July 28, 2006

Guster and Ray LaMontagne Thrill Sold-Out Charter One Pavilion

By Randy J. Klodz

With singer-songwriter Ray LaMontagne as support, Guster showcased its soft-rock rhythms, and many new tracks from “Ganging Up on the Sun,” to a sold-out crowd at Chicago’s Charter One Pavilion on July 28.

The long-haired and bearded Ray LaMontagne took to the sold-out Charter One Pavilion stage in a long-sleeve plaid shirt as the evening temperature exceeded 95 degrees. LaMontagne warmed the crowd with a 45-minute set that featured show staples “Jolene,” “Shelter” and “Trouble,” among other songs. Although the crowd could be exhausted by the heat, the fans greeted LaMontagne with open-arms and enjoyed each of his songs.

As headliners, Guster took to the warm stage as the giddy crowd clapped, sang and laughed through the 100-minute set.

The crowd, which consisted mostly of those 25 and over, enjoyed Guster songs like “Amsterdam,” “Center of Attention,” “I Spy,” “Satellite” and “Manifest Destiny.” As custom, the crowd interacted with the “4-3-2-1” countdown in the song “Barrel of a Gun” and threw objects--this time small glow sticks--on stage during the jam session in the middle of “Airport Song.”

Ryan Miller (lead vocals, guitar) served as part-time comedian. Upon the completion of “Ramona,” he addressed the sweaty crowd: “It’s muggy out here. Everybody’s all hot and sweaty. I have what seems like tsetse flies buzzing around my head, so I feel like Pig Pen from the Peanuts cartoons.”

Also accompanying Miller on stage included: Adam Gardner (vocals, guitar), Brian Rosenworcel (drums/percussionist extraordinaire) and Joe Pisapia (bass/other instruments).

Other highlights of the show include the three-song encore that featured “Lightning Rod,” “The New Underground” and “Happier,” the show’s ender.

Guster’s current tour is scheduled to run through Oct. 4 when the band stops by Portland’s Crystal Ballroom. For more info on Guster log on to www.guster.com.
Guster Photo: C Taylor Crothers