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A Hard-Earned Homecoming

A Hard-Earned HomecomingPart of a whirl-wind collection of concerts, prime time appearances and promotional events, Tufts’ own Guster launched their CD with a huge Boston homecoming. Boston.

Boston [06.26.03] When Adam Gardner, Ryan Miller and Brian Rosenworcel walked out on stage in the middle of Boston's City Hall plaza Tuesday night, the Tufts graduates came face to face with the largest collection of their fans ever to gather for one concert. Nearly 40,000 people, many with signs, T-shirts and newly purchased CDs, greeted Guster with thunderous applause as the trio headlined a free concert to promote their newly released album Keep It Together.

"We had no idea the show would be that huge," Miller said in an interview with Tufts E-News. "We were totally floored. We had no way of gauging how many people were there. Our biggest show before this was 7,000 people in Central Park."

Times have changed for the trio, who formed Guster (originally called Gus) in the early 1990s, while undergraduates at Tufts. Four albums later, the band has a tremendously loyal fan base and a polished sound that continues to earn critical acclaim.

Calling Keep It Together "rich in both song texture and lyrics," Rolling Stone Magazine praised Guster's newest offering.

"Instead of limiting themselves to hand percussion thriving on Miller's and Gardner's harmonies; pianos, electric riffs, and a bit of noise creep from behind the drum kit to blend with Guster's signature vocal warmth," reported Rolling Stone. "They're focused on moods and atmospheres without being cliche -- the sunny reflection of ‘Amsterdam' highlights Guster's approach. Keep It Together is sentimental without being sappy, and innocent without the naivete."

Miller attributes the evolving sound to Guster's continued maturity as a band.

"We're making steps forward," Miller told E-News. "We just hope that the fans appreciate growth and care about the band. We push ourselves to write better songs and keep growing."

With the promotional support of their new label Reprise Records, Guster's fanbase and airtime are almost certain to grow.

"It's pretty nuts," Miller told E-News. "AOL Time Warner is cranking out behind us to promote the record...[The promotion of the record] is a little corporate. But the thing is, it's not like we're out there selling Guster dolls. We're selling our album, something we made that we are really proud of."

The band is also proud of its roots.

"Tufts has a lot to do with how we got started and why we got started," Miller said. "It's the first couple chapters of our book - no question."

Miller, Gardner and Rosenworcel have returned to Tufts on a couple occasions since their graduation in 1995, including an appearance at the University's annual Spring Fling concert.

"We have really positive feelings about Tufts," Miller said. "We had a really good time in college. I'm positive and nostalgic [about Tufts] in all the right ways."

He added that he gets a kick out of hearing that campus tour guides include Guster in their presentations to prospective students and parents.

"I love that we have become part of the Tufts lore," Miller said.

But the trio never expected their current success when they started playing together as undergraduates.

"Adam was in the Bubs at the same time as we were starting the band," Miller said, explaining that the trio once discussed what would happen if Adam had to choose between the Bubs and the band. "He said, ‘If Guster gets bigger than the Bubs, I'll quit the Bubs. I'm going to do whatever's biggest.' And we were like, ‘Don't be [stupid]. We're never going to be as big as the Bubs.'"

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