Guster, Bleu, and Hooray for Earth, Bank of America Pavilion, September 8, 2007
Hooray for Earth are in their undershirts at Bank of America Pavilion playing low-tuned grunge rock/electro-pop that sounds like “Smells like Teen Spirit.” Up close, they’re sweaty, and lead singer/guitarist Noel Heoux has a look of isolation — there are seven people in the front row. If this band had the pyrotechnics of a headliner and back-up dancers dressed as dinosaurs, they might draw more than just a few groupies. Indeed, with unsimple, shiny-synth songs like “Simple Plan,” Hooray for Earth are behemothic.
THANKSGIVING: Ryan Miller's sound is still homegrown.
Not behemothic: Bleu and his band wore tuxes and covered “Shout” and “The Way You Make Me Feel” like the Proclaimers circa ’88 in a lounge. “Seriously, fuck you!” Bleu called out — but it wasn’t clear why.
So it was left to Guster, with cowbells and trumpets, to issue a welcome-back to the students at WFNX’s Bank of America Disorientation 2007 show on Saturday. Lead singer Ryan Miller explained, “You might have had orientation — but you haven’t had shit of disorientation.” Jewish wisecracks followed, and so did a long, prolific set. “Here’s some soft rock,” Miller whispered before the band played the opening howl of their second single, “Demons,” from ’98. The newer “Manifest Destiny” and “Satellite” sounded cheery and fine. Guster stuck to the pop-meets-jam-band formula that’s made them dorm-room favorites — there was nothing as daring as the Astronauts techno remix of “Satellite” from their new Satellite EP (Reprise), and their cover “Total Eclipse of the Heart” (also from Satellite) didn’t make it either. There was, at the close of the set, a segment with Miller’s distorted voice booming like Darth Vader’s over a Bloodhound Gang riff: it sounded evil and foreboding, but it ended too soon. So Guster are the band to invite home for Thanksgiving . . . and it seems they’re all right with that.
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