Guster concluded their 25th anniversary celebration with an intimate surprise show at Somerville, MA’s The Burren late Sunday night. The group performed under the name Sweet Maynard and The Sassy Sailors, a moniker they used for stealth performances before the release of their major-label debut in 1999.
Throughout the late-night performance, the group was augmented The Zambonis’ Dave Schneider—who plays with the Hannukah cover The LeeVees with Guster’s Adam Gardner, Samantha Goddess and Tony Goddess, who played in fellow Tufts band Papas Fritas. The musicians ran through a selection of covers, including “Miss You” (The Rolling Stones), “Dreams” (Fleetwood Mac), “I’m Gonna Be” (500 Miles) (The Proclaimers), “Blister in the Sun” (Violent Femmes), “Beast of Burden” (The Rolling Stones), Boston Red Socks theme song “Sweet Caroline” (Neil Diamond), “When U Love Somebody” (Fruit Bats), “Seven Nights To Rock” (Moon Mullican), “Hey Hey You Say” (Papas Fritas) and a mash-up of T. Rex’s “Bang a Gong,” The Beatles’ “Get Back” and The Rolling Stones’ “Miss You.” They also invited a fan onstage to sing their lone original, the 2003 single “Amsterdam.”
The show took place shortly after Guster closed their celebratory four-night run at Boston’s Paradise, a venue the group outgrew in the 1990s. The final night of the run featured a horn section, the live debut of the 2015 Evermotion song “Farewell” as well as rarities including “Happy Frappy,” “On the Ocean,” “G Major,” and “Medicine.” The latter two songs had been shelved since 2011 and 2012 respectively.
The group’s Saturday night performance was the true bust-out night. After playing a few chestnuts, the group used a “wheel of songs” styled after their 2010 album Easy Wonderful to select the rest of their set as well as offer treats like fan karaoke, the Patriot’s score and a selection of early material. The wheel helped the group revive long-shelved Goldfly songs like “Melanie” and “Great Escape” for the first time since 2004 and 2008 as well as long-lost songs from their debut album Parachute “The Prize” and “Eden” that Guster have barely touched since they marked that album’s 20th anniversary in late 2013.
The band also treated fans to a special show on Friday, augmenting their show with strings for numbers like “Satellite” “Two At A Time,” “Empire State,” “Two Points For Honesty,” “Long Way Down,” “Rise & Shine,” “Either Way,” rarities like “Rocketship” and “Window” and “Rainy Day.”