Yesterday I spent most of the day at work. Fridays are really busy at the paper and I read through countless pages to get things ready. Typically I don't put headphones on while I work so people can get my attention if they need it. But it was an emotionally draining week and I just wanted to shut everyone out. I needed some alone time.
So I turned to Guster for my solitude. I have so many dear memories that come to mind when I listen to Guster. They have been my friends for over ten years now and I think of running around my neighborhood with my CD player, holding it so carefully so it wouldn't skip as I jogged around, listening to "Amsterdam" over and over and over.
I think of listening to "So Long" freshman year when I was frustrated with someone.
And whenever "Come Downstairs and Say Hello" comes on I have too many memories to choose from: taking an extra loop around the neighborhood with my sister so we could finish the song, singing along, having a bad day and being reminded to be strong because everything would be okay, and, my personal favorite, hearing the first few notes of the song at my first Guster show two years ago and screaming so loud the whole club could hear me (including the band), putting my arm around Berkeley and knowing that that was a perfect moment.
I've thought about that show a lot the past two years. I've been to a fair number of live shows and that has been by far the best experience I've had (Bruce was second on this list, which should tell you just how much I loved that Guster show). I went with my dearest friends and we were pretty close to the stage (except for the super tall woman in heels in front of us, rude). We all sang every song and danced and had the best time. I was transformed at that show. And you can ask my roommates, I didn't come down off of the Guster cloud for at least a week after that show.
When I listen to Guster, it isn't just about the music. It's about the people and the memories that tie us together. And listening to Guster yesterday reminded me mostly of that show and the joy I had in my heart in that moment. And that made me feel a little more healed and a lot better.
(For anyone looking for a song that will make you feel better every time, check out "Hang On." Guaranteed it will pick you up.)