photo by Matt Cosby (via Guster on Facebook)

Guster hosted their third-annual On the Ocean festival in Portland, ME, this past weekend, which featured an array of events including a full-album performance, a key-to-the-city ceremony and the “debut” (and final bow) of their fake EDM band.

On Friday, the band received the key to their “second home” city on the porch of Portland’s WCYY radio station, where the group performed their tunes “Hard Times” and “Satellite.” Later that night, Guster officially kicked off the weekend’s musical festivities with an acoustic show at the First Parish Church. The band nodded to the spiritual setting with a fun cover of George Michael’s “Faith,” and drummer Brian Rosenworcel showed off his trombone skills from behind the church’s podium. Onetime Guster multi-instrumentalist Joe Pisapia played during set break and invited the members of his former band onstage for “Every Moment,” an original the group has only performed live on one other occasion. He also joined Guster onstage for “On the Ocean” and a song he cowrote with them, “Jesus On the Radio,” which was played acoustic in the church’s balcony. 

On Saturday, Guster headlined the main On the Ocean festivities at Thompson’s Point and, as they announced before the show, the band performed their 1999 breakthrough album, Lost and Gone Forever, in its entirety, welcoming a string section for a few of the record’s tracks.

After the show, the group moved over to Halo at the Point for the event’s official after-party. During the past two decades, Guster have created a fake country-rock alias, Peace Soldiers, as well as a mock-jamband persona, Trippin’ Balls. This time, the ensemble performed as the EDM band PIPPI, playing only one song before declaring PIPPI “over,” revealing a curtain backdrop for Instagram photos and posing for an hour.

Guster will perform at Gloucester, MA’s 92.5 Riverfest Seaside Music Festival on August 24. The group also plans to announce a makeup concert for their show at New York’s Central Park SummerStage, which was cut short last week due to lightning, in the near future.