|Submitted to Guster.net by Dan Bowen
Freedom Hill Ampitheater, Sterling Heights, Michigan
The Grand Rapids kids return to Detroit. This time with a real spare tire, a different car, and money. Okay so we weren't in downtown Detroit like last time but we WERE CLOSE ENOUGH.
After Calvin College's concert I wasn't sure if ANYTHING could top that concert however it did. This one was awesome, and I got there early enough to meet Ryan. Here is my story:
Since we had gotten there so early we took a walk around the Ampitheater and stuff to check out the Venue and we find a nice shady place with a picnic table. Little did we know the Guster peeps would be walking around ALL OVER THE PLACE there. Ryan decided to go chill outside the gate and read a paper. I mean being the geek that I am I went over and chatted with him for a little. Told him about the misadventures of the Detroit trip last year much to his amusement. So I leave him to his paper and go back to my picnic table where I begin working on a setlist of songs that I THOUGHT Guster would play that night. And I was going to match them up with the real setlist. Let's just say I did horrible.
Someone picks up Ryan and they go cruising off somewhere and he did something I didn't expect him to do. As he was leaving, I wasn't even paying attention but Matt got my attention in time, Ryan waved as he left. I don't know why that means so much but it does. It's felt like he was just waving to me as a normal person that he talks to all the time. Not one of his "fans". I felt like I was on an equal level with him.
Then the waiting comes. And with me being the BIGGEST DORK EVER, I start singing Guster and bongoing on the picnic table. My friend, Matt told me that Adam walked out and was talking on his cellphone and he heard me singing. Matt said that Adam was talking and all of a sudden stopped looked at me and went back to his conversation. Then after that someone, from behind the fence where all the tour buses were and the band members were, started singing quite loudly. It sounded like Joe. And I swear I heard him go "We've got a showdown!" or something like that. No clue if that was part of a song or if he was really immitating me singing.
(SO ONTO THE CONCERT)
Finally after waiting and waiting and waiting, we get to go into the Ampitheater where Rufus started out the show. The crowd was semi into that show. He sang very slow and melodic songs. They were beautiful but just not my type of songs. Too long and too downtempo. During one of his songs though he said the line "Baptized in come" and Matt and I both looked at each other and were like "OMFG!!!". Ben Folds was alot better than I had expected. Going into this show I knew nothing about both Rufus and Ben. He got people into the concert with them singing the melodies. And at the end alot of people were standing up for the last song.
Then Guster came on. And EVERYONE rose to their feet. Guster was like the band EVERYONE came to see. And everyone was dancing and moving and just getting into the show. The crowd was the most into this show than any of the previous shows I have been to. People were moving up the closer rows so they could see Guster better and there was an open spot over by the entrance that Ryan said was the "party deck". No one was there however until after he said that. Then everyone was over there dancing and going nuts.
Guster as always was in fine form. They played as good if not better than both the Tastefest concert and the Calvin concert. And after being at two previous Guster concerts and hearing about countless others I thought that everything was going to be pretty predictable. However I was poorly mistaken. They played a few songs that I did not expect them to play AND they changed up little bits and pieces of the songs. Like Amsterdams bridge and the tempo for What you Wish for. Just like at Calvin their energy was really there. And so was the crowds this time. The one thing I did notice about this concert though is that Ryan didn't really address the audience as much only to point out one guy that was trying desperately to get his attention. He made mention of the Pistons and of the bird pooping on Ben Folds as he was doing a sound check on the piano.
Anyways after the show I matched up my setlist with the real setlist and here is how bad I did....
Dan's "Guess" setlist:
What you Wish for
Red Oyster Cult
Barrel of a Gun
Come Downstairs and Say Hello
Jesus On the Radio
What you Wish For
Red Oyster Cult
Barrel Of A Gun
Keep It Together
Come Downstairs and Say Hello