Monthly Archives: May 2006

05.16.06 – Daytona Beach

You might have thought we weren’t still on tour, judging by the tour dates we have listed on our site, but we’re actually playing one last week of private college shows before we go on a proper tour this summer. So Saturday found us playing our instruments on the pool deck of a Holiday Inn in Daytona Beach Florida to a bunch of mostly naked students from the University of Dayton in Ohio.

The school makes a week long pilgrimage to take over the otherwise-desolate-this-time-of-year strip that is Daytona every May. The students stay in shitbox motels on the beach drinking can after can of The Beast (until their tears smell like The Beast), and when the cans are empty they go on the floor of the motel room next to someone who is sleeping. Sometimes you stand in a circle listening to that AC/DC song where they yell “THUNDER” every ten seconds, switching off who has to drink every time you hear the magic word. They call this game “Thunderstruck.” The Thundergod played Thunderstruck.

It was exactly like the MTV Spring Break scenes we used to watch on the television…. except it was our band, playing our unique brand of introspective mid-tempo adult contemporary melodic rock, rather than Kris Kross or House of Pain or Lit, who sing the “please tell me why my car is in the front yard” song and played this event last year. Anyway, the crowd, who’d just been fed 68 kegs of free beer during a power happy hour right before we took the stage, could not have been cooler. No projectiles. Just energy, flesh, and 95 degree heat in the middle of the afternoon.

Here’s a picture that Allyson took from the “merchandise booth” where she sold 0 cd’s and 0 t-shirts (note to Guster… naked people don’t have wallets), but sat butt-level in a chair and snapped this picture from her camera phone:

And while we’re sharing pictures from our camera phones, here’s one of Josh, our monitor engineer who was stuck in the heat of the sun with a tank top on during the show:

And while we’re on the topic of horrible shirt tans, here’s a Ganging Up on the Sun promotional photo we took last month in Los Angeles:

In stores June 20th!

Lucky for me that’s a fake make-up burn applied by a professional make-up artist, but Josh was sporting the real thing this weekend, and was nice enough to pose for a portrait so we could put his forehead tan in the road journal. The unique semi-circle design on Josh’s forehead can be achieved by first choosing a bald hairdo and then wearing a baseball hat backwards in Florida:

So yeah we feared the worst with this show and it ended up being really fun. Ryan let the crowd peer pressure him into chugging his beer on stage, and then kept insisting we were coming back next year. Before our last song, he brought Scooter on stage and told everyone it was his birthday. The crowd went wild. Scooter drank for free all night. Scooter turned 22 over a month ago.

Which brings me to my next topic. Why should we believe Scooter when he tells us that he’s 22 years old? We all know he looks like he’s 14, but has anyone actually seen his ID? Should I card him? There’s no way this guy is older than LeBron James:

No way.

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I brought anti-perspirant on this tour for some reason. I’d been enjoying just plain deodorant for years but I ran out right before the tour and found an old stick of anti-perspirant to bring along instead. I don’t know how anyone uses that crap. It feels like burning. I lasted maybe one pit-cancer-inducing week with it and then bought a stick of old spice long-lasting high-endurance fresh-scent deodorant. Where are you going with this Brian.

So when you buy a stick of deodorant you know how you have not only the cap between you and the blue stuff, but a little plastic safety seal protector too? I assume the point of it is to ensure that no one’s tampering with your deodorant in the store… they’re just checking the scent to see if they want to smell like that. Though I suppose you could always take the little protector plastic off, lather up your armpits in the store, replace it, then return the stick to the shelf and laugh maniacally with free clean armpits for 24 hours until you’d have to do it all over again the next day. That would be no way to live.

Okay, I’m not sure you know what the little plastic safety protector looks like so I’m going to Walgreen’s with my camera-phone. In the rain.

It’s that clear thing. You don’t do anything with it but throw it out right before your first application. So the other day, not really thinking about what I was doing, I threw the plastic protector thing *and* the cap in the garbage, in one absent-minded motion. Not a big deal, you are probably thinking. Fish the cap out of the garbage. And stop whining about drunk college kids at your shows while you’re at it. Except that I live on a bus, remember, and there’s a trash chute on the bus that leads to a garbage can in the bay underneath the bus and we’re cruising along the highway and in one hour on our (very green campus consciousness) tour, a harmless deodorant cap gets buried in an enormous pile of pizza cheese, banana peels, socks, etc…

I tried the old anti-perspirant cap. It didn’t fit. So now I have this mess inside of my toiletry bag:

It’s a plastic dixie cup bag, and it’s better than squandering 3 dollars on a gratuitous second stick of deodorant. So that’s the very latest in Guster vs Personal Hygiene Products news, and boy doesn’t Adam look like a pussy for complaining about splitting his head open on a tampon dispenser after what I’ve had to go through.

