03.23.04 – West Point

06:00 hours:The Gusbus pulls up to security on the campus of the West Point Military Academy. Smitty waves his laminate at the guard and cruises on to the parking lot of the Eisenhower Theater, where the band will remain sleeping on the bus for another six hours.

13:00 hours: Members of Guster begin roaming around campus, which is desolate and spooky. Several ideas for that night’s show are brainstormed and rejected, including:

“Let’s get a U-S-A chant going during Fa Fa” and…

“Let’s walk out to the theme from M*A*S*H again” and…

“Maybe tonight’s the night we should unveil Pasty’s alter-ego — Spandex Pasty — on stage.”

15:00 hours: While exploring the campus I happen upon a monument of soldiers in the thick of battle, gazing at it curiously without realizing what it was trying to tell me about the audience that night…. specifically that they’ll be stonefaced, uniformed, and poised to shoot (us).

16:00 hours: One hour before soundcheck, Ryan is able to complete enough of a sit-up on the West Point Training Course to look respectable in this photo:

21:00 hours: The Guster portion of the concert is done and clearly these camouflaged individuals could not be happier.

In fact, the members of Guster themselves seem pretty happy to have survived the event. John Mayer takes the stage and West Point lets loose. The cadets rise to their feet. Their young, virile, monkey-bar-chiseled physiques are true wonders of land and sea, and this is the night their hard work is serenaded. Vote Kerry in ’04.

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