying to be funky. Ever.

Two days until I shit my pants on CBS…

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