Guster Performs in Traverse City

On a day filled with culture at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, Guster was the big dog, headlining the Traverse City Art and Wine Festival. Familiar to local audiences from appearances at Interlochen, this was the band’s first time performing in Traverse City. So how did they get ready for the big gig? They spent the day sightseeing in Leland at Fishtown, visiting local wineries, even boating on Lake Leelanau.

Following that, percussionist Brian Rosenworcel took a few minutes to speak with MyNorth before the band took the stage to close the festival. He said that he and the band have been pleased with the response to Evermotion, their latest recording, released in January of this year. “We went to Oregon and worked with a wacky producer, Richard Swift,” said Rosenworcel. “It’s got a real textured, synthy sound.”

That’s in stark contrast to the jangly alt-pop vibe the band crafted through its first 19 years. Rosenworcel said that was the plan. “We’re excited to be 20 years into our band life and still be unpredictable,” he said. “There’s no feeling like we’re stuck in the past. We have to go where the music takes us. ‘All right, what can we do next?’ It’s pretty exciting.”

Wherever it takes them, the band is never far from a hummable melody. “We have a rule melody is king,” said Rosenworcel. “Our set tonight is a real blend of six or seven albums. We’ll mix it up. We hope to broaden our audience,” he said.

Following its Traverse City performance, the band had to fly to its next performance at Croton-on-Hudson, New York, no easy feat as their original flight was canceled. The band’s summer itinerary also includes performances at Red Rocks in Denver, Central Park in New York (“My home,” said Rosenworcel), Boston (where the band originated at Tufts University), and Wolf Trap just outside of Washington, D.C.