04.28.05 – Appleton, WI

This is a picture of our band sitting at a table with two members of the Boston Pops Symphony Orchestra, who flew out to Appleton WI to see us play yesterday. In case you weren’t aware, Guster & the Boston Pops are playing two nights together at Symphony Hall in June. And while the idea of us joining them on a Debussy tune and maybe a Bach movement or two was discussed, we all figured it was easier if they just learned our music. So that’s what we were talking about at the round table.

Seated at 3 o’clock is Pat. Pat is a percussionist with the Pops. When I asked him if he played triangle and congas and tubular bells, he said “all that stuff.” Pat also has the task of arranging Guster’s music for a 90-person orchestra that will be playing without amplification alongside an amplified rock band. So he took in the live show and made some notes, asked me “how I do that to my hands every night,” and now he has to go write arrangements for the setlist we brainstormed. It really is such a daunting task, it’s hard to fathom. But I’m thrilled to be a part of it. I get the sense that the Pops has never tried anything like this before either.

Seated at about 5 o’clock we have Dennis. Dennis plays trumpet with the Pops and played trumpet with us at the Appleton show. He learned “Dear Valentine” by listening to it once and writing a bunch of lines and bubbles on a chart right before the show. He nailed it too. When Ryan introduced him to the crowd, Dennis got a polite smattering of applause, to which Ryan responded with “He’s a PROFESSIONAL musician!!” Silence. Hello?

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