October 8, 2007

Concert 2 - Brett Dennen & Guster

Brett Dennen Set
1 - Darlin' Do Not Fear
2 - The One Who Loves You The Most
- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
3 - Desert Sunrise
4 - Ain't No Reason
5 - When I Go
6 - She's Mine
7 - Blessed?

Brett Dennen opened for Guster on Saturday night at the UVM Patrick Gymnasium, to a fairly large group of students and Burlington residents. He played a fairly short set of his songs to a fairly good response. I found him to be a little bit of a letdown from my expectations. While he wasn't bad, he wasn't that great in person. I found Dennen to be pretty relaxed on stage, almost a little wooden. His presence on stage was a little stiff, and his fellow band members hardly moved from their original pose.
However, Brett Dennen's music was good. While I've always thought of his music as a sort of pop-folk, his live show seemed to have more of a reggeae influence than I had picked up on earlier while listening through his songs. His set was solid - there were most of his recognizable songs there. His sound carried over pretty well from his albums, and there wasn't much in the way of surprises there. Overall, it was a decent show, but not terribly memorable.

Guster Set
1 - Unknown (Careful?)
2 - Happier
3 - Backyard
4 - Satellite
5 - Beginning of the End
6 - I Spy
7 - Manifest Destiny
8 - Homecoming King
9 - Airport Song
10 - Ramona
11 - Hang On
12 - Amsterdam
13 - Improved Vermont Song
14 - Barrel of a Gun
15 - Come Down Stairs and Say Hello
16 - G Major
18 - Fa Fa
19 - Two Points for Honesty
20 - I Hope Tomorrow is Like Today
21 - Unknown
22 - Demons
23 - Where Everbody Knows Your Name (Countdown Cover)

Guster, on the other hand, really made the night. Taking off shortly after Brett Dennen, they opened up with a fantastic set of music that really got the crowd going. They had one of the longer sets of music that I've ever watched, and it was certainly a fun one. I came to this concert a little aprehensively. Brett Dennen, I sort of knew and listened to a bit, but Guster has been a relatively unknown band to me. I've listened to just a couple of their songs, and had heard some rather negative things about them from some crew people that I've worked with.
Guster wasn't bad on stage. While they're not automatically a favorite of mine, I definently got into their music and had a good time. They got into a good sound (and really energetic) and started off right away, and didn't really talk a whole lot, which is always good (I'd rather listen to a musician sing than talk).

I was really impressed with the amount of interchangibility that these guys had with their insturments. It seemed like each one could play at least one or two others, and they brought in some cool things, like a trumpet, which you don't see often. On stage, they really brought the audience a good sound, something that I think is best described as College-Pop or alternative. It seemed like a very appropriate type of music for a college campus. They weren't without faults here and there. Overall, I thought that their lead singer shouldn't necessarily be the lead singer - Adam Gardner, the second lead singer, seemed to me to have a better voice.
Overall, it was a fun show. Guster was certainly much better than Brett Dennen, but it was a good pairing.

Next up, A Fine Frenzy and Brandi Carlile.