Bonus pic! Student security guard outside our dressing room at Holy Cross last night…

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05.01.06 – How Awesome It Was…

I’ve been experiencing a little road journal writer’s block lately, waiting for something extraordinary to happen rather than just getting in the game and making something out of nothing. But a very inspirational email just came in from a student at Tufts, our alma mater, where we played the annual Spring Fling Concert on Saturday…

From: “Meghan b”
Sent: Monday, May 01, 2006 1:49 AM

GUSTER! i’m ashamed of you. returning to tufts and not writing a road journal about how awesome it was?
i’d have thought better of a thundergod.

So I think I’ll write a road journal about how awesome it was to return to Tufts. I think it will be an awesome road journal and I think I’ll call it “How Awesome It Was”…

HOW AWESOME IT WAS … by Thundergod!

It’s tough to decide which was more awesome, the awesome left shoe that someone threw at us during “Come Downstairs & Say Hello” or the awesome half-full can of Miller High Life that landed at the base of the percussion kit between songs and started oozing beer at my feet. Joe was impressed with the specially-engineered hard plastic torpedo that exploded into his mic stand during “Happier” and spewed powder all over his guitar pedals. Someone put a lot of work into that thing. As the newest member of Guster and the only one of us that isn’t a Tufts alumni, Joe had to be convinced after the show that Tufts was actually a smart school. I think that may have been the most wasted crowd we’ve ever played to.

I should qualify this a little bit. When I was a Tufts student and the Violent Femmes / Lemonheads / Digable Planets played Spring Fling I wanted to throw my shoe at Evan Dando but I was too drunk to figure out how to take it off. And I love the Lemonheads — it’s just the tradition at Tufts to get hammered and ignore the band at this event every year. Plus our set on Saturday was laced with feedback, like the whole time. I would have thrown my shoe at our soundguy except that I needed it to play a kick drum standing up. I probably should have thrown that rogue left stage-shoe at him. And there was an energetic minority out there of kids who liked our band, and we appreciate you, though your shoe-heaving fellow academics always seem to make the road journal headlines.

Ryan, who talks into the microphone the most, let the crowd know that the band they were ignoring on the side stage between main stage acts (The Hold Steady) put out one of the best records of the year last year. Adam, who usually only speaks into the microphone to deliver his rehearsed spew about the Campus Consciousness Pavilion, decided to skip the routine at Tufts, probably so his wife didn’t get puked on. I don’t ever talk into the microphone, but if my mics were louder, you’d have heard me yelling “you guys are the best crowd we’ve ever played to!” between just about every song.

come to think of it, i might have devised a special powder-producing plastic projectile myself if i’d known joe was going to wear that hat with those glasses on stage…

The thing is we really wanted to stay and hang out at Tufts (anyway). I think Spring Fling is a really fun event for everyone except the bands, and we just wanted to be out there on the President’s Lawn, drinking frisbees full of beer, rather than trying to entertain people who were drinking frisbees full of beer… but we had an evening show at Amherst College, which is a good 115 miles away, and we had to hightail it out of there after our set just to make it there by 7pm, when doors were supposed to open up. So here’s the kicker:

We’re rolling down Packard Avenue in the bus trying to get off campus and there’s a cop car parked in the middle of the street. We pull up behind it and wait. That complete douchebag head Tufts robo-cop is leaning against the driver’s window of the cop car, talking to the driver. This is the same skinhead dipshit that made Adam walk back to Olin Hall to get his laminate as we were walking on stage (like with in-ear monitors in our ears and student activities people vouching that he’s in the band and everything). So prick cop dickhead keeps talking to the other cop, fully aware that we’re waiting for them to pull over and let us through. Douchebag cop laughs at something the other driver says, then gives us the “one minute” index finger, and continues with his conversation.

And Taz, our driver, God bless him, whose personal mission it was to get us to Amherst in time for our next show, just laid into the horn. It was the most beautiful sound I’d ever heard. Deep, bassy, sustained, and so shockingly loud, even Blackalicious heard it on stage. Just long enough that the cop moved his car and glared at us, but not long enough that they stopped us and searched the bus for drugs. You’re my goddam hero, Taz.

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