Fairfield graduate Tara Cushman ’05 came back to her alma mater last Thursday to catch what she says is “the best show you’ll see at a college.”

Guster is a popular east-coast band dating back to 1992, when its members went to Tufts University in Boston. Their first show was at Tufts and their first album, “Parachute,” was written and recorded while attending Tufts. Over the last 13 years they have become known as an amiable group of guys with a bunch of good-natured, care-free songs.

Before the show, sitting in the back room of the band’s magnificent tour bus with Adam Gardner, The Mirror discussed the band’s past, present and future. It was hard not to feel like the man’s old friends.

“I think we’re pretty normal, approachable guys,” he said.

It was even harder not to be excited for the evening’s show. They have played at European music festivals, Bonnaroo and in all the big United States cities, but Gardner still said he looks forward to the small college shows.

“The great thing about playing colleges is that they’re fun. Everyone’s in a good mood. Everyone’s ready to just enjoy the show, and there’s no pressure,” he said. “So my expectations are just to enjoy it, just like everybody else and hopefully everyone will be loud and raucous.”

He does not remember the band’s 1999 StagStock performance at Fairfield, but he agrees that they have come quite a long way since then.

Six years after their StagStock performance, the mellow Gardner stood to the right of the witty Ryan Miller on Alumni Hall’s stage last week as the ridiculously enthusiastic drummer, Brian Rosenworcel, peeked over his towering bongos.

They were met by the cheers and screams of thousands of their fans.

The band opened with “Happier” off their first album, “Parachute.”

With a good mix of old and new songs that were both upbeat and intimate, the band seemed to please everyone. They even gave Fairfield a taste of the new songs that will presumably make up their next album.

FUSA President Jessica DiBuono ’06 said that at least 2,000 people attended the sold-out show.

“It was great to see all of us gathered together in the same place, enjoying something right here on campus,” she said. “The band played great songs, interacted well with the audience and were great guys to work with.”

Chris Martin ’07 felt the same way. He said he could not believe how many people attended the event.

“Usually it’s very hard to get people to come to university events, but I felt like people really wanted to attend this concert,” he said.

DiBuono said she thought the concert was “phenomenal.”

“I was happy to hear a lot of great feedback,” she said.

DiBuono’s claim was accurate. Students raved about the band’s performance.

“Guster is my favorite band,” said Ryan Tougias ’06. “When I heard that they were coming to Fairfield, I stopped breathing. I almost died from happiness. My expectations were so high. And they were met. The performance was everything I hoped it would be.”

Katie Quell ’05, who came back to Fairfield for the event, said she has seen Guster play many times.

“But this was one of the best performances that I’ve seen,” she said.

Some Guster fans traveled great distances to see their favorite band.

“It took me three hours to get here,” said John Cifelli, a senior at Rutgers University. “But when I heard that Guster was playing at Fairfield, I had to come.”

“All their non-college tour dates were sold out,” he added. “I feel lucky to be here.”

Guster has undoubtedly left its mark at Fairfield. The band’s unique sound of the guitar-keyboard-bongo mix will be remembered.

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