Guster @ High Falls

Since the past week has been very busy and I can’t seem to escape my desk today (supervisor is in Brazil, which leaves me responsible for both the intranet and websites, and with the whole terrorism threat thing it’s a “high communication” day) I thought I’d do some catchup blogging during lunch.

Amanda got me tickets to the Guster concert, which took place last night at the High Falls Festival Site in Rochester. Even though I spent about five years in Rochester while at RIT, I had never been there. It’s an… interesting place, basically a medium sized brick parking lot. Enough room to set up a stage, some vendors, and comfortably fit a few hundred people. The area overlooks the Genesee River and the famed Genesee Brewery is on the other side of it. This site really isn’t much to speak of. I kept thinking that Buffalo must have dozens of sites that would make better concert venues than High Falls.

High Falls Festival Site

Anyways, there were two opening bands. Rogue Wave and Ray LaMontagne. Rogue Wave was already playing when we got there. Sounded like a fairly interesting band, wouldn’t mind hearing more from them. Ray LaMontagne had this laid back, Woodstock appropriate sound that almost put us to sleep. Not that he was bad, the talent was solid. The music was just boring.

After what seemed like one of the longest stage changes ever (c’mon guys, 40 minutes to switch the setups between bands?) Guster finally began to play. I first heard Guster when they opened up for Barenaked Ladies at HSBC Arena during the Maroon tour in 2000. I introduced their music to Amanda, and we both went to see their show at RIT in 2004. Rochester was as close as they were getting to Buffalo on this year’s tour, so Amanda got me tickets for my birthday. Guster is a pretty unique and extremely talented band. They really blew me away at that first show. Two things really caught my eye/ear – the drummer uses his hands to play a mishmash drum set of all sorts of percussion instruments (including cymbals – ouch!) and in that show they actually used the one of the on-board percussion tracks from an old Casio PT-10 (or similar) keyboard, which is the first one I ever owned and an instrument I would never have expected to see in concert.

We both had a great time at yesterday’s show, even if they didn’t play my favorite song, “Either Way”, which during their 2000 show Ryan Miller (great name!) claimed was written about a girl he once dated from Niagara Falls. Interestingly, I mentioned this fact during a conversation once on a local message board and was promptly PM’d by a user known only as “jesskittle” from Niagara Falls who wasn’t sure, but thought the song might be about her. I never got more info from her than that.

Also interesting is a fact that Ryan mentioned during yesterday’s show – even though Guster is from Boston, Google Trends shows their peak interest as being from Rochester. Maybe that’s because they’re so sensitive to the deaf culture that is prominent is Rochester. “Jazz hands” to you guys for another great show!

P.S. If you’ve never had a chance to see/hear Guster, they’ll be performing tonight on Conan O’Brien.

Similar Posts


  1. How can you write about High Falls and not mention the waterfall (you know, Hgh Falls!) 🙂

    I saw a concert there once and have to agree that it isn’t the best venue…

  2. Wow, I’m the only jesskittle I know, and I definitely don’t remember this. Am I blacking out? I’m guessing I was probably joking if I ever said that, although me and local message boards and PMing doesn’t even sound like my style…


  3. Yup… it was UBRF at the beginning of 2005 – I still have the PM. Of course, the question still unanswered is – did you ever date Ryan?

Leave a Reply