Lovers all across Northern Colorado made their way up to the Mishawaka Amphitheatre this past week for Guster’s Hello Mister Sun Tour! This stop on their nationwide adventure fell on a Tuesday and Wednesday, but this didn’t stop anybody from making the trip up the canyon and celebrating like it was the weekend. Esther Rose made a guest appearance both nights and the two sets made for a really special experience for all in attendance for this mid-week concert run.
The show fell on a nearly perfect day where it wasn’t too hot, not too cloudy or windy, and it just made for a comfortable evening. Esther Rose welcomed all to the venue playing lovely acoustic songs that felt like a hug as you first walk through the front gates. Her music told the story of her life in a beautiful artistic manner that resonated with many of the people in the audience, making for an intimate live music experience. Even if you weren’t at the front of the stage, the music just added to the ambiance, and really just made for good vibes to accompany the good views, good food, and good people around you.
The night was already great when Guster took the stage, and they made it truly amazing. From the very beginning the band had so much energy and you could tell they were so excited to be here this evening, sharing their music with people that love it just as much as they do. The members of Guster play together with so much chemistry it radiates through the venue in a way that everybody can feel that connection between them, and the special thing about it is you feel the same way in the crowd. They put on a display of true mastery of their art, and if you ask anybody in attendance this evening, this was peak Guster.
Beyond the music being phenomenal, Guster made the show more than just music. They would have conversations with us, tell us about their days and the hike they went on this morning, the book they are reading, the fish they caught in the river 30 yards away, the disagreement they had earlier about a part of the set. It wasn’t just talking about their days though, they improvise and make a whole song about it, keeping the casual tone while having funky baselines and groovy rhythm, its like the instruments are telling you about their day at the same time!
Guster has a real sense of humor too, you couldn’t go through more than two songs without breaking out laughing at their reasoning for being scared of a mountain lion or a classic one-liner to fill the space between songs. They would tell stories in their songs, like the origin of the Mish, as according to Guster the Mishawaka was “founded by a retired military general that moved out into the middle of nowhere, saw a road and said “yeah, this would be a good place for a party.” So he built a music venue, and a restaurant where they sell buffalo burgers, so he would have everything he could ever want and never have to go back into town again!”
The high vibes, good energy, and laughter that were fostered during night one of Guster’s extravaganza at the Mishawaka carried on without missing a beat into their second night on Wednesday. It was a night filled to the brim with laughter, belonging, and stellar tunes all booming off the Poudre Canyon’s walls.
When Esther Rose took to the Mish stage for a second night, she inspired a crowd of hopelessly romantic, two-stepping, boot-stomping couples to celebrate their love on the dance floor. Her music reminded the crowd why they were all there — to bond and reconnect over the music they have been hopelessly devoted to and in love with for many years.
Esther’s soul-soothing melodies and enchanting, poetic lyrics reminded us all of the raw human feeling of belonging and experiencing together. A feeling that live music often leaves us entranced under. Her set flowed effortlessly into the second night of Guster’s alternative rock jams.
And as Guster took to the stage for a second time, the crowd erupted into cheers and laughter. The onstage banter shared between the four members of this legendary band left the Mishawaka ringing with laughter. Guitarist and Lead Singer, Ryan Miller couldn’t believe that there was a venue in the middle of seemingly nowhere, nestled in the heart of a Riverbend. He was madly in love with the Mish stage, but couldn’t fathom its quirky origin, which he was also madly in love with.
During night two Miller even adorned a bright red, vintage Mishawaka t-shirt. A shirt that no one on the Mish team could figure out where it came from, but a shirt that he rocked, nonetheless. The production team decided right away that it was better for him to hold onto it permanently, which Miller told the crowd he was very grateful for. While the origin of this shirt and Miller’s discovery of it in his wardrobe still remains a mystery, the legendary story of Guster’s first time playing the “quirky” stage in “the middle of nowhere” will forever go down in Mish history. Thank you for two days filled with laughter, good music, and adventure Guster. You’re welcome to our stage and our Mish wardrobes anytime! We can’t wait for you to come back.
- Written by Kaylee Pierskalla and Brad Campbell
- Photos from Sunny Side Production
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